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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