Ambassadors In Sport

Our mission is to run Hope Academies in South Africa. Hope Academy is an intensive and holistic football based program that provides underprivileged children in Africa the opportunity to fulfil their God-given potential on and off the field.
Sep 18, 2013

New faces working in the prison Hope Academy

Juju Tabata
Juju Tabata

Dear supporters

We have 3 new faces doing the work in Prison since July 1st. We are so excited to welcome back Juju Tabata to the team working in the prison. He was a member of the team that helped to start the work in 2009. He now acts as the Technical adviser and coach to the team. He also works with the boys 3 times a week in the areas of Football - Faith - Future.

Ben Marais joined Ambassadors in Sport in July as the new National Director and is currently also involved in the prison work. Ben currently acts as the Academy Director and visits the boys once per week to inspire and motivate them, as well as providing spritual and life skill guidance as Pastor and lifecoach.

Rahel Hagemaier joined Ben at Ambassadors and currently acts as the administrative assistant. She started as a German intern who has joined Ambassadors full time since August.

As you know we invest a lot into the boys during their time in the prison, as well as helping them once they get out, to reajust to life on the outside. Looking forward we want to equip them on the inside to become football coaches that focus on coaching life through sport. We believe that by doing this they are able to impact their communities once they leave prison. We are looking into a few exciting partnership to help us in bridging the gap between life on the inside and the outside reality awaiting them. For this we need your continued support, as a halfway house would help us the assist them in making a smoother transition. More to follow in the next update.

We are running a training in October in adressing the impact of fatherlessness on them and training them to become father figures / rolemodels through understanding the roles of a father. Fatherlessness is one of the main reasons many of them find themselfes in the prison.

We have 3 boys that have graduated from the academy on parole in the last month, and we are assisting them in reajusting, finding work and being the change agents that they have become through their time in the academy.

Thank you for your continued support.

Ben Marais
Ben Marais
Rahel Hagemeier
Rahel Hagemeier
May 14, 2013

Making Progress!

Coach Tami delivering life skills!
Coach Tami delivering life skills!

The work at Soweto Hope Academy continues to grow from strength to strength. We continue to invest deeply into the lives of our thirty six children in thier football, faith and future.

Recently we welcomed three new volunteers to the program. This has been an amazing blessing to us as we require further support to help us with coaching and our afterschool educational support program. Jennifer will coordinate HA events, Tebogo will assist as a Future Coach and Nhlanhla will be assisting our head coach Sam Pam.

One of the most exciting developments will be our new container arriving soon. This will be used as a classroom and library for our children. The standard of education in Soweto is generally poor and many of our children struggle to get support and drop out of school, some can end up in crime and gangs and we desire each one of our children to finish their matric and have the opportunity to be successful in life. Investing in education is one of our priorities and we recieved a grant from the FIFA World Cup Legacy Fund to help us develop this component of the program.

We have seen the benefits of our children getting extra educational support. One of our children was told he would not progress from Grade 6, the teachers dismissed the possibility of him developing further and said he would have to repeat. Through some intervention from our coaches and believing in him he passed and is now in Grade 7 - it shows that our children just need some encouragement, love and belief.

Additionally we are so excited to have Sam Pam Jr (ex Nigeria & Orlando Pirates) as our Head Coach. Sam has come in and made a massive impact on the work and implementing our football phiilosophy. The children have responded to him positively and he is a great role model, he has played at the highest level and has brought great credibility to our football component.

Thanks for your continued support, your investment in each one of these childrens lives is making a big difference, not only in each one of our children but in the families and in the community. In essence we are developing 36 leaders and we are already seeing the progress in each one's football, faith and future. 

Links:

Apr 15, 2013

Rebuilding, restoring and renewing their nation.

Bongani, Chris and Andile leading the children.
Bongani, Chris and Andile leading the children.

Dear supporters,

The past couple of months have been encouraging for us as we continue to reach young men in prison, and mentor our graduates who have been released.

The prison program continues to go well and we have had quite a few of our young men released back into society. This includes our longest serving member Edward who had been in Hope Academy for the past four years. It was an emotional time saying goodbye to Edwards from the program, however we were excited for him as he had been given a place at a halfway home that one of the wardens in the prison runs. Additionally alongside this warden we sought permission from the prison for Edward to return to the prison daily to finish his school in the prison school system. Edward would of struggled to get into another educational system once released and this was a big answer to our prayers. We have visited Edward since his release and it is encouraging to see him flourish.

Another encouragment was when we heard that three of our graduates Chris, Bongani and Andile had set up a nonprofit called 'We've Been There'. This is an initiative they came up with by themselves and we were invited to their launch two weeks ago at a school in one of the townships in Cape Town. It was a special moment to see the three of them speak to 120 children and warn them about the dangers of crime, gangs and drugs. This is a result of one of the things we teach the young men in prison, the importance of using their lives and stories so that children in their communities don't make the same mistakes.

As many of our young men have left prison we have started doing trials in the prison and looking at other players to join the team. The prison we are working will become the U21 juvenile centre in the Western Cape, at the moment we are a centre that takes juveniles from 18-25 but this will change. We are registering in the winter league with an external football association which helps bring motivation to the offenders. We are excited about getting in some new players and impacting their lives and offering them hope.

Thanks for all your continued support to the program.

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