Growing up in Cameroon has never been easy. The country is ranked in the bottom 20% of the world based on the United Nations Human Development Index (2018) and the outlook for youth is even more discouraging today. While Cameroon is known as a peaceful, soccer-loving country (one of the reasons we set out to work there back in 2010), the nation is facing difficult times.
Since late in 2016, a separatist movement mostly defined by language (English vs. French) has grown violent and disturbed all facets of life. As result, tens of thousands of people were forced to flee their villages. Most children in the two regions where we work are not in school. Insecurity is high, and much about the future is uncertain.
Despite the instability over the past year, one thing that has been a constant: our presence on neighborhood soccer fields and in the lives of our youth. Overcoming chaos in the country, our staff continue to engage 500+ youth in health, education and leadership skill-building activities in 7 neighborhoods in Kumba and Bamenda, Cameroon.
Here’s what that looks like in the numbers:
- 7 safe spaces to play
- 17 community events
- 50+ girls recruited for 2019 empowerment workshops & league
- 18 educational soccer sessions per week
- 24 youth councilors elected by their peers
- 300 parents attending league events in the last 2 months
- 4 new jobs for community leaders, including 2 past participants
PLAY4PURPOSE is way more than a game and youth involved in our programs today have hope for a better future. Children and their parents can count on our educational soccer leagues, workshops, and skill-building activities to happen year-round thanks to the commitment of supporters in the U.S.
You can support our work, too, by visiting our website and making a tax-deductible contribution.
Many thanks and happy new year!