When it comes to humankind, food seems have the same affect in all cultures everywhere. It brings people together. It’s a platform for conversation, laughs, and enjoyment. At our feeding programs, our goal is to give the kids proper nutrition, because nutrition provides the foundation for education, exercise, and health.
At our feeding program in Embonisweni, South Africa, that’s exactly what has happened. Not only are the kids getting a hot, healthy meal, but they are getting some exercise as they learn how to play a team sport. Soccer. Read what Mzwandile Ndlovu, uVillage leader and soccer organizer has to say about the new club.
Soccer is among the favorite sports here in South Africa. If you go around and ask any young boy in the community which sport they prefer, they will tell you it’s soccer. This is because soccer is the sport that we all know about. It’s easy to learn and find our own ways to be better at it.
It has always been our dream at uVillage to start a soccer academy in the after school program that will help to disciple, train, develop, and empower young, talented boys who one day see themselves playing for top clubs around the world. So at the beginning of this year, I started bringing soccer equipment to the program to play with the boys. It was awesome. I started with a couple of them and within a short space of time, we had many more joining. Every young boy wanted to play soccer, and it was not because they already knew how. They wanted to learn so that they could interact with their friends. What I saw was that rivals created strong bonds and friendships with one another. They didn’t want the day to end.
It was clear to me that every child deserves a place and space to have fun and learn. So with this in mind, I started teaching the boys how to do the setup and the cleanup after playing, which they quickly took ownership of. Before we start playing, we talk about how we need to treat each other in the field and how our attitude and behavior can change the way we see ourselves and others. Now they love what each brings to the team, because they all realize that they can’t play alone. I, too, realize that I need these boys. I’m learning a lot from them, and I’m beginning to see who they can become. We are all a work progress, and that’s why I love playing soccer with these young boys.
Thank you so much for being a part of not only giving these kids nutrition week after week but also providing the foundation for activities like soccer clubs. Your donations are changing the lives of young people forever.