News story

DFID and FA team up for better education in South Africa

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Young female football coaches visited two DFID-funded education projects aimed at changing children’s lives in South Africa.

DFID teams up with FA young leaders for better education in South Africa

Young female football coaches visited two DFID-funded education projects aimed at changing children’s lives in South Africa.

An 18-strong group from Skillshare International’s Coaching for Hope (CFH) programme - including 12 Football Association (FA) young leaders aged 15 to 24 - first visited a Soul Buddyz club at the Michael Zulu primary school in Brakpan, near Johannesburg.

The clubs bring children together to look at social and health challenges in their communities in a spin-off from South Africa’s popular Soul City TV soap opera.

At a separate visit to a Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) project they met residents who are getting help with health and social services in Cape Town’s largest township, Khayelitsha.

One third of its population of 700,000 is HIV positive and many thousands of young children do not attend school.

Football coach Alison Spriggs, 17, from Wolverhampton, said: “It is great to see how TAC is giving families support to get their children into school so that they can help give themselves better lives.”

On the UK-supported 1GOAL campaign to give every African child a primary school place, Alison said:

“Every child in Africa should have a school place, like we do in the UK.

“Education is the main way to bridge that gap and football is a great way to help turn that aim into real change.”

Birmingham University student Rachel Shepherd, said: “From being here and meeting TAC volunteers it is clear that the most important thing is empowering communities to make changes themselves.”

CFH is funded in part thorough DFID’s Partnership Programme Agreement with Skillshare International and is supported by the British Council. CFH uses football to empower vulnerable young people in the developing world. It is the official FA international charity and already runs successful programmes in Burkina Faso and Mali.

It trains local coaches and educators and helps them use the game to spark debate about HIV and AIDS among children in their communities.

Programme manager in South Africa, Norman Brook said: “Our training covers areas such as HIV / AIDS, substance abuse, gender equality and disability.

“We use football to give these young coaches a grass roots perspective on issues such as development and that is where our link with DFID is so valuable.”