For the last five years YAYA-NFWM (Youth and Young Adult Network of the National Farm Worker Ministry) and AMA (Alianza de Mujeres Activas, eng. Alliance of Active Women) have met for a friendly soccer match. Early morning Saturday, March 26th, we headed to Deland, Florida for Hit The Fields For Farm worker Justice V.
AMA is an organization based in Seville, FL. This unincorporated, small town in Volusia County is known for growing the foliage the goes in flower arrangements. The women of AMA are fighting to improve the conditions of the industry they work in. They promote a safe environment in and outside the workplace by putting on workshops, cultural programs, and by offering information and assistance to low-income farm working families.
YAYA works in solidarity with farmworker organizations to cease the oppressive social, political, and economic conditions these workers face in the fields. YAYA strives to “build leadership within our membership. We see every person as a leader and organizer who is capable of educating, equipping, and mobilizing others in support of justice.”
It was my first time playing soccer so I was a little nervous and concerned I would be a disaster. The purpose of the event is for YAYA and AMA to raise funds to continue the fight for social justice for the farm working community. The match also gives us the opportunity to share some laughs and play some sports. On the day of the match, we put all the money raised by both teams and split the funds between the two organizations.
What a MATCH!! Albeit we lost, 12-4, it was so much fun (and I was not that bad!). We made our fundraising goal of $5250 thanks to your support. The money raised will assist AMA continuing outreach to community members around health, reproductive rights, and other resources not readily accessible in rural communities. On our end, the money will help YAYA-NFWM continue work alongside the different farm worker organizations we support. For instance, the funds will help offset our upcoming trip to NC in support of FLOC during the Reynolds American Inc. Shareholder’s meeting in May. I can’t wait to continue our work of bringing awareness, educating, and carrying on the fight for farmworker justice.
I would like to thank AMA for carrying on this yearly tradition together with YAYA, for the excellent athletes, and delicious lunch they provided after the match. See you next year! And a very special thank you to ALL the individuals who donated to this year’s game and continue to support YAYA-NFWM’s mission of working in solidarity with farm workers.
Ileana Roque González