|A Note On Our Academy|
|Written by Brian Beckman|
|Thursday, 22 March 2012 15:20|
Many people in America who know about Play For Hope know about it because of me. It is often my words that are heard spoken, my posts that are read, and my face that is seen. I consider it an honor to speak on behalf of my dear friends in Rwanda as they fight daily in their neighborhoods for the forgotten children of Rwanda. I do this to the best of my ability.
There is however something I want to make very, very clear. The words I speak and the stories I tell are not mine, at least not mine alone. There are countless Africans who are sacrificing for Play For Hope. Many of our coaches have quit or been fired from jobs in order to keep coaching, because they believe that strongly in what they are doing to impact the youth of Rwanda. (We have been fortunate enough to bring some of them on staff as full-time coaches who otherwise were unsure of how they could eat and coach.)
You see many people believe we run sports teams and I suppose that is accurate. But what we actually do is turn coaches into fathers, teams into families, and our athletes into youth who believe they can impact their future. We believe the power of any country to change is within its people and within its youth - discovering who they have been created to be by God and embracing it. This we believe will make a far greater impact than any temporary feeding or housing program.
That being said there are times when children need to be fed and need to be housed. The plan we have been putting forth for the Street Kid Soccer Academy, which will help some of our most vulnerable athletes get off the streets, is a plan which was created in large part by our coaches who themselves used to live and were able to get off of the streets. Our hope in starting the academy is to continue engaging in these kids’ lives so that they can reach their full potential and create a beautiful future for Rwanda.
We are asking for funding initially to get this started. Our hope is that over the course of time that all of the funding for this to continue running will then come from Rwanda. The Rwandans are working hard to make this a reality. I am asking not that we save them – for such a thing is not possible, but rather that we stand with them as they do this.
For more information on what we are doing for our academy and how you can donate, please visit www.playforhope.org/academy.