In April of 2012, Greatest Goal Ministries registered the first Disability Sports Association in Sierra Leone. The disabled of Sierra Leone are rejected physically, socially and emotionally. Most are reduced to a life of begging because they are seen as useless and unemployable. The DSA (Disability Sports Association) allows them an opportunity to showcase their potential, develop self-esteem, and help change the overall attitude toward disabled people in the country.
GGM DSA now has five polio and five amputee teams signed with the association. A Detroit Harley Davidson Chapter and youth soccer teams from WA State have raised enough funds and collected enough jerseys for all 10 teams to be completely outfitted.
In 2013 we will begin signing additional teams and include blind and deaf teams. Our newest developmentis our partnership agreement with “Coaches Across continents” that will begin working with coaches in Sierra Leone in 2014.
Please help us as we find uniforms and soccer equipment for our disabled teams and begin matches in 2014. Please consider being part of the change agent for the disabled of Sierra Leone.
A team of twelve members from Greatest Goal Ministries USA has just returned from 14 days in Sierra Leone and an incredible vision has been cast for disability football (soccer) in this small nation.
During the spring of this year a group of over 30 amputees decided to break away from (SLASC) the Single Leg Amputee Sports Club, started in 2001. There were many grievances stated in regard to the management of SLASC. The players were ready for another option.
During the past several months, while GGM and your donations assisted the team in transportation costs and the purchase of additional balls and jerseys for playing etc., we challenged the amputees to formulate what a new team or organization would look like.
While in Sierra Leone we had the opportunity to meet with the amputee team as well as representatives from the deaf and polio football teams. Together, a new vision in regard to disabled football in Sierra Leone was created.
Greatest Goal Ministries as the umbrella organization will register a new disability football league, GGM Disability Football League (GGM DFL). Each of the disability groups (amputee, polio and deaf) will become a club within the league. Each club will have their own bylaws governing the administrative part of their club, but the overall GGM Disabilty Football League Constitution will govern all the clubs and will be used to register the league with the Ministry of Social Welfare and with the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA). SLFA rules and regulations will govern the league.
Equipment, jerseys, nets etc. will be maintained and distributed through Greatest Goal Ministries Freetown office. Oversight of donated funds will also be coordinated through our main office.
GGM USA will provide the constitution of GGM DFL and the bylaws of the three disability groups once they have all been voted upon, on this GlobalGiving web site.
While we were in Sierra Leone the amputee team challenged the polio team to a football match. An historic game was played as both these groups, with crutches flying put on an absolutely inspirational match. Please take a moment to look at the new photos. Video images will be posted soon.
Life in Sierra Leone is difficult at best, but as a disabled person in the poorest country on earth each and every day is a struggle that very few of us can even begin to imagine. The game of football provides an outlet and a form of stress reduction. During their time on the field the players are not disabled. They are athletes playing the world’s sport. The troubles of life are momentarily forgotten; all effort and thought is confined to the field and a soccer ball.
Thank you for your continued support and prayers as we build a program that can help provide a sports outlet for the disabled of Sierra Leone in Freetown now, and eventually out into the provinces.
Amputee Football League (AFL)
Amputee football “soccer” began in Sierra Leone, West Africa shortly after the war in 2001 with the establishment of (SLASC) the Single Leg Amputee Football Club. Through SLASC, amputee players were transformed from victims of war to victors on the playing field. During the past ten years 5 teams and 120 players have participated in SLASC. For many amputees however the program has not expanded and expectations have not been met. Many of the original players are looking for a change.
Being an amputee in the poorest country in the world means a very difficult life. Many amputees had several limbs amputated during the war. Some are amputees by landmines others from accidents. What ever the cause, the outcome remains the same. They are stigmatized and ostracized and treated as if they are unworthy.
GGM USA is helping create the opportunity for change with the establishment of the (GGM AFL) Greatest Goal Ministries Amputee Football League. This will be the first football club organized, coached and played by amputees themselves in Sierra Leone. GGM USA will provide oversight and assist with funding opportunities and equipment as possible.
Empowerment refers to increasing the spiritual, political, social, or economic strength of an individual and/or the community. Often it involves the empowered developing confidence in their own capacities. GGM AFL has been organized to do just that. Give the amputees of Sierra Leone confidence by giving them a choice and helping them to deliver the outcome. They can continue with an organization that they are familiar with, SLASC, or participate in the newly formed AFL and participate in something that may be able to add more meaning to their lives.
Participants to the GGM AFL will write their own constitution with GGM USA over sight. Each participant will create his own goals. As much as possible GGM USA will assist them in trying to reach those goals. That goal may be to help send their children to school or it may involve job retraining, or starting a small business. The teams will also be encouraged to participate in community events and attend community forums where they can speak on behalf of the tens of thousands of amputees within the country.
GGM USA will also be creating ways that teams can serve as mentors to others. Many in Sierra Leone could find hope in watching the most marginalized segment of the population rise above the hardships and difficulties with a “together” we can attitude. "Together" the athletes can find camaraderie and strength. Plans for the formation of all girl’s teams are also being discussed.
Thanks for considering a donation to GGM AFL !
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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
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