Grant awarded to Squash Dreamers

The Foundation is pleased to partner with Squash Dreamers.

Positive stories coming out of refugee communities are hard to find. This is particularly true for young girls in Jordan, where cultural norms often prevent them from pursuing as many opportunities as their male counterparts. However, Squash Dreamers is combating that narrative. They are creating new opportunities for girls that will enable them to embark on promising athletic and academic careers. They are instilling confidence in the girls so that they can make greater achievements and make more positive impacts in their communities. By developing more prominent female athletic and academic figures, they hope to give future refugee and Jordanian girls positive role models to emulate.

The funds with be used to:

 Expand the team from 15 to 45 girls of multiple nationalities

 Hire a full-time, permanent country director who can help oversee expansion, manage staff, and apply for grants

 Hire an American fellow and help him move to Jordan

 Provide a bus to transport the girls to practice and English class

 Offer stipends to interns to enable them to come and work in the program

 Send girls to English immersion camp at King’s Academy,

“Why Squash?” This is a natural question given that squash is not one of the world’s most commonly played sports. However, the belief is that squash offers a unique opportunity for refugee girls in Jordan for several reasons: 1) Studies have demonstrated that it is the best workout in sport form. 2) Playing sports in general promotes physical and mental health as well as discipline, hard work, and teamwork. 3) Throughout the United States, and in four other countries, the effectiveness of urban squash programs for under-resourced youth has been demonstrated in programs such as SquashBusters, StreetSquash, and the Squash + Education Alliance. These programs work with over 2,000 students annually, and have helped their participants to achieve a 95% high school graduation and college matriculation rate, in addition to many other benefits. 4) As opposed to sports like soccer and basketball, the professional squash circuit is not nearly as saturated, meaning that dedicated squash players have a greater chance of achieving competitive success. Accomplished squash players can receive scholarships to study in prestigious boarding schools and universities as well as make a career out of competing and coaching abroad.  5) Playing squash enables the girls to bridge the class divide. Squash is typically thought of as a wealthy person’s sport. Not only are they making a sport accessible to them that they would not normally have encountered, but they are also helping them interact with Jordanians from different classes. Thus, bridging both a class divide and a refugee-local divide.

Squash Dreamers matches with the McQuade Foundation’s priorities as both organizations aim to empower young girls who have faced injustices. Both seek to provide for the welfare and education of young girls. Both seek to provide girls with skills that will enable them to succeed in life.