The “Escuelita” was created in 1986 to provide educational opportunities to disadvantaged youth in Cabarete, Dominican Republic. It helps children develop their physical, social, emotional, creative and intellectual abilities during the school year. During the summer, the “Escuelita” usually closes for the summer.

This year, however, in an attempt to keep the kids active and engaged, we decided to launch a month-long Soccer Academy two days a week with an end-of-summer tournament called “El Mundialito.” Initially, only 16 children between the ages of six to 18 could enroll, but thanks to donations received prior to the event and the work of on-site volunteers, enrollment eventually tripled to 45 children.

In Washington, DC, Bank staff, friends and family participated in a fundraising tournament, emulating the World Cup soccer matches on Tuesdays and Thursdays from June 9 to July 6 at the corner of 15th Street and Constitution Avenue in downtown Washington. We played 16 games and raised $520 from the players, other Bank employees and friends, including a personal contribution by IDB Executive Director for the Dominican Republic Roberto Saladin.

We also received support from the Many Hats Foundation (www.themanyhats.org), a nonprofit institution that helped us to raise money, and from the Dominican Republic Education And Mentoring (DREAM) Project, which provided us with 10 soccer balls.

The Mundialito organizers would like to thank Eric Hertsens and Marcus Boehn for donating transportation for the children; Sebastian and Gabriel Harding for providing soccer uniforms and equipment; María Eugenia Harding for keeping those uniforms clean; DREAM Project Executive Director Patricia Suriel for the soccer balls; Antonio Marás, Jesús Lopéz, Ramirez Mella, and Julio and Rafael Martinez for acting as coaches and referees during practices and games; Antonio Bozo for serving up a tasty barbecue at the final game; and Anita Harding for running the school.

And three cheers for the DC staff who provided support: Lorena Carbonari, Whitney Harrelson, Julien Hautier, Gustavo Vieira and Cristina Accioly; and for the DC players:

Team A: Bartolomeu Da Silva; Victor R. Alvarado; Ladislao Brachowicz; Fernando Daniel Nikitin; Juan E. Notaro Fraga; Hugo Rafael Caceres Aguero; Raul A. Jauregui; Fabrizio Opertti; Enrique Montero; Roger T. Goodbold; Felipe Verdejo-Sancho; Marcelo Soares Cartacho; Horacio Pigurina; Ruben V. Gutierrez; Fernando Quevedo; Reinaldo K. Cerdeira; and Rui Daniel Moreira Trigo de Morais.

Team B: Mustafa Nurie; Christopher Vignoles; Carlos Miguel Barreto; Pablo E. Pezzimenti; Juan Carlos Perez-Segnini; Jorge Escalante; Humberto A. Gobitz; Jose Agustin Aguerre; Roberto Andres Camblor; Luis Macedo; Claudio Saban; Felipe Targa; Leandro Manuel Medina; Carlos Lago Bouza; Mario Picon; Heber Lorenzo Escondeur; and Diego Flaiban.

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