It has been an exciting start to 2012 at Alive & Kicking, as the stitching centres in Lusaka and Nairobi continue to produce thousands of quality sports balls and we move towards opening a new centre in Accra, Ghana. Between them, A&K Kenya and A&K Zambia provide sustainable employment for 150 people, a number we hope to add to in Ghana over the coming months.
As far as our stitchers in Lusaka are concerned, easily the most exciting news this year was Zambia winning the Africa Cup of Nations in February. In a nerve-racking finale, they edged out the overwhelming favourites Ivory Coast on penalties in Libreville. Having distributed thousands of footballs to children in Zambia since 2004, Alive & Kicking felt an immense sense of pride seeing the young Chipolopolo players lifting the cup.
Shortly after their continental cup success, Zambia hosted some special visitors in the form of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, IOC President Jacques Rogge and UN Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace Wilfred Lemke. They were in Lusaka to mark the new Olympic Youth Development Centre, and took the opportunity to meet Christopher Mutale, a stitcher at Alive & Kicking Zambia. Christopher demonstrated the art of hand-stitching footballs and showed off one he made earlier to a very impressed Secretary General. More here.
PR firm clarity announced that it has chosen Alive & Kicking as its charity of the year, and promptly set up a campaign in which they will donate £1 for every 'like' that they receive on their Facebook page. We are delighted to be receiving this support and believe our organisations can achieve a lot together going forward.
We would like to thank everyone who has donated to Alive & Kicking recently and look forward to giving our next update in 3 months time.
The last three months of the year have gone smoothly for Alive & Kicking in Kenya and Zambia. Both our workshops have continued making and distributing hand-stitcher leather footballs to schools and youth projects in disadvantaged areas. Below are some of the stand-out achievements from the period.
Alive & Kicking Kenya's newly designed animal print footballs of Cheetahs, Lions, Crocodiles and Tortoises aim to promote awareness of wildlife protection and can now be purchased in Nakumatt stores in Kenya. As with all Alive & Kicking balls sold in Nakumatt outlets, the margin that the store makes is donated to projects in Kenya and all A&K’s work remains not-for-profit.
Alive & Kicking Zambia has spent the past 6 weeks planning its first health awareness roadshow, which is scheduled to take place in 2012. Based on the model developed by Alive & Kicking Kenya, A&K Zambia plans to hire a bus and deliver HIV/AIDs education alongside sporting activities in the Copper Belt region of the country. Balls will also be donated to participating schools.
In Kenya plans are also underway for a roadshow next year, although this time with a twist. In 2012 the roadshow will focus on peace and is targeted to coincidence with a general election year. Previously, elections in Kenya have led to outbreaks of violence, so the Peace Roadshow will be aimed at encouraging peaceful attitudes and behaviour amongst young adults.
Alive & Kicking is pleased to be receiving assistance from two professional English football clubs. Kenya's partnership with Arsenal in the Community has continued, with the club sending coaches to deliver training to local Kenya schools alongside the donation of Alive & Kicking balls. In Zambia, the workshop has been lucky to receive assistance from Swindon Town who are purchasing balls to use in their project in Mozambique.
In November this year the CEO of Brightside Group, a UK company, completed the East African Safari Classic: a gruelling 9-day drive in a classic car. The 4300km journey started on 19th November in Mombasa, looped through Tanzania, and finished back in Mombasa on November 28th. Brightside Group plc is hoping to raise £100,000 for Alive & Kicking.
Thank you to everyone that has donated to us in the last three months, and throughout the year. On behalf of everyone at Alive & Kicking we wish you a very Happy Christmas and a great 2012.
Over the past three months, Alive & Kicking's stitching centres in Lusaka and Nairobi have continued producing quality leather sports balls by employing local people on a fair wage. The two centres produce and distribute over 1,000 footballs, rugby balls, volleyballs and netballs each month, and to provide health awareness road shows in local areas. This are targetted at schools, sports clubs, orphanages and refugee camps.
Other news from the last quarter is focused on 3 different 'World Cups': the Homeless World Cup, the Orphanage World Cup, and the Rugby World Cup. More on each of these below..
The Homeless World Cup
Juliet Auma Anibo, a stitcher at Alive & Kicking Kenya, was given the opportunity to represent the Kenyan womens team at the Homeless World Cup in Paris. Juliet is not actually homeless herself, but the competition is aimed at uniting those who are, or have been, homeless or marginalised at some point during their lives.
Juliet had a fantastic tournament, helping Kenya reach the final where they beat Mexico 4-3 to clinch the trophy - with Juliet scoring in the final. Asked about the chances of being noticed by an international scout she said
"There is no women’s league in Kenya so I feel this is the only way we can showcase our talent to the world. Based on previous years 1 or 2 players will be selected by professional clubs for trials. If not selected I would definitely come back to Alive and Kicking to work as I feel it is the only place I know that I could get between Kshs 9000 and 15000 ($100- $170) in a friendly environment."
You can read more about this story on the news section of our website.
The Orphanage World Cup
In Zambia, local staff have been helping to organised the Orphanage World Cup throughout the year. This project has been focused on bringing together groups of young Zambians from different orphanages to play sports against each other, and to be given some basic health awareness lessons as part of the process. The tournament was successfully completed this summer, with help from coaching staff from Tackle Africa - one of Alive & Kicking's partners.
The Rugby World Cup
The Rugby World Cup kicked off in New Zealand in September. This is relevant to Alive & Kicking as we have been using the global event to encourage people to donate rugby balls to schools in African countries that cannot afford to play the sport. This has been done through our rugby initiative. We have also produced a sweepstake for the tournament, which you can do in your office or home to help raise money for the charity.
Thank you once again to everyone that has donated to Alive & Kicking recently, and we look forward to updating you again in 3 months time.
The past three months have flown by at Alive & Kicking. Both our Kenyan and Zambian centres continue to produce over a thousand footballs each every month. A significant percentage of these are donated to schools and sports projects, whilst others go to local NGOs working with young people. As always, a proportion of our balls are sold, not-for-profit, in retail outlets, providing revenue that allows our factories to continue to pay a fair wage to each stitcher.
In our last update we informed you that Alive & Kicking had decided to expand by establishing a third ball-stitching factory, this time in Ghana. Progress towards achieving this has continued, and we are part-way through the necessary registration procedures required to operate as a charity there. We are continuing to look for a grant to fund the factory's set-up costs.
In other news, everyone at A&K was delighted that two of our Zambian stitchers got married in mid-April. Abraham Sakala and Alice Mubanda first met at Alive & Kicking when Alice started working for us in July 2008. Since then, their love has blossomed, and A&K Zambia's Country Director Sughra Hussain was delighted to attend their ceremony.
In Kenya, Alive & Kicking has been carrying out another health awareness roadshow, aimed at educating young people about HIV/AIDS and Malaria through sport. The current roadshow is targeted at rural schools and projects, and has reached over 15,000 children to date.
Our Kenyan stitching factory is also working on the designs for a new brand of balls called Shujaa. Shujaa balls will be quality, but affordable, and are aimed at all Kenyans. They will be produced using pigmented leather, which will add colour and water resistance to the ball.
Thank you all for your wonderful support of the organization, and we look forward to sending you another exciting update in 3 months time.
The start of 2011 has seen business continue as usual at Alive & Kicking. Thousands more balls have been hand-stitched in our centres in Lusaka and Nairobi, by adults who are paid a fair wage. The majority of these balls are donated to disadvantaged schools and sports projects in sub-Saharan African countries, whilst others are sold in local supermarkets to support our sustainable employment objective. As always, Alive & Kicking remains a not-for-profit organization.
The biggest news so far this year has been the decision for Alive & Kicking to attempt to open a new stitching in Ghana. This decision was made after a long analysis of the charity's current centres had been completed, to ensure that the organisation is in a healthy financial shape from which to expand, and to guide what form expansion should take. After the successful completion of a feasibility study in Ghana, everyone in the organisation is excited for things to get moving there - once we have raised enough funds.
Other news of note includes the launch of Alive & Kicking's Rugby Initaitve to promote the donation of our rugby balls to underdeveloped regions in Kenya (you may remember from our last news letter that we are now producing the first rugby balls to be bade in Africa). You can visit the dedicated rugby page non our website if you are interested in getting involved.
Further, Alive & Kicking has been featured in the Chinese Business Times (pdf link) as an example of a sustainable social enterprise. We have also added a new stitcher profile to our website, which features Angelica Nthenya who works in our Kenyan centre.
Thank you all for your wonderful support of the organisation, and we look forward to sending you another exciting update in 3 months time.
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