Play For Hope

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Play For Hope

Rwanda
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Budget: 
$50,000 - $100,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

We empower Rwandans to mentor street children, orphans, and other vulnerable children through football. We train coaches in a comprehensive program that teaches football skills, mentorship techniques, methods to help children leave the streets, and wellness education in order to bring hope to disadvantaged children and reintegrate them into society.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Within Rwanda there is a significant lack of adult involvement and mentorship in the lives of children. UNICEF has estimated that 100,000 orphans live in child led households. There are an estimated 7,000 children living on the streets, 80% of such children have no option other than living on the streets. Orphan lead households and street children are particularly vulnerable to exploitation and abuse including sexual exploitation, increased risk of HIV/AIDS, malnutrition, and drug use (particularly glue huffing). Many of these children are arrested and imprisoned often for nothing more than living on the streets. In addition, most of these children receive minimal community support due to negative perception within their communities. Rwanda cultural structure is based upon community support and thus these children do not experience the support necessitated to have a hope for future growth or escape from their current lifestyles. We seek to use football and its inherent positive lessons and teaching opportunities to reintegrate these youth into society and to decrease the risks of the negative activities, while giving them a chance for a positive future.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Our model creates change from inside of communities rather than from external aid. Thus, our programs retain a community identity and ownership that allows for impact but does not conflict with an area's culture or risk failure due to dependency. The children we work with are ignored within society and have the least sporting opportunities, even while sports present the greatest opportunity for positive impact in their lives relative to other children. Other programs created to help vulnerable children in Rwanda have difficulty integrating children into a structured environment leading the children to leave the programs meant to help them no longer live on the streets. Football creates an inherently structured environments and teaches the importance of community in a fun way while decreasing the probability of children leaving programs. In the same regard, football increases external community acceptance of vulnerable children by increasing positive interaction between children and community, which in turn increases the support structure around children. Thus, football changes persons both within and outside of our programs in order to help the most needy children. In addition, each team is taught to establish income producing projects to eventually be wholly self sufficient beyond receiving continual Play For Hope training. This creates a model allowing expansion without draining resources from established programs.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Our primary success has been using football on a small scale to impact street kids' lives. Our model is based upon Play For Hope's Rwanda Director Seriuex Kanamugire's work with five street kids teams. He has worked with 120 street boys. With little money or external aid, he has helped 18 boys attend vocation training school, 10 boys enter a street child's center, and helped 12 boys return to their home, reconcile with their families, and receive a school sponsorship. In addition, 65 of his children have completely stopped drug use. All of the boys in Serieux's program through football have learned confidence, self-worth, and a hope that they can achieve something great. He is continuing to work with many of these boys to help them overcome their issues and enter school. We now desire to increase this impact by developing new leaders within communities and to increase aid so that more of the boys can leave the streets. In addition, we have run a tournament in the national stadium with teams that we created to be equal parts street children, children on church teams, and children on school teams. This tournament cast a vision in Rwanda of how fully integrating children from different areas of society creates learning and understanding to promote peace and uplift all children to dream of a better future. In addition, we completed a four day training with 14 local coaches in Kigali to improve their sporting skills and understanding of how sports can holistically impact their community. Each coach in our training completed a week of clinics in their community with Play For Hope. In total we ran 60 clinics in Rwanda with an attendance of approximately 9,000 children. It is our desire to transition from short term conferences to long term training. For more information on Play For Hope's impact please refer to the multimedia section.
About You
Organization:
Play For Hope
Visit website
Section 1: About You
First Name

Brian

Last Name

Beckman

Organization

Play For Hope

Country

, NC, Wake County

Section 2: About Your Organization
Organization Name

Play For Hope

Organization Phone

971-235-3057

Organization Address

4811 Waterford Club Crossing, Apt 231

Organization Country

, NC, Wake County

Your idea
Country your work focuses on

, KV

Innovation
Do you have a patent for this idea?

Impact
Actions

These actions will culminate in the creation of a comprehensive training which fully develops coaches through long term follow up. Our teams will have quality equipment with which to train. In the short term, our programs will create five new street children teams and continue work with previously trained coaches. The children mentored in our program will be placed into a positive supportive environment, helping them to no longer use drugs, decrease their risk of sexual exploitation, decrease their risk of contracting HIV/AIDS, and to receive a nourishing meal. Through coaches learning each child's circumanstance, the final result for many of them will be leaving the streets in a way uniquely designed for his or her situation. In addition, these actions will create tournaments in neighborhoods that form a positive intersect between communities and street children. The implementation of five teams will lay the groundwork to expand our work throughout Kigali, then throughout Rwanda and neighboring countries Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo. This will ultimately create a network of sustainable teams in which each coach will demonstrate proficiency working with children.

Results

These actions will culminate in the creation of a comprehensive training which fully develops coaches through long term follow up. Our teams will have quality equipment with which to train. In the short term, our programs will create five new street children teams and continue work with previously trained coaches. The children mentored in our program will be placed into a positive supportive environment, helping them to no longer use drugs, decrease their risk of sexual exploitation, decrease their risk of contracting HIV/AIDS, and to receive a nourishing meal. Through coaches learning each child's circumstance, the final result for many of them will be leaving the streets in a way uniquely designed for his or her situation. In addition, these actions will create tournaments in neighborhoods that form a positive intersect between communities and street children. The implementation of five teams will lay the groundwork to expand our work throughout Kigali, then throughout Rwanda and neighboring countries Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo. This will ultimately create a network of sustainable teams in which each coach will demonstrate proficiency working with children.

What will it take for your project to be successful over the next three years? Please address each year separately, if possible.

During Year 1, we are creating a curriculum and program which will ensure that the street children programs our leaders run can be successfully expanded with new mentors and coaches. This requires hiring initial staff to work with coaches to create five new street kids teams. These teams will form a pilot program to ensure that large scale expansion can occur in the future. This year is dependent upon building strategic partnerships to gain legitimacy in communities as well as to determine creative ways to help children leave the streets. This, as every year, will require sending quality sporting equipment to Rwanda and bringing international coaches and trainers to train nationals.
Year 2's success will be dependent upon transitioning from small scale expansion to widespread expansion of our programs into communities in Kigali, Rwanda, and its outgrown area. This will require a larger staff within Rwanda to track and form teams in our network. Follow up and reporting of team information must be streamlined and efficient. In addition, we must be able to mentor coaches who have been trained to differing degrees in our curriculum. This will require that the Rwandan staff is fully trained not only in our curriculum, but as trainers of our curriculum. This year will be as dependent on creating new teams, as well as improving our current teams. Finally, we must have a culturally relevant testing protocol in place to determine our training's efficacy.
Year 3's success will be dependent upon operations being fully functioning in Kigali and its nearby areas. We must have strong rapport with communities and other organizations, which allow our operations to work seamlessly with the communities. This is paramount as at this time we desire to begin the process of launching business ventures in Rwanda in which a portion of the profits will go to funding of our work. Our design is to slowly phase out foreign funding until the programs are fully funded from within Rwanda. In addition, we will expand to rural areas in Rwanda and investigate expansion into Burundi or the Congo. To make this expansion a reality, we will need fully trained Rwandans who can be sent to help other communities form programs. Our goal is to raise up mentors from the population in which we serve to expand our programs with persons who have experienced and overcome the issues the local youth face.

What would prevent your project from being a success?

There are two primary factors that could cause our initiative to be unsuccessful. The first is an inability to gain community support from local leaders to engage street children. There are many negative attitudes towards street children and orphans. To the degree that we are unable to garner community support, it will be difficult to fully reintegrate our children and youth into society. We have attempted to minimize this problem by allowing communities to select their own leaders and by holding events, such as tournaments, specifically targeted at drawing together our children and the community in a positive setting. We will pursue education and activism to help community leaders to learn and understand the value of sports initiatives. In addition, it is our desire that these children be sponsored to enter school and thus have multiple points of positive interaction with the community.
The second factor is an inability to provide continuous follow up support and training for our coaches. One time trainings with no accountability have been done often in Rwanda and with minimal long term success. Analogous to US license programs, football coaches must continuously be learning and improving football and mentorship skills in order to reach their potential as coaches. Proper follow-up will require that we hire nationals full time to work with and mentor coaches. This requires that we have ample, sustained financial support, income, and sporting equipment. Play For Hope plans to create multiple streams of revenue to ensure success. Such streams include but are not limited to individual and corporate monthly sponsorship, grants, merchandise, creating partnerships between street kids teams and US teams in which US teams help provide for their sponsored teams, US tournaments and fundraising events, and business ventures in Rwanda with a portion of profits benefiting Play For Hope.

How many people will your project serve annually?

1001‐10,000

What is the average monthly household income in your target community, in US Dollars?

Less than $50

Does your project seek to have an impact on public policy?

Sustainability
What stage is your project in?

Operating for 1‐5 years

In what country?

, KV

Is your initiative connected to an established organization?

If yes, provide organization name.
How long has this organization been operating?

Less than a year

Does your organization have a Board of Directors or an Advisory Board?

Yes

Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with NGOs?

Yes

Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with businesses?

No

Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with government?

Yes

Please tell us more about how these partnerships are critical to the success of your innovation.

The NGOs are instrumental for us to holistically impact the lives of children in Rwanda. We are able to enter into communities through our partners' recommendations, creating a trust between us and the community, so that our coaches can be selected and our children can be integrated into the communities. One organization that has been particularly important in this regard is Hope Rwanda. In addition, these partnerships provide resources such as HIV/AIDS prevention training, child sponsorship programs, and child housing programs. This allows us to focus on using sports and mentorship to draw children off of the streets and to keep vulnerable children off of the streets while their basic needs are met. A partnership with the Rwandan Football Federation is developing to add legitimacy to our work. The partnership will provide supplemental training for our coaches in the national training conferences and our children opportunity to tryouts for club and national level teams. This is vital to our acceptance as a high level sports program, as well as providing children with an opportunity to leave the streets directly through sports.

What are the three most important actions needed to grow your initiative or organization?

1. Formation of curriculum: An extensive curriculum that can train coaches over a long period of time so that they can continually improve their skills and mentoring abilities is necessaryto grow our impact. This curriculum is central to us expanding from working with a small number of street kids to teaching other Rwandan nationals to positively impact the lives of youth with a high level of football. Our entire organization is devoted to using football to teach those looked down upon in society that they are important and can accomplish great things, and thus we must create professional level programs that will allow children to compete at the same level as well funded teams.
2. Hiring of Staff: We must have Rwandan staff on the ground working full time to mobilize communities for our long term training programs to be implemented. Follow up trainings, tracking of teams, helping coaches to integrate their teams into the community, and accountability and conflict resolution for coaches requires that we have staff members who can mentor our coaches over a sustained period of time. In addition, this support ensures that coaches will allow us to help them train their teams without fear that we will leave or abandon them.
3. Formation of Teams: Once we have the staff to assist and mentor coaches in our trainings and a curriculum, we will focus on creating new teams of street kids in Rwanda that will work with our new coaches. These coaches will specifically work on gaining the trust of the youth on their team through football so that they can begin to mentor and help the youth to overcome the problems in their lives. These teams will practice a minimum of twice a week, begin to play games against non street kids teams, and will provide food for each child at practice. In addition, as aforementioned each team will create an income producing project to help fund themselves.

The Story
What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?

lay For Hope's vision was born on a late summer night in Rwanda over a plate of enchiladas oddly enough. Rwandan Director Serieux and I, International Executive Director Brian Beckman, were meeting in one of the rare moments of respite during two months of traveling through Kigali and its outlying areas working with thousands of children. The months of work had left a lingering exhaustion that had often correlated in neither of us speaking of anything but the present. But on that night, we discussed how we could reshape the future of Rwanda. While there was a strong sense of accomplishment felt from our past work which had culminated in a youth football tournament in the Rwandan national stadium, there existed a profound acknowledgment of the need that still existed in Rwanda. A need that could not be countered through a weeks of sports clinics. We had encountered countless children devoid of positive adult involvement in their lives and no positive activities in which to partake. They were without hope of a future and many were addicted to glue to emotionally survive. Their lifestyles stood in direct contrast to a second group of street boys who we coached twice a week. Serieux's outpouring into their lives, through football, had created a family among the boys. Rather than drug addiction, they spoke of a positive future that existed for them despite a past or current life on the streets. Most of the boys had lost parents in the 1994 genocide and yet joy permeated their meetings together. Many discussed how football had become their lone refuge and had taught them to interact with one another in harmony and to release past anger. As Serieux and I discussed the glaring differences, we began to dream of how the impact he had had in these boys' lives could be spread to the many children who had no hope. We quickly discovered that this was only possible if we empowered others to carry on the work Serieux began. A vision was created to establish a network of coaches trained to bring high level football as a carrier of hope into the lives of the least fortunate children in Rwanda so that they could rewrite the future of their country. Rwanda, long known for hatred and genocide, could be dramatically changed by the skills and talents of those who never had an opportunity to pursue their talents. This has been my heart and dream for so long, Serieux noted. At the same time, there still existed real and pressing need of the current children in Serieux's programs, many of whom had not yet left the streets and needed to reenter education due to a lack of resources. We knew football was a gateway to provide what was needed. It was at this time that we strategically planned how our programs could be holistically developed to meet the current physical needs of children through partnerships with other organizations and creation of team-led income producing projects. From this meeting, the future of Play For Hope was launched.

Tell us about the social innovator behind this idea.

Brian Beckman is a graduate from the University of North Carolina with a major in Exercise and Sport Science and a second major in Psychology. He has previously worked in a hypertension study at Duke University Medical Center and personal trained women recovering from breast cancer at the University of North Carolina. In addition, he has been involved with research determining the effective of running shoes on acute injury. He has been working on developing sports curriculum in Rwanda since 2008. In addition, he successfully led a trip to Rwanda with six other Americans in which nearly 60 sports clinics were run with an approximate attendance of 9,000 children. He is an avid writer and is in the process of launching a career in writing. He has a passion for empowering people to pursue and accomplish their dreams.
Seriuex Kanamugire is a Rwandan currently living in Rwanda. He has worked with street kids football teams for eight years and has owned and mentored five teams. He has successfully helped many of these children to get off and remain off of the streets. He also helps run a successful street kids drama and dancing program on Saturdays. He was the Associate Producer of a film entitled Muyurangabou which was shown at the Cannes Film Festival, which led to the creation of a Rwandan film production company entitled Almond Tree Films. He has a passion for training leaders and helping children identify and develop their talents.

How did you first hear about Changemakers?

Friend or family member

If through another, please provide the name of the organization or company

50 words or fewer

randomness