We're gearing up to launch another round of PLAY4PURPOSE leagues in a total of 7 neighborhoods in Cameroon! The focus of this upcoming season is Leadership & Governance and features several topics on personal development and community service. To support this recent growth, we hired 4 new community leaders to join our team and continue to mentor and educate younger kids in their neighborhood.
Njuki is one of the new neighborhoods where we're growing our PLAY4PURPOSE leagues. Over the past several weeks, the new community leader there, Maurice, has been mobilizing kids to participate in our educational soccer programming. We expect more than 50 youth to participate in the first edition of PLAY4PURPOSE in Njuki... on top of about 400 other youths in the 6 neighborhoods where CameroonFDP now has a presence.
Maurice grew up without his father and his coach stepped in to support him while he was a teenager, so he personally knows how beneficial a caring soccer coach can be to a young person. Looking back, it was the kids in the neighborhood who convinced Maurice to be their coach in the first place. He began training them a few months ago with no other intention other than to give them somthing positive to do. When he learned that we were looking to add a few new neighborhoods to our network, he jumped at the opportunity. We're so proud to give Maurice a job as a community leader because he is so committed to youth in his community.
All of this is possible because of your support! Thanks for helping us achieve our mission to improve lives of youth in Africa through soccer.
PLAY4PURPOSE Leagues Taking off in 4 Neighborhoods
By Justin Forzano | Founder and CEO
Coach Divine inspiring youth in Metta Quarter
In November 2016, civil unrest began in the English-speaking regions of Cameroon, where we’ve worked for the past 8 years. The instability in our region has caused a lot of uncertainty and harm both directly and indirectly to our staff, youth, families, and other loved ones. Despite the chaos, CameroonFDP manages to deliver on our mission and provide high-quality sport-based programs to youth in Kumba. Here is a report on activities related to our project:
We hosted PLAY4PURPOSE league competitions in 4 neighborhoods in Kumba, as planned, and here’s what that looks like:
- 332 youth played through the season, participating in games/training sessions several times per week
- 43 youth were trained as peer leaders and served as team captains and referees, and lead community service projects in their neighborhoods
- 8 older teenagers joined our network as junior leaders, gaining experience in organizing activities and mentoring from our staff
- 12 youth councilors elected by their peers in 2017 finished out their terms by guiding community service projects in two neighborhoods
- More than 80% of our youth participate in ALL activities in their neighborhood EACH WEEK.
After playing in educational games focusing on the 7 core values of PLAY4PURPOSE, each neighborhood played host to their own championship, featuring a festive environment complete with canopy tents and chairs for special guests, a DJ and sound system bumping melodies across the quarter, locally-made iron goal posts (sponsored by friends in Wheeling and Pittsburgh), and serious soccer happening on patches of green grass and brown earth. What’s better than over 300 youth playing the game they love? The number of parents and spectators watching from the sidelines.
Over the course of 4 championship events in 2 weeks, 224 parents joined us on the sidelines of their neighborhood field to encourage their children while 385 community members joined to learn more about PLAY4PURPOSE.
Over the past 3 months, more than 500 adults joined over 300 youth, to witness first-hand the power of sport to change lives in Cameroon. THANK YOU FOR BEING A PART OF THIS!!
Junior leaders educating their peers at the field.
CameroonFDP Participant, Bidias, takes on Leadership Role
By Justin Forzano | CameroonFDP Founder and CEO
Coach Bidias working with his youth
Greetings from all of us here in the field in Cameroon and our office in Pittsburgh! We hope your summer is off to a great start.
A few months ago we launched PLAY4PURPOSE, our evolved model for educational, empowering grassroots football in two communities where we work: Kumba and Bamenda. This carefully-developed approach to 'football for good' has an intentional focus on three key outcomes: health, education, and employability. All three of these outcomes are enriched by the leadership and life skills at the heart of PLAY4PURPOSE.
We were inspired by the transformations we saw in program participants like Bidias, a young man from the Kosala neighborhood in Kumba. Bidias joined our program when we first launched in Kumba back in 2010. As a secondary school student, he joined the CameroonFDP club at GBHS Kosala and was involved in after-school activities for several years. Fascinated by the concept of football for good and the potential for positive change by connecting youth empowerment with the most popular sport in the world, he made sure to participate alongside his peers in every activity we organized.
At the beginning of 2017, Bidias created a new role for himself within CameroonFDP. He joined his mentor and coach, Caroline (a member of our staff since day 1) as a youth coach in Kosala. This time, he was not participating in educational football sessions. He was leading them.
Flash forward to today and you can find Bidias in the Catholic School Field in Kosala every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons with more than 50 boys and girls from the neighborhood who follow his lead. He shares with them what he has learned from and how he has grown through CameroonFDP: how to make good decisions; how to set goals and word towards them, and how to be a leader.
As the first official community leader in PLAY4PURPOSE leagues in Cameroon, Bidias is blazing the trail for many young men and women to follow him. None of this would be possible without you! As we continue to develop PLAY4PURPOSE at Bidias' site in Kosala and grow the concept in other neighborhoods in the communities where we work, we are counting on your support. Please consider making a contribution today or contact us to learn how you can get involved!
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