Sports and other recreational programs were a big part of my children’s lives growing up. Teeball, tae kwon do, basketball, dodgeball and many other sports were part of their after school activities, as well as various camps in the summer, church, Sunday School, youth group and AWANA (a Bible club) every Wednesday night. Keeping them busy with fun, safe activities was important to their development into strong young adults.
But what about street kids? Especially in places like Zambia, where the government is more concerned with emergency assistance. This is where Fountain of Hope, a center in urban Lusaka (the capital of Zambia), steps in. Fountain of Hope provides a safe place for street kids and orphans to attend school, get a meal, play sports, go to the library, and learn skills through its technology program. Some boys even live at the center.
Save the Children funds the Sport in Action program at Fountain of Hope. Sport In Action (SIA) is a non-governmental organization (NGO) whose purpose is to improve people’s quality of life through sport and recreational activities. Founded in 1998, SIA was the first Zambian sports NGO. Their mission is:
to use sport and recreation as a tool to improve the quality of children’s lives by providing a programme that will bring about motivation, self-development, child protection and self-reliance through social and economic empowerment.
I write this post as a member of the Global Team of 200. I was not compensated in any way for this post.
My friend, Jennifer James, recently visited Fountain of Hope and was able to see the importance of the Sports in Action program for the street kids of Lusaka. She says:
the kids who come to Fountain of Hope every day are able to learn intrinsic lessons about working together, caring for one another, having self-esteem, and not succumbing to peer pressure. These values are important to teach children who have to struggle to stay alive, stay off of drugs, and not rely on crime to simply eat and make it to the next day.
You can read more from Jennifer’s trip to Lusaka here.