Football & Hope

Many in Zambia are worried about the plight of youth. First Lady Dr. Christine Kaseba has recently expressed her concerns regarding this young demographic. From the street children of the towns and cities to those in remote villages, youth are idle, not by choice but because of circumstances. Sixty percent of Zambians live in poverty, many young people cannot afford to go to school, and sadly there are no jobs for them to turn to. In Mbayi we have many youths with next to nothing to do. They are bright, motivated and anxious to be productive—but how? Football (soccer) is very popular in this country and most boys dream of the opportunity to play. So when I was asked to supply a ball so a team could be formed, an idea began to develop.

What if we put together a team, bonded by football and interested in starting a vegetable business? Cabbages are relatively easy to grow, sell very well here—the large ones fetching about $1.00 each. They could learn new skills, make some money to stave off hunger and if diligent perhaps expand into other farming ventures.

Well, so far we have a ball, an enthusiastic team, just starting and expressing an interest in growing cabbages. We have some jerseys donated by a friend in Canada. I brought them back with me. No shoes yet but WOW can they play well without! We're expecting a match later this week with an orphanage in Kitwe.

To be continued...