On March 21st, the Besongabang Football for Hope Centre in Cameroon opened its doors with a grand opening ceremony. The whole community of Besongabang was here and the site could hardly fit everybody. The event featured local singers, dancers, and dignitaries as well as representatives of regional and national government, FIFA, streetfootballworld and others.
Representing Architecture for Humanity, were Mark Warren, Regional Program Coordinator for Africa, and Rogerio Costa, Design Fellow for the FFH centre in Besongabang. A procession conducted the community from town to the center. Visitors arriving at the site Traditional dancing Traditional dancing At the heart of the event were collective memories of the late Nathan Jones, Design Fellow for the project until he passed away from complications due to Malaria in March 2013. There were several tributes to his life, both personal and professional, and this project and community is truly blessed by his dedication and commitment. His family was represented at the event by two of his sisters, Nikki and Natasha. The completed center United Action for Children will operate the center and has been working with orphans, street and other vulnerable children of the community for the last five years. They will use football’s popularity to encourage young people off the streets and into classrooms and training centers. There are still a few finishing touches to be completed, but overall the project is a great success and will provide a needed space for vital community services. Congratulations to everybody involved in the project! The children gladly take possession of the pitch
As a legacy of the 2010 Football World Cup, FIFA and streetfootballworld launched the Football for Hope program, with the aim of building 20 centers across Africa. The centers are managed by local NGOs, each having a specific program. All centers address health and education issues using soccer as a tool for development.