Football to address fatherlessness in South Africa

by Ambassadors In Sport

This projects name changed to "Football to address Fatherlessness" - Why?

The most common challenge around the world is the lack of fathers and positive role models. According to major studies, virtually every major social pathology has been linked to fatherlessness. Violent crime, drug and alcohol abuse, teen pregnancy, suicide — all correlate more strongly to fatherlessness than to any other single factor.

40% of all children do not live with their biological fathers.
85% of children with behavioural problems come from fatherless homes.
71% of children who do not finish school come from fatherless homes.
63% of suicides come from fatherless homes.
80% of rapists motivated by displaced anger come from fatherless homes.
70% of juveniles in state operated institutions come from fatherless homes.

Therefore our coaches serve as father figures and we train coaches to play some of the roles of a father figure in the lives of their players. In our diverse projects in prisons, schools and communities, we work towards developing the players to become positive role models in their areas of influence.

News from Hope Academy Drakenstein Prison

It's a challenging time for our guys in Hope Academy Drakenstein prison at the moment. Due to renovation in the Hope Academy's section, all inmates are moved to different rooms in another section. There they are facing the normal prison culture.

Steve, one of the inmates and our Faith Coach in the Hope Academy, shows an outstanding attitude: "I actually love these challenges. Now we can grow and the application of our values is put to a test. It's easy to do it in our room - an environment where everyone lives accordingly." In times like this the foundations of all the guys are tested and we are encouraging them to not only stand firm, but to impact the other inmates in the rooms where they will spend the next two months until the renovations are completed.

At the Annual Drakenstein Youth Centre of Excellence Offenders Sport Awards Ceremony we awarded outstanding performance of our young men in the following four categories: Top Goal Scorer, Player of the Year, Best Newcomer and Most Valuable Player.

Coming up next

Until the end of the year we have some soccer camps and clinics coming up for about 300 children! We are busy preparing a fun program, where we not onloy focus on soccer, but on the holistic development of the young players.

You'd like to make a special christmas gift? An amount of only 20 $ enables a child to participate at one of the camps and 50 $ would enable coach to be trained  and empowered as a father/mentor figure!

Thanks so much for your partnership and bringing hope to children and juvenile offenders through soccer!


The current Drakenstein squad
The current Drakenstein squad

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.

In this newsletter we'd like to introduce our Hope Academy Drakenstein 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.
After finishing high school Sivuyile “Juju” Tabata studied theology before becoming involved in sports ministry. In 2008 he was part of the three months International Sports Leadership School in Stellenbosch. As Hope Academy Drakenstein Manager Juju leads Bible Studies, life skill sessions, football coaching as well as mentoring the young men in prison. When these men leave prison Juju guides them in finding jobs as well supporting them in their re-integration into their communities. Juju’s passion is the restoration of life and seeing men reaching their full potential as father figures in their families and communities.

As we focus on Football – Faith – Future we are so grateful to see the young men growing on all three levels.

Football - We are in the middle of the season and currently second in LFA Drakenstein Promotional League.

Faith - The past month in Ambassadors Football Hope Academy Drakenstein we saw one player/inmate give his life to God by excepting Jesus as his savior!
We utilized the World Cup fever by introducing the players to the ToWho message.

Future - We ended this round of talks about our core values by looking at excellence. We also emphasized the fact that it is not knowledge of values that leads to breakthrough but application (obedience) to the values that leads to personal transformation.

Thanks for partnering with us!

Drakenstein Coach Juju
Drakenstein Coach Juju

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. Since the middle of January we've been working inside the prison. We have had exciting talks about the values of the Academy, starting with respect and self-discipline. On the 1st of February we started practising again. We have had some guys recently released on parole and serve as good role models in their communities. Through them leaving we have the opportunity to have new guys joining the Academy. We have had some trials already and 6 new inmates have been selected to join the Academy.

Let's have a closer look now at the teams performance in the local football league.

On the 5th/6th of April the Promotional League in the Drakenstein LFA area kicked off with a 4:0 (1:0) win for Hope Academy Drakenstein against Green Hills. In sunny weather conditions of 28ºC Anele Buja, within the first 15 minutes of the game, scored the first goal for Drakenstein.

Still in the first half, Drakenstein for a brief moment, seemed to have lost a goal to their opponents, until it became clear that there was a handball by the opponents before the ball crossed the line. After allowing Green Hills a lot of play during the rest of the first half, Drakenstein dominated for most of the second half with a second goal by Ayanda Singama and a third by Axiwe Khonjwa. In the last 20 minutes a seemingly more fit Drakenstein team scored a fourth goal, executed by Thulani Ngxokomsa.

After a fair games on both sides and a well-deserved win by Drakenstein, Coach Sivuyile “Juju” Tabata stated that he was satisfied with the team’s performance, calling it a great first match.  He did however add that improvement is needed and that the team will work on certain weaker areas in the coming practice sessions. A great match day was characterized by an equally great team spirit, not only on the pitch but also next to it, with loyal support for the players.

Drakenstein were supposed to play another match on Sunday, but as the opponents didn’t arrive for the game this gives the Drakenstein 6 points for the first two matches.There are still 24 more games ahead and it looks set to be a great season for Drakenstein!

Thanks for all your continued support towards the young men and their FOOTBALL, FAITH and FUTURE development.

Please visit our new website to find more up to date information about all our programs.

New Year Greetings
New Year Greetings

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!

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

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Organization Information

Ambassadors In Sport

Location: Pretoria, South Africa - South Africa
Website: http:/​/​
Ambassadors In Sport
Project Leader:
Ben Marais
AIS SA Director
Pretoria, Gauteng South Africa

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