In Part I, I wrote about James Moore and Pastor Roberts’ becoming part of the foundation of our organization. In Part II, I write about the work they do today.
As National Director, it’s Moore’s responsibility to ensure that L.A.C.E.S. is fulfilling its mission and operating at a high level. One of his goals for the program is to make L.A.C.E.S. a means for reducing violence on the streets. He holds hope and compassion in his heart for today’s generation and those still to come. In working to achieve this, Moore has helped L.A.C.E.S. build out a strategy that not only identifies at-risk children, but also approaches them to understand their backgrounds and the complexities of their situations, so that the program can help integrate those children back into their homes, or safer living situations. He says that even within a child’s first year of L.A.C.E.S.’ the transformation is visible.
Moore not only handles the administrative aspects of the program, but also ensures that the mission is being carried out effectively through something that the youth are able to connect with: soccer.
“If you were to put [ a soccer ball] down in the middle of the street and leave it there, within five minutes, people will come and start kicking it around,” Moore said, explaining how soccer is a well-loved sport in Liberia.
Both Moore and Roberts expressed their own personal connection with the sport, Roberts relaying how for him, soccer was not just a sport, but an outlet.
“I learned to play soccer as a means for survival,” Roberts said.
With his first-hand knowledge of how the game can help children grow in positive energy and emotion, Roberts’ creates manuals to guide L.A.C.E.S.’ coaches. He also trains coaches to use sports as a means to communicate and build trust with the youth on their teams.
Roberts has been pivotal in the creation of L.A.C.E.S’ newly founded Master Coach program. This new effort teaches coaches already established in the program to go out into other communities and recruit new coaches so that L.A.C.E.S.’ can continue to extend its reach. Roberts says he hopes to see master coaches all around the world and that they can all see their combined impact on children in multiple countries.
In fact, both Moore and Roberts have set this as their goal for L.A.C.E.S.’ future.
The change L.A.C.E.S. creates is crucial to the lives of the youth we serve, and it is our utmost hope that through the hard work and dedication of both our founders and our coaches, our programs will be able to reach further, creating positive change in the lives of children worldwide.