Different than most soccer clubs, each BVSA Academy only has a max of 40 boys participating at one time. This model allows us to connect with and deeply disciple each Rhino. While an open model would have allowed us to minister to hundreds of kids, it creates challenges when it comes to daily discipleship. In addition to the daily schedule with the boys, the missionary families and staff invest much of their time tending to the needs of the boys' entire families.
Most of our boys enter the Academy around the age of 10 and graduate around the age of 18, giving them approximately 8 years in the program. This gives us ample time to teach the Bible and work towards transformational change. Our prayer is that during these critical years, as the gospel is preached and young men come to faith, generational cycles of sin will be broken.
During their time in the Academy the Rhinos participate in a program that combines highly-competitive soccer, Bible teaching, education, weight-training, hygiene, and nutrition.
Bible Teaching & Discipleship
The Boy's Academy aims to help train up young boys to become godly men, husbands and fathers. We believe this is possible by learning about Jesus and studying the Bible. Our approach varies depending what country and context we are in, but in all cases we believe that proclaiming the gospel and teaching the Bible is the most important thing that we do.
Loving relationships must be formed in order for discipleship to work. At BVSA we open our lives, families, and homes to the boys. They watch our families function on a daily basis and see firsthand the example of a Christian home. We love and care for them as if they are our own.
Each academy has a lead pastor, and we will use a rotation of bible teachers, depending on the missionaries and staff we have available. Opening the Bible and talking about faith and life have led to some of the sweetest moments in BVSA history. We have seen many hearts softened, minds expanded, and lots of young men surrendering their lives to Christ.
For boys and young men, sports provide powerful teaching opportunities. Intense sports training also builds trust for one another, and for your coaches. With that trust in place, the time off the field becomes much more meaningful.
The coaching staffs at our Rhino FC academies have high standards on the field. We aim to compete at a high level, and we believe in high-intensity training. Our teams may come from an unknown village of extreme poverty, but over time they grow a reputation as a high-level futbol club, which can bring a true sense of pride to their village.
Teams from our Rhinos FC Academies have played in tournaments all around Central America and the USA. Several Rhinos have gone on to play NCAA soccer in the USA, as well as professionally in Guatemala and Honduras.
All BVSA Academies provide study hall hours and tutoring for students who attend local school. For those who are not in school, we often teach reading and writing, as well as bible study curriculum.
Many of our boys go home to tough environments, where it is hard to find a quiet place to study. We also provide internet and printing resources for the boys.
In addition, we work hard to build friendships with local schools so that we can work together to help each boy reach their academic potential.
Nutrition - Feeding Program
Poverty and malnutrition tend to go hand in hand. For our Academies that are located in places of extreme poverty, we provide our daily Training Table, where our Rhinos are able to eat a large, nutritious meal each day. Including the Rhinos and our staff, each academy's Training Table feeds anywhere between 700-800 meals per month. This is a huge blessing to the boys, and has led to significant improvements in their overall health, as well as improvement in the classroom.
We always need help with this facet of the ministry, as it is our largest line item in each academy's monthly budget. If you are interested in making a donation to help out, please be sure to note "nutrition" on your donation. Thank you!
Each BVSA Academy has a locker room equipped with clean bathrooms and showers. This gives us a unique opportunity to improve hygiene, which is a ministry in and of itself in impoverished areas. In some of the areas we work, the most common health problems could have been prevented with basic hygiene habits. All of the boys in our programs learn how to take care of themselves, bathe with soap and shampoo, use deodorant, cut toenails and fingernails, etc. While it sounds simplistic, this is an important facet of the ministry intended to teach the boys life-changing habits that they pass on their children.
In some countries we work in, up to 90% of children do not go to school beyond the 6th grade. This is usually the case because either the family cannot afford the costs associated with school.
For every boy enrolled in our Academies who shows reasonable potential academically, we do all we can to sponsor them to go forward with their studies. We work together with local schools to help the boys continue beyond middle school. And for the ones who show even more potential than that, we seek to find individual sponsors to help them go to trade school or even to university.
While the primary focus of our academies is around the Rhinos, we do additional ministry work in other areas. These initiatives are based on staff, culture, and unique community needs.
*Recreational Summer League for children all ages: We open up summer leagues for kids of all ages. This allows us to love on all the kids in the community, and also gives the Rhinos a needed break in between seasons. Many Rhinos love to come and volunteer during the Summer Rec Leagues.
*Girls team (Rinas): We love the girls in our communities, and want them to feel welcome here! Depending on staff and facilities, we can run a seasonal girls program with a reduced schedule. Usually one game per week with a bible study.
*Men’s tournaments: Hosting occasional soccer tournaments is a way to reach out and build relationships with local men. It also gives the adult Rhino graduates in the community opportunities to invite friends to be around Christian community.