Over two years ago, Cape Town made history by becoming the first destination for the Football for Hope Centres. Now the city finds itself in the spotlight once again as several delegates from across the African continent meet for the annual Football for Hope Centres’ Workshop.
It was in Khayelitsha - a township on the outskirts of Cape Town - that the maiden Centre was opened, amid celebration in 2009. It has continued to flourish and provide many lessons for other centres across the continent.
The five-day event will finish on Friday 28 October. The focus of the workshop will be on exchanging experience and expertise among the delegates, and especially on monitoring and evaluation of the Centres. Other issues being discussed include community engagement – an important component in the success of the Football for Hope Centres – and, something FIFA has highlighted the value of, the partnerships, income generation activities, child protection and risk management.
Federico Addiechi, FIFA's Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, underlined the importance of the workshop in ensuring the long-term sustainability of the Centres. He said: “With the fourth workshop of its kind, FIFA continues to support social development through football in Africa, as part of last year’s FIFA World Cup™ social legacy, ‘20 Centres for 2020’. We are excited to provide Centre Hosts with a platform again this year, where they can exchange experiences and expertise as well as learn from other professionals and thereby strengthen the Football for Hope Centres across the continent for the benefit of disadvantaged communities.”
Representatives from fifteen football-related non-government organisations from 12 different African countries – including Kick4Life in Lesotho, the South African Red Cross Society, Delta Cultura Cabo Verde and Grupo Desportivo de Manica from Mozambique - are participating in the workshop.
Gabriel Deussom, the programme manager for the ‘20 Centres for 2010’, said the workshop aims to create uniformity among the Centres. He explained: “For this workshop, programmatically our foremost expectation is to bring together all the Centres, to allow them to connect, to network, to really build a strong foundation for the further partnerships among themselves. We are hopeful that the workshop will provide them an environment conducive to that, and also to give them a big opportunity to know each other, what they are doing in each country programmatically and also to build personal relationships among them. We are hopeful the workshop will really target that and will deliver such expectation.”
Wahab Musah, the manager of Play Soccer Ghana’s Oguaa Football for Hope Centre, was part of last year’s workshop and understands the benefits. He said: “I took back a lot of lessons which have helped us develop as a Centre Host up to this stage. As you are aware, Ghana is just about to open its Centre and I can say that it was the lesson learnt at last year’s workshop that has helped us be where we are today.”
Chot CoverChikwandingwa, the manager for the Manica Football for Hope Centre, added: “The workshop itself is providing a very strong foundation for our way forward running the Centre. Especially for me, as a new Centre Host there is more learning and of course sharing, because we already have organisations that are doing things which are more or less in line with the expectations of a Centre Host.”