Sport is something which helps them to forget those struggles for a while; it gives them heroes and aspirations. It helps them make friends and improves their health.
Sadly, their sporting opportunities are often limited by lack of a safe place to play, and lack of equipment. Billions of pounds have been spent on the Olympics, but vast numbers of children and young people around the world have to make do with waste-ground and a homemade ball.
Right now is a great time to help them and their communities benefit from sport; to give them a lasting legacy from the London Olympics; and to share with them values of honesty, perseverance and integrity which are important in sport and to Christians.
a) Siyabuswa, SOUTH AFRICA
Almost all South Africans are mad-keen sportsmen and women. But South Africa remains a very divided country. A very few (and mainly white) have excellent sporting facilities, and the chance to play on regional or even national level. Thousands of township kids though must make do with a game on wasteland with minimal equipment.
Our partners, Hope for Africa, have set up soccer competitions which are drawing young people away from the drugs and crime which mar communities. The competitions also provide an opportunity to counter the message of radicals who try to involve youngsters in political violence as a response to South Africa’s inequalities.
Hope for Africa want to provide facilities for other sports and for more young people to take part.
b) Kerala, INDIA
Dalit children in India face poverty and social prejudice on a daily basis. Bible Faith Mission’s pioneering school for children of Dalit families provides them with a high quality education, but may be what the children enjoy most is playtime and the opportunity to play games with their friends.
This helps to build their self-confidence in a wider culture which sees Dalits as ‘Untouchable’. The provision of skipping ropes, cricket bats and balls are just a small way to make a big difference.
c) Boipeba, BRAZIL
Boipeba is part of the municipality of Cairu, in the Tinharé Cluster, composed of 26 islands and reefs. The only means for access is by sea, river or air. Tourism is the major source of income in this remote region, but has also brought drugs and alcoholism, crime and violence to Boipeba’s young people.
Our partners, Evangelical Mission to Assist Fishermen, works through the local church they have planted. They want to improve the life of Boipeba’s young people by building a gymnasium which will provide sports training and opportunities—soccer, volleyball, handball, basketball—and judo (which is excellent for teaching personal discipline).
The building will also provide a meeting hall and cinema for the church and the community.
"How can I help?"
£40,000 would build Boipeba’s gymnasium
£100 will provide a set of goal posts
£72 will provide a volleyball net
£34 will provide a protective floor mat
£32 will buy a judo suit
£27 will buy a football, handball or volleyball
£25 will buy a soccer strip
£7 will buy a cricket bat or referee’s whistle
£5 will buy a skipping rope