Peace Corps Volunteer Simon Williams is working with his Ukrainian village to build a community athletic field and create a soccer league for the local school. Williams, who played baseball professionally with the St. Louis Cardinals organization, says the current athletic field at the village school is inadequate. 

“The school sits on top of a hill and the field that they have is the size of half a basketball court, which is not sufficient for most physical education activities,” he explains. “Having been active in athletics my whole life, and knowing how soccer-crazy all these kids are, it would be great to see them have an adequate place to play.

“The plan is to make this a very hands-on project,” says the University of Maine graduate, who was Captain of the UMaine baseball team. “The village and its people have very little money but are excited to be a part of building a soccer field for the school.”

Williams has been working as a Youth Development volunteer since 2011, teaching English to students in a Kindergarten through 11th grade school. “We are playing stick-ball and the kids love it. I cut down a broom handle, bought a tennis ball and made the bases out of rocks and they are beginning to grasp the basics. The students always try for a home run, which is hilarious. I like their hustle,” he adds.

In order to receive funding through the Peace Corps Partnership Program, a community must make a 25 percent contribution to the total project cost and outline success indicators for the individual projects. This helps ensure community ownership and a greater chance of long-term sustainability.

One hundred percent of each tax-deductible PCPP donation goes toward a development project. Support Williams’ project in Ukraine

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Peace Corps Peace Corps Volunteer baseball st. louis cardinals soccer sports Peace Corps Partnership Program Ukraine Eastern Europe youth