Developing Children Through Sport

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Developing Children Through Sport

Botswana
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Free sports programs for underprivileged children are provided by income generated from sports development programs for affluent families in the same community.

About You
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Your idea
Sport

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Year the initative began (yyyy)

2002

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Project URL (include HTTP://)
Positioning of your initiative on the mosaic diagram:
Which of these barriers is the primary focus of your work?

Few effective tools for personal improvement

Which of the principles is the primary focus of your work?

Use sport to build character

If you believe some other barrier or principle should be included in the mosaic, please describe it and how it would affect the positioning of your initiative in the mosaic:

This field has not been completed

Innovation
What is your signature innovation, your new idea, in one sentence?

Free sports programs for underprivileged children are provided by income generated from sports development programs for affluent families in the same community.

Describe your innovation. What makes your idea unique and different than others doing work in the field?

The King's Foundation is committed to developing children through sport (physically, emotionally and spiritually). We work alongside and equip community youth with the skills required to conduct quality sports programs for children. Free programs are conducted for as many as 400 children at a time in underprivileged communities by volunteers trained by King's.

In an attempt to sustain our charity work, offer a quality service to parents and provide employment for our volunteer coaches, paid holiday day camps are conducted for affluent families. Children involved have fun, income is generated for expenses associated to our free programs and our volunteers are given part time employment and valuable work experience.

The dream is to see sustainable sports programs in Botswana and to see lives transformed through sport. The quality of sport is being developed in Botswana through all of our initiatives and youth volunteers are being provided with a means to exist while positively impacting their community.

What are the existing barriers, the biggest problem, your innovation is hoping to address/change?

Batswana youth live in communities with arguably the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rates in the world. The family structure has been torn apart leaving seemingly hopeless situations. Children are raised by older siblings and rarely taught foundational values essential for any responsible / valued member of society.

Teenage pregnancy is very common, and drug and alcohol abuse is a big problem. Such things become common place when there is a lack of parental involvement and few activities to occupy youth.

Delivery Model: How do you implement your innovation and apply it to the challenge/problem you are addressing?

Sports programs serve as HIV/AIDS preventative programs in that they keep children/youth busy during times that they are bored. Our programs focus mainly on weekends and school holiday times because these are times children have little to do and easily preoccupy themselves with drugs, alcohol and sexual activity. Without sports activities children find themselves contributing to the challenges they (Botswana) already find themselves entrenched in.

Sports programs foster teamwork and develop self esteem in children. Raising up young women who are self confident would be a great accomplishment for The King’s Foundation. With increased self esteem from our programs we hope young girls will have the confidence to say "no" to men interested in sex and make wise decisions for themselves.

Sports programs instill discipline and commitment. Under the guidance of King’s Foundation coaches boys learn how to work as a team on and off the sports field. They also have positive male role models who care about them enough to correct them when they misbehave.

How do you plan to grow your innovation?

Botswana is one of many Sub Saharan African countries that suffers from HIV/AIDS and would benefit from community sports outreach programs for children. Our model works and we plan to duplicate it in other neighboring countries.

Some countries like Swaziland, Lesotho, Mozambique etc. would not be able to financially sustain the King's Foundation model so we would target a country like South Africa (large market) to fund community outreach work in poorer countries.

Affluent families in South Africa would pay money to have their children take part in our school holiday King's Camps programme. Money generated from this would go into South African outreach work. As our network of camps increase in South Africa we would begin to explore opportunities in neighboring countries for community outreach programs.

Impact
Provide one sentence describing your impact/intended impact.

We have transformed the lives of children/youth in Botswana; Many youth are positive influences now as opposed to liabilities to their community.

What impact has your innovation had to date/or what is your intended impact? Exactly who are the beneficiaries?

We have impacted large numbers of children living in underprivileged areas of Botswana. Our programs provide a consistent safe place for children to have fun, connect with trusted youth volunteer coaches and learn valuable life lessons.

Older youth volunteers are being empowered, given purpose and receiving part time employment during the school holidays through our paid programs.

Entire communities are impacted as children and youth are being kept busy and being equipped with skills necessary to becoming responsible individuals who contribute to society. Our programs have facilitated unity and a sense of pride as we partner with like minded institutions and involve community stakeholders in our initiatives.

Sport is being developed in Botswana as we extend the grass roots programs of National Sports Codes in the country. Through partnerships our volunteers have been trained by National codes so when they engage children around the country they instill proper fundamental sport specific skills.

Our impact is large and continuing to expand.

How many people have you served directly?

This is a difficult question I think for any NGO and or community based group because there is often overlap amongst our programs. At present our volunteers in a town called Francistown engage approximately 750-1000 children every week. Weekly programs are conducted in different areas of town so as to reach different children. During school holidays The King's Foundation presently engages 1500-2000 different children with various programs around the country. Since 2005 it would be fair to say that we have conducted programs for well over 10,000 children.

In an attempt to raise up leaders we conduct sports leadership workshops on a regular basis. The scope is different depending on our situation. With such initiatives we have has approximately 800 leaders participate in various sports leadership courses since 2005. The goal is to train and equip 100s of sports leaders who will in turn regularly work with 1000s of children and young people.

How many people have you served indirectly?

I guess one never knows how much of an impact they have on individuals. In the past few years I have heard some great stories from delegates whom have attended our leadership training courses. One older gentleman (pastor from rural village) immediately started playing soccer with the youth in his village prior to his Sunday church service after attending our week long National Sports Leadership Conference. The response was great and to my knowledge he continues this weekly programme for at least 30 community youth.

Such stories rarely get back to organizations but we have seen numerous occasions where individuals we have trained are not only initiating their own sports programs for children but training other leaders.

With this in mind the people we have served indirectly I hope would be in the fifteen thousand range.

Please list any other measures reflective of the impact of your innovation?

Batswana are seeing how sport can be used to improve quality of life. With our assistance local youth have initiated a Saturday morning Basketball development program. A fee is charged so employment is being created by this program. In addition, Basketball is being developed and older youth coaches now have a means to exist and a purpose to wake up in the morning.

We recently won a national Vision 2016 award in the category of "United and Proud Nation".

What are the main barriers to creating or achieving your impact?

Unfortunately, many people feel threatened by the success of others in Botswana. Many initiatives fall on their face because personal agendas get in the way of our children's/communities best interests.

Another challenge for our work is transportation of sports equipment and volunteers to community outreach venues. Mini buses/vans and equipment trailers require large capital expenses. We have petitioned local government for their assistance but our requests have fallen on deaf ears.

Sustainability
How is your initiative financed (or how do you expect your initiative will be financed)?

Our initiative originated in the UK where The King's Foundation generates income from activity camps for children during the school holidays. Income generated from the UK has allowed us to establish ourselves in Botswana. In order to expand our work throughout Botswana and hopefully other Southern African countries, fee based holiday camps were undertaken in Botswana for children from affluent families.

Reoccurring costs like sports equipment, t-shirts for volunteers, local coordinator salaries and petrol for transportation will hopefully all be covered in the near future by our income generation projects. The less dependent we are on outside financial assistance the better for our longevity and sustainability.

If known, provide information on your finances and organization.

This next year we hope to establish a more formal financial structure.

The rough budget that is drawn up and given to potential financial sponsors totals approximately $20,000. This includes sports equipment, leadership training workshops, t-shirts for staff and children and other misc. resources. It does not include petrol for transport or our local coordinator salaries.

Approximately $8,000US generated from holiday programs. This will increase as we cut operational costs for camps and our reputation for offering quality programs for children grows.

We currently employ three full-time local coordinators that receive 1500 pula ($250US) per month. There are approximately 50 regular volunteer coaches that presently receive nothing except a few t-shirts per year for a uniform.

We have started receiving equipment donations from local Rotary Clubs and government agencies. This has been relatively minimal up to now. Hopefully local support will continue to increase.

What is the potential demand for your innovation?

The demand for our innovation is huge. We are meeting the needs of children in Botswana, creating a market for paid sports programs, developing individual sports, assisting in the fight against HIV/AIDS, providing employment for local sports coaches and training future leaders.

Our income generating projects will grow as working parents need activities to occupy their children during school holidays. We meet this need extremely well.

What are the main barriers to financial sustainability?

The main barrier for financial sustainability is that the Botswana market may not be large enough to sustain our ambitious plans for the country. We presently conduct regular children's sports programs in two main cities but there are many children in rural villages that would benefit from our initiatives. Branching out requires more money. The South Africa market may be the answer to this challenge.

The Story
What is the origin of this innovation? Tell us your story.

The King's Foundation began its work in 1991. Up until 2002 The King’s Foundation was primarily focused on child development in the UK via children’s holiday programs called “King’s Camps”. In 2002 we began sending short-term teams of college aged sports coaches twice a year to Botswana to work alongside local volunteers in underprivileged communities.

What began with short term teams developed into two permanent workers from the UK and Canada being placed in Botswana in 2005. The focus of these coordinators was to not only conduct regular sports programs for children but to train up local leaders and work themselves out of a position. As of 2008 our leadership team consists of three coordinators from Zimbabwe, Botswana and Zambia and myself (Canada). For the first time a local group of leaders will lead a two-week training/outreach trip to rural areas of Botswana - duplicating initial short-term trips from the UK.

Funding for coordinator salaries initially came from our UK camps but our community outreach initiatives in Africa will always be limited if solely dependent on the UK. With this in mind similar programs were developed and run for the first time December 2006 in Botswana. The program was a success and resulted in three separate camps at three different schools in April/May 2007. King's Camps run every school holiday now in Botswana and we may soon expand into neighboring countries.

Please provide a personal bio. Note this may be used in Changemakers marketing material.

I grew up in British Columbia, Canada. Growing up I was blessed to experience life outside of North America on numerous occasions: Haiti, Kenya, China etc. These experiences, combined with my faith in Jesus Christ, developed a love for different cultures and a passion to see people's lives improved. I take my "work" very seriously despite few financial benefits. Providing hope (physically, emotionally, spiritually) to individuals through sport is extremely gratifying and outweighs any salary.

How did you hear about this contest and what is your main incentive to participate? (this is confidential)

I heard about this contest through an email that was fwd to me from a friend. In the email there was a link to a facebook application which I also checked out.

My main incentive in participating is to bring awareness to what is being done in Botswana through The King's Foundation. So many volunteers are committed to the overall initiative of developing children through sports and all too often their time and effort go unnoticed. We are extremely active and not just talking about what we hope to do. It would be great to see local volunteers recognized in some way.

I also feel that we are extremely unique and have a lot to offer the entire country of Botswana. We are not only developing future generations of this country but we are contributing to the development of the economy as we empower youth and provide employment through sports coaching. Any financial assistance we can receive will allow us to roll out more programs.

Affiliation (please list all that apply)

Although we are not officially affiliated with some of the governing bodies in Botswana we work closely with the Botswana National Sports Council, Ministry of Sports and Recreation, Ministry of Culture and Youth and the Department of Social Services.

To develop sport in Botswana we partner with National Sports codes to conduct training courses for our volunteer coaches. Our volunteers engage children the National codes will never reach so we are assisting them, adding credibility to our programs and empowering our volunteers. In 2007 we conducted Tennis, Hockey and Rugby coaching courses in partnership with the respective national codes.

In the UK we work with Eurocamp, NHS and Cunard Cruise Lines.