FootballforHopeAs the continent celebrated Africa Day today (25 May 2009), another milestone was achieved in ensuring that the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ leaves a legacy in Africa, with the official ground-breaking ceremony for the first of the 20 Football for Hope Centres, in Khayelitsha in Cape Town. This project is part of ’20 Centres for 2010′, the Official Campaign of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa, which aims to build 20 Football for Hope community centres in South Africa, Mali, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Namibia and other still-to-be-determined locations across Africa.

The centres will address local social challenges in disadvantaged areas and improve education and health services for young people. They will include rooms for public health services and informal education, office space, common space for community gatherings, and a football turf pitch. The construction will be implemented by Architecture for Humanity, a charitable organisation that offers services to communities in need, and GreenFields, a leader in the construction and development of synthetic turf systems.

“This campaign emphasises the power of football far beyond the boundaries of the pitch. These Football for Hope Centres will provide a platform for communities to address social issues such as children’s rights, education, health, HIV/AIDS prevention, social integration and the environment, and will leave a legacy for Africa that will last long after the final whistle of the 2010 FIFA World Cup has been blown,” said FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter.
The Khayelitsha Development Forum spearheaded a request on behalf of the community to host the first of Africa’s 20 centres as part of a collective effort to address the social economic challenges in local communities. “It is significant that today, as we mark Africa Day, the first tangible results of this wonderful legacy project are being rolled out. It’s always been very important for the Organising Committee and FIFA that this tournament makes a genuine, lasting impact both on and off the field. The launch of this project will help ensure the tournament’s benefits are felt across the continent long after Africa’s first FIFA World Cup has come and gone,” said Dr Danny Jordaan, the Chief Executive Officer of the Organising Committee, who attended the event alongside Helen Zille, Premier of the Western Cape, Dan Plato, the Executive Mayor of Cape Town, and Federico Addiechi, FIFA Head of Corporate Responsibility, as well as Jürgen Griesbeck, CEO of streetfootballworld.

Each of the 20 centres will be run by an existing community organisation and with the guidance of other local stakeholders such as the Khayelitsha Development Forum. The Football for Hope Centre in Khayelitsha will be managed by Grassroot Soccer, a South African-based non-profit organisation that uses football to educate young people about HIV and AIDS and empower them with the knowledge to live HIV-free.

“The City of Cape Town is delighted that the Football for Hope Centre will form part of Cape Town’s regeneration programme for Khayelitsha, which includes the ‘Violence Prevention through Urban Upgrading’ programme,” said Dan Plato. “Through these initiatives, we will make the Khayelitsha community a safer environment for young people to learn and play.”

“Our vision is that these centres will become hubs for cooperation and exchange among local organisations here in Africa, as well as on a global level, implemented according to the needs of each community,” said Jürgen Griesbeck.