16 boxes of recycled cricket, football and rugby kit and equipment have enabled the Mwamfumba Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society (MMPCS) to provide better sporting opportunities for young people living in the rural district of Chibombo in Zambia.
They are proud that they have been able to include those with a wide range of physical and learning disabilities and illnesses, including HIV and AIDS, and the kit has now seen girls feel encouraged to take part. This has helped them gain confidence as they discover and develop their new talents. The new league is unifying the community as people from different villages are coming together to play and socialise.
The stories of Beatrice and Jane highlight the difference the kit had made. They had to stop attending school due to the financial hardship faced as single parents. But after MMPCS introduced the sports programme in their village, both went back to school and Beatrice started playing for both the school girls’ soccer team and village community team.
She is now studying for exams and looking forward to becoming a PE teacher where she can continue helping others through sport. Jane has just finished high school and is hoping to pursue a career in nursing.
Teenage pregnancies and young people leaving school early was a problem in the villages along with drug abuse, alcohol and other antisocial behaviour. But the kit has helped MMPCS form its first village youth leagues, encouraging young people to take part in sport with schools reporting a reduction in absenteeism and communities seeing a significant reduction in discrimination and anti-social behaviour.
The project is seeing young people developing team skills and through their play they are building a range of critical life skills and values.
“The project is making a positive difference to our rural children by providing better sports for rural people and better rural people through sports.” Annie Njovu, MMPCS Project Coordinator, Chibombo, Zambia