Opening of first Football for Hope Centre heralds new dawn for Khayelitsha

2009-12-05 11:32

THE FIRST Football for Hope Centre in Khayelitsha in Cape Town

opened its doors today.

Fifa president Joseph Blatter was joined by Western Cape premier

Helen Zille, 2010 Fifa World Cup Organising Committee South Africa chief

executive Danny Jordaan, South African Football Association president Kirsten

Nematandani and executive mayor of the City of Cape Town Dan Plato at the

celebration of the latest milestone of 20 centres for 2010, the official

campaign of the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

The centre, which is the first of 20 community centres, will help

to tackle HIV-Aids and some of the biggest issues facing young people across the

African continent. “With the opening of this Football for Hope Centre we can now

see the real legacy that the 2010 Fifa World Cup will leave in Africa,” said

Blatter. “This centre will use people’s passion for football to transform

communities and to provide hope and opportunities for young people. Many years

from now people will still be benefiting from this and the other 20 centres for

2010.”

The next five centres will be built by Fifa and its strategic ally,

the streetfootballworld NGO, in disadvantaged communities in Kenya, Namibia,

Mali, Rwanda and Ghana and will address crucial issues such as health,

education, gender equality, peace-building and the environment as well as HIV

and Aids.

The centre in Khayelitsha is built in an area once notorious for

crime and violence. It provides rooms for public health services and informal

education, office space, space for community gatherings and a football

pitch.

“We are hoping that this initiative will have a positive influence

in our society and enhance our efforts to build a better future for our young

people. For us it was always important that this Fifa World Cup would touch the

lives of ordinary people, and this campaign is a great example,” said

Nematandani.

Each of the 20 centres will be run by an existing community

organisation. The Football for Hope Centre in Khayelitsha will be managed by

Grassroot Soccer South Africa, a non-profit organisation that uses football to

educate young people about HIV and Aids.

“This was more like a crime spot but now it is more like an

activity spot where people come to enjoy themselves,” said Zamayedwa Sogayise,

chairperson of the Khayelitsha Development Forum.


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