Ubuntu spirit for rural areas

2010-06-04 00:00

THE Gift of the Givers Foundation has begun an initiative that aims to take the “ubuntu spirit” of the Fifa World Cup to the rural areas of South Africa. In a campaign that runs until the final day of the World Cup, the charity group will be distributing 500 soccer balls and 200 full soccer kits to children’s and adult football teams in need of assistance.

The initiative began as an attempt to ensure that no one is left out of the World Cup spirit.

Gift of the Givers chairperson Imtiaz Sooliman said many people cannot afford to go to any games or even be a part of the spectacle.

“There are so many people who are inspired by soccer, but can’t even afford to kick a ball,” he said.

“One soccer ball doesn’t only benefit one person, but every person that plays with it. This means that one ball can impact on 30 people at a time.

“You never know where talent comes from. Most of the talent that emerges in this country comes from the rural areas and this is why it is important to give these guys an opportunity to play the game.”

The Gift of the Givers foundation has already received many letters from rural football teams asking to be included in the donations.

Of the 200 kits, 30 will be given to existing adult sides while the rest will be given to junior sides.

The initiative began at Umsilinga-Greenkop Primary School in the Bob Mattison’s Farm area outside Pietermaritzburg. The Under-13A football team of the school, which has 1 100-pupils, was given brand-new kit and two balls.

The principal, S. Essa, assured The Witness that the kit will be put to good use.

“We are an underprivileged school and it is not easy to provide things like this for our students,” she said.

“This really will bring a great amount of joy to our soccer team.”

Salim Sayed, operations manager for Gift of the Givers in Pietermaritzburg, said letters of motivation are being read and that visits to more schools will be made in the coming weeks to perform the kit handovers.


A SPIRIT of unity was evident at Jabula Combined School in the midlands on Friday morning ahead of next week’s Fifa World Cup spectacle.

The school, in Lidgetton township, received two football kits and six soccer balls from the staff of Granny Mouse’s Country House and Spa in Balgowan.

Granny Mouse owner Mark Wood decided the school could do with a helping hand.

“The scary thing is that we don’t always know what goes on in these schools,” he said.

“More than 80% of our local staff at Granny Mouse come from the same area that the school is in, so it’s great for them to be able to give back to their own community.”

Jabula principal S.A. Mabuso said he is extremely excited that the school has been given new football kit and equipment.

“Kit has always been a problem at the school. The World Cup has brought about acts like this,” he said. “The school has had outstanding academic results over the last few years and hopefully this will motivate them to excel on the football pitch as well.”

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