Our mission is to empower newcomer refugee, asylee and immigrant youth through soccer and mentorship; we achieve this by providing a positive space where refugee, asylee and immigrant youth can connect with their peers in a safe and supportive environment to develop their soccer, language and leadership skills.
Together with our all-volunteer staff and your help, RIFA will continue to sustain an environment that fosters the spirit of our mission for current program participants and endeavor to expand the program to serve additional youth, including girls.
In addition to helping youth improve their skills on the soccer field, we rely on five strategies — mentorship, graduated leadership, clinics & seasonal tournaments, team-building activities and community service — to build and sustain a strong social support network. The support network and safe environment allow our team to pursue the following four goals:
01. PROMOTE HEALTHY LIVING
02. DEVELOP ORGANIZATIONAL & LEadership Skills
03. Instill a Sense of ACcountability
04. Encourage CIVIC Engagement
Past + Present
Since our beginnings in 2008 under a different name, RIFA has grown from two volunteer coaches serving 10 youth participants to 10 volunteer coaches serving an average of 80 high-school aged boys in the past three years. RIFA was once associated with Soccer Without Borders and the International Rescue Committee via Memorandums of Understanding. The volunteers have always envisioned the program to be a member in the network of services for new immigrant, refugee and asylee youth in New York City. RIFA incorporated as an independent non-profit in 2017.
While program participants come from diverse countries and speak different languages, every one of them shares an enthusiasm for soccer and every one of them deserves a great experience. Now that RIFA has secured tax exempt status, our volunteers will continue to work to strengthen our institutional foundation, and are committed now more than ever to providing more opportunities for youth participants by adding additional training sessions, a girls team and entering an additional tournament.