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The K.I.C.K.S Project is an initiative that promotes the understanding of pertinent local issues through team-building via the game of soccer. This involves the distribution of mosquito nets in the prevention of parasitic disease, water purification projects and lessons in HIV awareness & indoctrination.

Most importantly The K.I.C.K.S Project aims to unite the youth of the world in a common goal: to implement essential dialogue and action in communities in need through the universal language of soccer. This natural icebreaker and lesson in teamwork paves the way for essential dialogue paramount to the survival of settlements on the brink of collapse. The K.I.C.K.S Project

The Key to Implementing Change begins by Kicking a Soccerball

The K.I.C.K.S. Project was born out of the idea that soccer inherently creates a team environment; through team comes trust, through trust dialogue is possible and through dialogue change and growth may begin. Soccer has been an integral part of my life ever since I could walk. I have discovered that the game of soccer best lends me the ability to create a classroom on any field, in any community.

Philosophy of The K .I.C.K.S Project Little more than a patch of ground and a ball is needed to create

the perfect classroom.

It's amazing how willing a child is to listen to important community issues after two hours of soccer play draws them into a circle of rest and re-hydration.

The philosophy of The K.I.C.K.S Project is to utilize the natural team environment that the game of soccer provides to create an opportunity to address local socioeconomic needs within a community.

The latest K.I.C.K.S project involved the distribution of mosquito nets and instruction on avoidance of mosquito-borne diseases like malaria and dengue fever to families in need in the Amazon region of Brazil.

K.I.C.K.S Gets Se rious in Brazil

In 2 checked bags, I brought 140 lbs of shoes, soccerballs, children's clothing and thirty three mosquito nets to distribute to schools and orphanages around the country.

My carry-on bag of 35 lbs contained all of my personal items for the month.

Pastoral Do Me nor

The Pastoral Do Menor is an organization that takes kids off the streets to promote "education through prevention". The facility provides nutritious meals and classes for at-risk youths.

The K.I.C.K.S. Project visited the Pastoral Do Menor and donated soccer balls and children’s clothing while delivering instruction on the importance of avoiding stagnant water patches in the area to aid in dengue fever prevention.

Obidos Slums The slums of Obidos exist just a few miles away from the affluent section of town. Many of these kids were living in handconstructed shacks that could topple over at any moment.

The K.I.C.K.S. Project visited the slums and distributed scores of soccer balls and children’s clothing, penetrating deep within the forgotten community at the edge of town.

The impact was not limited to the community alone; many team members who have never been subject to such poverty were left emotionally changed. The byproduct of K.I.C.K.S. is that American volunteers are exposed to life-altering experiences that they’ll carry with them throughout their lives.

Os Projetos de Mana us: The Projects "The Projects" in Brazil are often the poorest and most desperate places within the community…

...there is no government funding, no social assistance, no welfare; the people are left to fend for themselves and create their own opportunities.

The K.I.C.K.S. Project drove into “Os Projetos” and distributed 50 pounds of gear and clothing to the children of the community, as well as a number of soccer balls with tiny American flags embroidered upon them.

SEARA Rua Nacoes Unidas Unidade da SEARA is an organization that houses young children (ages 6 and under) for the day while their parents, usually a single mother, search for work.

I was told by the coordinators of the program, Philipp and Maximilian, that this is usually the only square meal that these kids will get throughout the day.

Because most of the children at SEARA come from the "wet part of town" (the most impoverished section of the city) the floorboards of their home are often flooded, creating a breeding ground for mosquitos.

So, with the help of Max and Philipp, K.I.C.K.S conducted a crash course on setting up mosquito nets in their homes before handing out 35 nets to help prevent the spread of parasitic disease.

UNIME D Hospital: Childre n’s ER UNIMED Hospital is the largest co-operative medical system in the world. The Pronto-Socorro Infantil is the children's emergency ward, where a recent outbreak of dengue fever kept this hospital buzzing.

The realities of the outbreak emphasized the need for mosquito nets in the Amazon, as the youth are the most susceptible to death-by-mosquito.

The K.I.C.K.S Project interviewed a physician at the hospital and formed connections with health officials in the region for a net-distribution project in the future.

INPA Biological Preserve This laboratory is based at the INPA biological preserve in the Amazon Rain Forest and conducts research on prevention and cures for parasitic diseases on natural plant species found within the jungle.

K.I.C.K.S visited INPA and discussed the needs for malaria and dengue instruction and the importance of mosquito nets in the region.

I was fortunate enough to meet Jose Maria Desouza, a Rotarian and one of the country's top scientists in research of mosquito born illness.

We exchanged details and made plans to combine the work of INPA and The K.I.C.K.S. Project to work together in the future on a net-distribution project.

The Future The K.I.C.K.S Project aims to expand the expertise of staff & volunteers by creating detailed courses in specific subject matter. The three primary areas of instruction are: • The prevention of mosquito borne illness through net distribution and education • Water purification initiatives and the construction of clean wells • Lessons in HIV awareness & indoctrination In order for The K.I.C.K.S Project to expand, we need funding and exposure in whatever capacity. We are confident that once the message of K.I.C.K.S gets exposure, endowment and corporate support will follow. We are currently supported mostly by the dollars of individual donors and donations of soccerballs from U.K. Elite soccer program. The K.I.C.K.S Project is seeking financial support and sponsorship.

About Me

Michael E. Gage is a photojournalist who has traveled extensively to record the conditions of impoverished communities from the furthest reaches of the planet. He has lived the game of soccer since age 4 and has conducted various fundraisers in Mexico, the Americas, and the U.K. to raise money and awareness for children and communities in need.

The K.I.C.K.S Project The Key to Implementing Change begins by Kicking a Soccerball

Contact: Michael E. Gage

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