“Tobacco is the Enemy of my Dreams”

This year’s Somali American Festival Week’s soccer tournament took place at the stadium of St. Thomas University June 30 – July 7.  More than 30 teams from states all over the U.S. competed for the trophy.  In addition to the soccer tournament, the week-long annual event features live music from popular Somali singers and DJs, drawing Somali community members of all ages to the event.

WellShare’s East African Smoke-Free Program, the Somali Child Spacing Program and the Eliminating Health Disparities Program exhibited at the event.

In between the soccer activities, the staff used incentives and participatory games to engage attendees in health education about the harms of tobacco as well as shisha or hookah. Community members who stopped at WellShare’s tent stated their reasons for not using tobacco. They shared compelling messages such as:

“Tobacco is the enemy of my dreams”


“Smoking tobacco causes cancer”


“Tobacco affects your lungs and you can’t play soccer.”


WellShare’s anti-hookah T-shirts and anti-tobacco backpacks were popular among the attendees and promoted WellShare’s anti-tobacco message throughout the community. As in past years, WellShare staff posted signs to help spread the message that the entire event was smoke-free.

Somali American Festival Week is organized by West Bank Athletic Club. See below for some photos from the event.


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.