The first of FIFA’s 20 Football for Hope Centres – which will provide an opportunity to improve education and health services for young people – has been launched in Cape Town, and will officially open later this year.
FIFA’s “20 Centres for 2010” campaign aims to raise funds to create 20 Football for Hope centres across Africa, which will address local social challenges in disadvantaged areas.
The first sods of the Khayelitsha Football for Hope centre were turned at a function on Monday 25 May 2009, which was Africa Day. Premier of the Province of the Western Cape, Helen Zille and Chief Executive Officer of 2010 FIFA World Cup™ Organising Committee, Dr Danny Jordaan, were present at the function.
Juergen Griesbeck, Managing Director of streetfootballworld unveiled the official sign of the Football for Hope Centre on behalf of Football for Hope and Tokyo Sexwale, a member of the FIFA Committee for Fair Play and Social Responsibility.
The City of Cape Town provided the 1 800m² site and has already spent about R900 000 on developing the Football for Hope Centre in Khayelitsha.
This forms part of the City’s Violence Prevention Through Urban Upgrade (VPUU) programme.
The Football for Hope centres form part of the legacy of hosting the World Cup in Africa. They will feature a mini-pitch along with classrooms and health care facilities, providing the youth with access to counselling, health and educational services.
The Khayelitsha Football for Hope Centre will provide Grassroot Soccer – a non-profit organisation that uses football to educate young people about HIV and Aids – with a platform to deliver its programme in the community.
The construction will be implemented by Architecture for Humanity, a charitable organisation that offers services to communities in need, and GreenFields, which constructs and develops synthetic turf systems.
Funds for the 20 Football for Hope centres are being raised worldwide, and football fans can contribute by making a donation for every goal scored by the team of their choice up to and during the World Cup.
FIFA’s six official partners – Adidas, Coca-Cola, Emirates, Hyundai, Sony and Visa – have also committed to contributing $500 for every goal scored during the more than 800 World Cup qualifying matches, which will result in a donation of at least $1 million.
The City will also work with the Provincial Government of the Western Cape, FIFA and the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee to stage the Football for Hope kick-off at the centre on 5 December to mark its official opening – as the world’s attention turns to Cape Town for the Final Draw, which will be made the day before.
Zille said the centre will be a symbol of what can be achieved if your focus is in the right place, adding that it is easy to change the environment, but that it is not so easy to change people’s attitudes and behaviour. She commented that if the centre achieved its goal, it will have done more than any government will be able to.