The FIFA World Cup 2014 is currently taking place in Brazil. Even if South Africa is not playing in the tournament, millions of South Africans – our staff included – are passionately and excitedly following the biggest Football event in Brazil. Check out our Facebook Page to read some exciting stories about what is happening inside Ambassadors Football around the world during this time, especially in the participating nations.
Happy faces in Soweto As you can see on the photos Hope Academy Soweto's sponsor, LegalWise, has provided a pair of jeans and a fun t-shirt for each of our young players in Soweto. We are grateful for LegalWise' recommitment to support us in running the Ambassadors Football LegalWise Hope Academy.They also hosted a financial workshop at the Academy at the beginning of June. This was attended by some of the parents and other community members.
In this newsletter we'd like to introduce our Hope Academy Soweto Head Coach. Find out about the roles, passion and day-to-day duties of all our Ambassadors Football South Africa staff members on our website.
Sam Pam played for Nigeria, Ajax Cape Town and Orlando Pirates and uses more than 20 years of experience as a professional player and coach to guide the young people he coaches at the Academy and at a local school. At Hope Academy Soweto Sam also oversees the running of the coaching department. Through his passion for football Sam has found the purpose God created him for and he loves to see young people also find their God designed destiny.
Thanks for partnering with us!
In Soweto coaches and players resumed their program in February. The Soweto team tries to get the parents more involved in partnering in the children's support. This exciting process has already started and we have had 87% of parents attending meetings. As part of developing the families behind the children we are planning Financial literacy workshops for the parents in June.
The Academy players are growing and so are their feet. All of them need new soccer boots. We are in the midst of financial constraints regarding the running of the academy. We have been looking into restructuring in Soweto as an option, to be better prepared for the future. To ease the financial situation and cover the running costs we are looking for an additional funding amount of R10 000 per month.
Neo, Hope Academy’s U13 goalkeeper, joined the Academy in 2010 and has been growing not only in his football abilities but also in character. Neo is one of the 7 Hope Academy kids that have been recognised as leaders at their respective schools and appointed as captains of their respective football teams. It is evident that the Hope Academy kids are being recognised as a positive influence on their peers and that the values and life skills taught by the Academy are bearing fruit in shaping Neo and other kids’ character. On top of this Neo’s mother has been assisting Hope Academy in adding value to the life of Academy kids. She has donated stationary to the Academy and has also been supporting our recycling initiative by collecting cans from her place of employment. Hope Academy has not only touched Neo’s life but also the lives of his family, teachers and fellow learners, in other words his whole community. He is indeed developing into an oak of righteousness.
All this investment in Neo’s life and those of the other kids would not have been possible without your support. You are true vision enablers and may the Lord bless you!
What will the new year bring? What is for sure is that children and young people will be impacted through the Hope Academy program. Coaches will be trained and equipped to be father figures on and off the field. Pray with us for God's guidance and blessings in 2014. May he be at work in and through all of us!
Looking back - 2013
In October we had two amazing Training events in Hope Academy Drakenstein Prison of several days duration. Through 'The world needs a father' and 'Coaching for Life' Training, young offenders have been equipped as future Fathers, Coaches and positive Role Models in their communities once they are released.
The participants engagement and response was absolutely great! 30 guys listening, absorbing and asking great questions. Men who all committed serious crimes in the past asking now: How do you as a man treat a woman? How do I teach my children to treat the opposite sex? And our favorite: How do we as fathers in the house become to fathers to the world?
At the same time Coaches and Children were working hard on and of the field in Hope Academy Soweto. Young kids becoming greater players and personalities. Let's have a closer look at one of them:
Thabiso is 10 years old. He lost his mother in 2008 and has never known his father. Thabiso currently lives with his aunt and four cousins in a small shack in Soweto. No one is employed in his home and the family lives off a social grant from the Government. Despite this, he has made huge progress since joining the Soweto Hope Academy in April 2010. He has received 6 awards for academic progress in school and is also showing great potential on the soccer field. The Academy coaches play a significant role in his life as he has no father or male role model to support him. The Academy is also committed to developing him holistically until he leaves school and working alongside his family. With no regular intervention from positive role models, Thabiso would be in danger of making poor choices later in his life. Through long term intervention and mentoring we are giving Thabiso the best opportunity to be successful in the future.
Looking at these stories, we know: There is true hope possible even in the most difficult circumstances.
Thank you for making life changes possible!
There has been exciting developments at the academy. Werecently received another container to serve as the classroom for the educationpurposes. It has been the in our hearts to really take the educationdevelopment of the kids to the next level. As a result there have beenconsultations with key role players to develop an education curriculum that istailor made for the Hope Academy programme. This curriculum will be easilyimplemented at various Hope Academies in future.
We are very excited by this initiative that will see 36future leaders benefiting and making progress in their development.
We remain grateful to all our supporters who are making surethat this programme yields the desired fruit. It will not have been possiblefor us to reach this far without all the support we are getting from all ofyou.
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.
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AIS SA Director