Houston charity using soccer to unite cultures around the world

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by Matt Musil / 11 Sports

khou.com

Posted on June 2, 2010 at 8:59 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 2 at 10:07 PM

 

HOUSTON – There is an organization here in Houston helping to blend different cultures on the soccer field, with the hope of changing attitudes off the field.

We are all familiar with scenes from the war torn Middle East as grudges and beliefs build up over centuries keep people from making peace.

Many believe the situation will never get better, but there is an organization in Houston that begs to differ.

The "Cherish Our Children" organization if funding a soccer program in Israel for about 20,000 kids that’s unique to all others.

"Christians, Muslims, Jews, every kind of kid you can find, new immigrants from Ethiopia, and refugees from Darfur and what brings them together is the soccer," said Gerry Showstack of the Hapoel Tel Aiv Soccer Club.

"The opportunity we saw in this program is to actually bring this generation up without that conflict with each other," said member Bill Baumeyer.

And organizers are finding out, that like here in the US, when these kids from different religious backgrounds pay together on the same team, other family members are affected too.

"Parents are coming together around this," said Showstack. "These are just great moments of kids being kids."

"Cherish Our Children" funds youth programs in four foreign countries plus the United States.

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