The SOL Foundation assists ACE Africa to provide support and resources to improve an existing football league with further ten primary schools in rural 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
In the Arusha Region in Northern Tanzania, many children are in crisis. ACE Africa works with traditional Maasai communities, where e.g. early marriage or sexual violence are prevalent.
In traditional agro-pastoralist communities, boys are also often pressured into child labour at a young age. As a result of these experiences children are denied their right to a childhood, they are traumatised and lacking in self-esteem.
ACE Africa has seen through its Future Stars Football League, how football coaching and participation can provide a safe and fun outlet for children to build their confidence, develop new skills and learn to work as a team. Within this difficult context, there are also many factors discouraging children from attending school. Committing to a team sport, with support and guidance from trained teachers and counsellors, helps vulnerable children to stay in school for longer.
ACE Africa has supported 27 primary schools to take part in the Future Stars Football League and has now identified a further ten schools which would – with assistance from The SOL Foundation – benefit from support through training for teachers, new equipment and provision of football coaching.
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 7 and 14 years, 50% male and 50% female including young people with special needs.
The project is hosted and delivered at ten 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 implement their sports project in Tanzania, which combines football coaching with training for teachers and children on child rights, 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.