In a year full of unexpected, L.A.C.E.S. reimagined its outreach, expanded its impact and welcomed new members to its leadership. Here are the top memorable moments of 2020.
Top 5 Covid-19 Response Initiatives
Covid-19 Emergency Relief Fund
In March, L.A.C.E.S. sports activities came to a halt but we never stopped serving our communities. While following public safety guidelines our teams continued to come together for meals and mentoring. Our community-wide awareness campaign reached over 3,000 people and provided personal protection equipment (PPE) to the L.A.C.E.S. youth and coaches in Liberia. Because of your support, our children and their families received food, an understanding of the COVID-19 virus, and resources to protect themselves and their families.
Covid-19 Radio Jingle
When we asked our youth in Liberia how we could help them fight COVID-19, they came back with the idea to record a radio jingle to educate Liberians about the virus, “to keep us all safe.” Using their L.A.C.E.S. leadership training, they asked us to help them create a radio jingle with the voices of our youth reminding people of how to protect themselves and their community. It played daily on-air for three months to 70,000 people each day.
In April, L.A.C.E.S. coaches, refugee youth, supporters, and staff came together to connect and inspire each other to keep moving as school and work from home became the new normal. The results: 61 videos by families sharing how they kept moving were submitted and shared with over 18,500 people in 70 different countries!
Virtual Benefit- Behind the Scenes
In the fall, we were able to take you Behind the Scenes of L.A.C.E.S. in a way that has never been done before. In November, through Zoom conversations, our staff from Liberia detailed the urgent needs of West African youth, and you made it possible for 120 more youth to break out of the devasting cycle of poverty through their participation in L.A.C.E.S.
Refugee Virtual Soccer Clinic
In July, with the support of professional soccer players and dedicated L.A.C.E.S. coaches, we held our first Virtual Soccer Clinic, where 33 refugee youth from a variety of nations and languages virtually united over the common love of soccer. L.A.C.E.S. staff worked tirelessly prior to the event, explaining how we would play soccer together online. Most of the youth stayed online after the event to chat with friends they had not seen since entering quarantine!
How We Have Grown in 2020
Expanded our programs into Sierra Leone, West Africa
2020 saw the first year of L.A.C.E.S. global expansion project in Bo City, Sierra Leone. We were able to achieve this goal by working with our local partner, Love One Another. Love One Another (L.O.A.) serves children orphaned by the 11-year civil war and the 2014 Ebola Crisis. L.O.A. seeks to provide care, opportunity, and support for the youth of Sierra Leone. Our partnership with L.O.A. will bring about a cycle of change for the 120 youth and 12 coaches we serve in this program.
You can read more about our partner and or expansion here: www.laces.org/sierraleone/
Introducing L.A.C.E.S. Ambassador: Sidney Rivera
Sidney Rivera is a professional soccer player from Staten Island, New York. With his highly decorated professional global career, he now represents the Puerto Rican National Team as their captain for the upcoming World Cup qualifier. As a L.A.C.E.S. Ambassador, he has long supported LACES projects and was lead coach at our Refugee Virtual Soccer Clinic.
Interested in More Ways to Get Involved in our Mission?
Seren Fryatt invites you to reach out to her at email@example.com to discuss the numerous ways you can help support L.A.C.E.S. in 2021!