Cape town — A football Non-Profit Organisation is Using Soccer to Educate Kids Living in Townships.
AMANDLA EduFootball is a German and South African non-profit organisation. It provides programmes to children and youth in Cape Town's low income areas. According to intern Mathew Bernstein, the aim of the programme is to educate through sport.
Bernstein explained some of the ways in which they do this, "We score our matches with an alternative point system that rewards kids for good behavior or sportsmanship and reproaches them for aggressive or destructive behavior. We keep track of these points in every match throughout the season and tally standings based on the results."
The organisation uses the soccer to attract youth to the field, where they combine life skills topics with exercises and drills. Bernstein explains, "If the life skills theme of the day is right and wrong, we design the 45-minute session to be complete with lots of dialogue about right wrong and drills that can help illustrate our lessons."
One of the participants, 13-year-old Siviwe Tokwe from Khayelitsha, has been in the programme for three years. He says, "I was with my friends, just walking around the street. It was dark. We spotted a couple of bright lights and decided to go and check out what was happening. When we got there a couple of kids were playing soccer, because of our curiosity we went in to find out if we could also play in the match. We were welcomed and all we had to do was sign a form. I now play the position of a striker and defender for the Fulham soccer team at AMANDLA."
The Grade 7 learner said that his ultimate dream is to play for a professional team in South Africa. "I would definitely recommend people join AMANDLA because it is a great thing to keep busy after school."
During the winter holidays, the organisation hosted a three week camp called ONE Goal. On Women's Day they also hosted an all-day event. "At these events we mix soccer with educational classroom sessions," explained Bernstein. Topics range from puberty to relationships to contraception to disease to crime.
AMANDLA primarily caters to children from 6 to 19, but on Fridays from 8pm to midnight they have a 5-a-side soccer event called Crime Prevention League. It's targeted at older men. It's there as an alternative to going to bars explains Bernstein.
AMANDLA's programmes are run from Chris Campbell Memorial Field in Khayelitsha's Site B.