The SOL Foundation continues to assist Ace Africa to provide support and resources to improve an existing football league and to extend to twenty primary schools in remote and marginalised communities in Arusha District, Northern Tanzania.
In these schools there is a large cohort of students from traditional communities and children are particularly vulnerable to abuse and exploitation. The schools are under-funded and children are deprived of additional stimulation, personal development and health benefits associated with sports activities.
Problem to be tackled
These schools serve a poor rural area with a high proportion of traditional Maasai communities. Within this area children are vulnerable to female genital mutilation (FGM), early marriage and child labour, which undermines their education and creates lasting trauma. Combining gender equal football competitions with improvements in child protection has a positive lasting impact on children’s health, confidence and educational achievements.
Ace Africa has been implementing the Ace Future Stars Football League since 2014, in 39 schools in Arusha and Moshi. The project is delivered in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Future Stars – and since 2020 with assistance from The SOL Foundation – to identify schools with vulnerable children, who have no access to sporting activities or equipment.
With high levels of poverty and limited training and development for teachers, the schools lack the funding and direction to provide extra-curricular activities through sport. Participation in physical activity and sport is known to improve children’s health and wellbeing, as well as boosting their confidence and self-esteem. Team sports like football provide the opportunity for children to improve vital life skills such as teamwork, communication, respect and tolerance.
The beneficiaries are children and adolescents aged between seven and 14 years, 50% male and 50% female including young people with special needs.
The project is hosted and delivered at schools, located in remote rural areas around Arusha with marginalised communities where the majority of families are living below the poverty line and pupils face economic and social barriers to education and sport.
With the support from The SOL Foundation, Ace Africa will be able to continue implementing the “Ace Africa Tanzania’s Future Stars Football League programme”, which combines football coaching and competition with training for teachers and children on child rights and child protection, and referral to counselling for those children who need additional support. The project uses football as a tool to prevent and tackle all too common abuse faced by children in Arusha’s rural communities.
Ace Africa is an award-winning NGO that has worked in Kenya since 2003 and Tanzania since 2008 with the mission to enable children, families and their communities to participate in and take responsibility for their own health, wellbeing and development and the vision to see children and communities that are empowered, healthy and self-sufficient.
Ace Africa works with communities who face daily challenges from poverty, food insecurity and lack of access to health and welfare services in mainly three programme areas: a) Child Development, b) Community Health and wellbeing and c) Community Livelihoods.