Soccer and Societal Development in Africa: A Profile

This Entry has been submitted.

Soccer and Societal Development in Africa: A Profile

Vancouver, Canada
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

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

This is a great opportunity to give honest press to these hard working organizations. It is my hope that telling these stories not only inspires people to work for these kinds of organizations, but that it also inspires them to work for the one that best fits their ideals and goals. An even better result would allow these charitable organizations to see themselves and see how they can improve to become better at engaging their participants and developing their community.

With the Africa Cup of Nations coming to South Africa this coming January, this is the perfect time to get in and see all three levels of charitable organizations that operate in Africa. Getting all three documented at once could be a crucial revelation about how they all fit together.

I also feel that this could be a good way to get these groups to work along side one another a bit more closely. With so many of them out there with their own goals it may be a great benefit for them all to see one another and work together.

In conclusion, it is my goal to work towards improving each and every one of the organizations I come across by telling their story honestly. The ones that are doing great work will attract more volunteers and funding, the groups that need improvement will be able to see it and take those steps. This can be an important work that expands the vision of those involved, those that read it, and be one more step along the road to the world understanding one another.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

This project seeks to profile charitable organizations that use soccer as a tool for societal development in Africa. The goal is to get first hand accounts of their activities by actually visiting them where they work both in the field, and in the boardroom. This will be on three levels: 1) The grassroots charitable organizations run by volunteers and funded by donations that work with children and the disenfranchised. These will be a large segment as they are the most prevalent. 2) I will look at the work done by professional teams in a local African soccer league. All of these teams have some sort of work they do in their communities. I have chosen Ajax Cape Town for their 'Community Scheme' program. Other teams with charitael arms to their organization will be examined as well. 3) The third phase will be incorporated into the upcoming Africa Cup of Nation being held in South Africa. Their charitable side where they involve the national teams with the community will be explored. I will also take a look at the impact teams themselves have on their country. The current information available to individuals wishing to participate in these programs is from the actual companies themselves, or from recent participants. This does not give a fair or unbiased view of the proceedings.

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

The goal of this project is to give people an unbiased view of how these groups work and what they do. This will be accomplished by going to Africa, seeing them for myself, and letting the people involved speak their mind. There is no other real option for getting this kind of information. Someone has to go out and do the work, visit them personally, and tell the stories. My initial findings will be published on a blog. This will be advertised through the other like minded people who see soccer and sport as a tool for societal development. A number of these connections have already been made. Once I have completed sufficient research this will all be collected and written as a book. This will allow anyone to have a readily available reference at any time, not just when connected to the internet.
Impact: How does it Work

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

I recently spoke with Ben Newman of Bavukuba Foundation. They are a group that works with villages in Uganda around the Kampala region. They are lead by Ugandan native Silas Balabyekkubo. Ben is heading up their sports division, offering a platform for improved physical condition, team work through sport, and leadership skills development. Speaking with Ben gave me the chance to hear what his feelings were on development in Africa, and his stance against the phrase 'delivering aid.' He believes in building bridges between communities and offering opportunity. Charity is not his goal, it is sustainable providing of opportunity. Silas, the leader, describes their goal as offering what he calls 'dream space.' Without taking the time to personally speak with these group these subtle nuances, that make a large impact on the overall direction of the group, what ever have been revealed to the public.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

There around 3 or 4 other prominent internet sites that are trying to profile these types of groups. The issue they face is that they do not have the time or dedication to go out and get the story themselves. They rely on user generated content and story submission. This leads to undoubtedly skewed perceptions and a view through very 'rose coloured glasses.' I have respect for the work they do, but they are largely a collection point, and not a source of first hand accounts and information in a journalistic sense. As far as posing a challenge to m success goe, quit the opposite is what I find. I have spoken to a number of them and they support my initiative. This is not a group of jealous people out for themselves. This is a group of people who want to help others, to build others up, that work with anyone they can to make the world a little better.