The city of Kigali in Rwanda will be home to the Football for Hope Centre and programmes run by Espérance (Association des Jeunes Sportifs de Kigali - Kigalia Association of Youth Sports).
Unemployment in the area is a growing problem and the majority of citizens survive on less than a dollar a day. The community also faces the challenges of drug abuse, HIV/Aids and post-war trauma and young people, in particular street children, orphans and out-of-school youngsters, are at greatest risk. Espérance will target these young people by training them as coaches and allowing them to become community role models.
Espérance also aims to spread a girl-friendly version of football to rural communities and equip young people with transferable leadership and job skills. The centre will provide a long term venue for Espérance to carry out sustainable programmes for children that do not have the opportunity to attend school, offer counselling to young people with trauma and hold workshops to encourage creativity, innovation and self employment.
The Centre will directly serve between 100 and 2,000 community members a week and will annually reach over 30,000 other members of the wider community. The project will target children and young people between the ages of seven and 20 from Rwanda's three major ethnic groups, Tutsi, Hutu and Twas.
Association des Jeunes Sportifs de Kigali Espérance has been carrying out football-based programmes in Rwanda since 2001. The organisation, with the support of Football for Hope, has used football as a tool not only to reconcile differences within the population, but also to raise awareness of important issues that face young people and the community. The association runs football tournaments in conjunction with HIV/Aids awareness activities and ensures that young people are not just educated, but are trained to be educators themselves.