Rainbows Kick into Action
For the year 2014, one of help2kids Tanzania’s goals was to establish a sustainable sports programme for our partner school, the help2kids Primary School in Mbezi Beach. We are proud to announce that help2kids has managed to establish a partnership with Lamudi, a Tanzanian real estate marketplace company, who agreed to be the sponsor of the school’s soccer team named the Rainbows. Launched in 2013 and currently operating across 28 countries, Lamudi is a major online property listing platform that enables customer to easily find or sell their house, apartment, commercial property or land on line.
The Rainbows consists of boys and girls from Standard 5 and 6 who make up the boy’s team and the girl’s team. At present, help2kids volunteers are coaching the teams but we are in the process of fundraising to secure a salary for a professional coach to manage and coach the teams. The objectives of the Rainbows are to provide the children of help2kids Primary School with after school activities that allow them to learn about teamwork, leadership and skills development while having fun. By establishing the Rainbows as part of our Children and Youth Sports Program, we aim to allow the kids of the primary school a space to express their energy in a positive way.
This year’s Soccer World Cup offered help2kids an ideal opportunity to do some fundraising. For the knockout stages of the World Cup help2kids and Lamudi, the sponsoring company of the Rainbows, decided to hold a fundraising campaign called Kick for Change. Kick for Change was held at Triniti, a popular venue in Dar es Salaam, where Tanzanians and expats gathered to watch the games. For the event, we had two very large boards constructed in the shape of the Rainbows logo and the Lamudi logo. Holes were cut into these boards for the purpose of kicking a soccer ball through them. As soccer supporters would walk through the entrance of Triniti, we would ask for donations and offer them the chance to try to kick a soccer ball through the holes in the boards to win a prize. We were an instant hit! Hundreds of soccer supporters, who poured through the entrance of Triniti to watch their favorite teams play for the glory of becoming world champions would try their luck or give a donation without kicking to support this worthy cause. We were able to raise 1.2 million shillings (approximately USD 730) that was used to buy jerseys and shorts for the boys’ and girls’ teams of the Rainbows.
Meanwhile, in the background of all this fundraising, help2kids launched the soccer programme by organizing weekly practices on Mondays and Wednesdays. Volunteers Emilie and Lea have been coaching the girls’ team. The girls are really inspiring, dribbling and tackling on the field with such pride and passion. Pendo has been made the captain of the girl’s team and has become the backbone of the team, leading it with integrity, compassion and organization. She is also a really talented footballer player who links the backs and the forwards together with her fast and strong style of play. Other girls that have come through have been Prisca who has gone from goalie to striker with her hard hitting forward play and shots at goal, while Jo, Asifa and Happy John (the child from the help2kids Children’s Home) are great defenders, especially Jo who is now the team’s corner and goalie kicker.
Volunteer Antoine and Innocent, a young teacher from the primary school, coach the boy’s team. The team is a whirlwind of raw energy and talent and has a strong sense of brotherhood and team spirit from the hours upon hours the boys play against each other in the small dusty courtyard of the primary school. They have now become a well-organized and structured machine ready to strike a goal with precision. They are just waiting for soccer boots until they can officially compete against other teams. Once they have a full kit and have secured a match programme to play other primary schools in Dar es Salaam, a captain and vice captain will be decided. Until then they will enhance their ball skills to levels of a superhero like Ben 10 as they stated and just practice, practice, practice.
help2kids is still in the process of fundraising for this sports project, so any donations towards the Rainbows would be appreciated. You can send money on the donation tab of the Rainbows Facebook Page https://www.facebook. com/wamatorainbows or through our donation page. One can also, if volunteering in Tanzania, be part of this sport programme as a volunteer coach by emailing email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, or bring over new or used soccer boots and balls, shin pads, socks, and sports clothing for practices.