Young philanthropist puts boots on feet

2014-08-03 15:00

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Katleho Mohale was out shopping with his mother for an iPad when she told him about a group of children who were playing soccer without sports equipment.

Mohale thought about the R4?000 pocket money he had been planning to spend on gadgets?–?and decided to help the soccer players instead.

So he walked pass the Apple store and went to buy 25 pairs of soccer boots and shin guards for Philippi Deaf Stars FC, a team of deaf boys.

The Durbanville teen was just 16 at the time.

Now, two years later, he runs a nonprofit organisation (NPO) that puts boots on feet and guards on shins for impoverished would-be soccer stars across Cape Town.

“The kids I give boots and shin guards to have never owned a pair in their lives. Their eyes light up when I give them these things and it warms my heart,” he says.

Mohale had just returned from a leadership conference in New York when he went shopping for an iPad. He puts the skills he learnt at the conference to good use through his NPO, Katleho’s Give2Talent.

“When I hand over the boots, I speak to the kids about their lives and where they come from.

“I want to encourage them by showing them there are people who care about them and who want them to excel in life.

“But they also need to work hard, complete their matric and have a positive outlook on life.”

Like many successful philanthropic projects, his donation to Philippi Deaf Stars FC was supposed to be a once-off?–?but their appreciation tugged at his heartstrings.

“I felt joy in my heart and I knew this was something I had to do for all the boys and girls who love sport, but cannot afford to buy the equipment.”

After registering his NPO, Mohale approached his church congregation, private companies and the El Shaddai Christian School, where he is in matric, to ask for donations.

Mohale has helped soccer teams in Khayelitsha, Athlone and Klipheuwel and plans to study political science after school?–?although he does not necessarily want to become a politician.

“I want to use it [political science] to make a change in people’s lives. My vision for the NPO is big and I want to continue with this work and branch out into other sports as well,” says Mohale.

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