Little Eagles Football League

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Little Eagles Football League

Mali
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Budget: 
< $1,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

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

The Little Eagles Football League will be promoting education and helping to build schools in rural Mali, West Africa through the power of Football (Soccer). We will be creating a structured youth football league that will host education clinics on topics including: HIV/AIDS awareness, opportunity through education, entrepreneurship, good hygiene practices, teamwork, and English language development.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Mali has the second lowest literacy rate in the world. Limited access to elementary school education is one of the many faces of endemic poverty. In Mali, a sixth grade education is the highest level of formal education for many rural students. Education beyond the sixth grade typically requires students to move away from their family. Building elementary and middle schools in rural Mali will increase access to educational opportunities for the children of hard working farm families.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

The Little Eagles Football League is unique because it uses the power of football to promote education in Mali, West Africa, a country with the second lowest literacy rate in the world. We will be hosting educational clinics and helping to build schools in areas that previously did not have any. Our overall objective is to encourage the importance of education to youth through an organized, structured football league. Over the past two years, our parent organization, African Sky, has hosted highly successful regional youth football tournaments between villages. The Little Eagles Football League looks to build on this success by expanding the number of teams and creating a structured league. The Little Eagles will work to together with African Sky to create 10 new schools, each with team in the League. Educators, parents, and community leaders will play an active role to ensure that the participants will maintain exemplary grades and demonstrate positive leadership within the community. In addition to the Football League, our program will organize and host educational clinics, open to the entire community. Topics covered will include: HIV/AIDS awareness, opportunity through education, entrepreneurship, good hygiene practices, teamwork, and English language development. The Little Eagles will also organize trips to professional soccer games, community games, tournaments, and community service projects. In order to reach youth not interested in playing football, the Little Eagles will create additional programming, such as team journalists, who will report on the matches and League news to promote literacy skills.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

African Sky has had a major impact in the areas of rural Mali, West Africa that it operates. African Sky is an all-volunteer, 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that creates enduring friendships between US and Malian communities to transform lives at home and abroad. As a community development organization, it works with individuals and communities to confront some of the devastating effects of endemic poverty and inequality. Their philosophy of community development is based on the belief that humanity's physical, ecological, and spiritual well-being is rooted in universal compassion and sustainable living. One of African Sky's most successful projects was organizing youth football tournaments. Almost every day, the young men and women in the region gather for a soccer match on the playing field in front of the local schools. On some occasions the games are spontaneous with teams assembled for a match or two. In January 2008, African Sky hosted a regional tournament for the Dissan teams, who invited and hosted teams from neighboring communities.There was an incredible turn-out and support from the community, and the Little Eagles will expand on this success by creating a formal, structured league.
About You
Organization:
Little Eagles Football League
Visit website
Section 1: About You
First Name

Rob

Last Name

Steller

Organization

Little Eagles Football League

Country

, CT

Section 2: About Your Organization
Organization Name

Little Eagles Football League

Organization Phone

203-558-2215

Organization Address
Organization Country
Your idea
Country your work focuses on

, KL

Innovation
Do you have a patent for this idea?

Impact
Actions

African Sky is building a total of 10 rural schools in Mali for the year 2010. We will also be using the power and interest of football to launch educational clinics, covering a broad range of topics. Unfortunately, this problem is rampant in all areas of the world. By using this first year as an opportunity to create a solid program model, the Little Eagles sees great opportunity to expand to other countries and regions of the world.

Results

African Sky and the Little Eagles Football League plans on greatly increasing the literacy rate in this region of Mali. Education is one of the major keys to success, and by receiving a strong education, youth will have many opportunities open up to them.

What will it take for your project to be successful over the next three years? Please address each year separately, if possible.

The Little Eagles Football League has gathered support from hundreds of people from dozens of countries around the world. This support is critical when attempting to start a nonprofit program. A major focus in the run up to the launch of the Little Eagles Football League has been trying to receive as much exposure as possible, using online networking tools, such as Facebook. Equally as important, we needed to gain the support within the community we will be operating in. After all, the ideas, concerns and support of the people being served is the most crucial for a successful program. Continuing to gain support is essential to the programs success.

Unfortunately, any nonprofit program needs funding to operate, and the Little Eagles is no exception. Ideally, we will become self-sustaining and will not depend on grants in order to operate, and we are taking big steps in this direction. However, at this point, we do need grant money in order to launch the initial season of the Little Eagles Football League, to cover the costs of jerseys, balls, nets, shoes (as most of our participants play barefoot) and other equipment, as well as the cost to build schools and hold educational clinics. After this initial year, we will be able to become self-sufficient by creating a strong business model to raise the needed funding and become less dependent on grants.

What would prevent your project from being a success?

As stated above, critical to successful nonprofits are support and funding. Fortunately, we have already gathered incredible support from the community in Mali and many people around the world. The Little Eagles Football League has also been highlighted as www.DoSomething.org's Project of the Day, and has been recognized by the United States Soccer Foundation's Passback Program. Continued exposure and support is critical for our success.

The Little Eagles Football League also needs funding to operate and cover the cost of equipment and for building schools and holding educational clinics. Without continued exposure and support, and without funding, nonprofit programs could not be successful.

How many people will your project serve annually?

What is the average monthly household income in your target community, in US Dollars?

Less than $50

Does your project seek to have an impact on public policy?

Sustainability
What stage is your project in?

Idea phase

In what country?
Is your initiative connected to an established organization?

Yes

If yes, provide organization name.

African Sky

How long has this organization been operating?

More than 5 years

Does your organization have a Board of Directors or an Advisory Board?

Yes

Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with NGOs?

Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with businesses?

Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with government?

No

Please tell us more about how these partnerships are critical to the success of your innovation.
What are the three most important actions needed to grow your initiative or organization?

As stated earlier, the three most important actions needed to grow our initiative are support, exposure and funding.

The Story
What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?

My life centers around football - watching it, reading about it, playing it, writing about it. I have also been working with inner-city youth for the past few years both inside and outside the education system. I realized that there is a powerful connection between sports and education. Youth become extremely motivated towards education when there is another element, such as sports, encouraging them to work harder. It has been my dream to use this knowledge and create a football program that can be used to promote education in areas where youth struggle to succeed in school. Last winter, I met Professor Scott Lacy, the founder of African Sky, a nonprofit organization with community building and educational programs in Mali, West Africa. Together we were able to make my dream into a reality by creating the Little Eagles Football League.

Tell us about the social innovator behind this idea.

I have been working with youth of suburban and urban communities, within and outside the education system, for a number of years, and am passionate about helping to ensure youth receive a proper education. There are many areas, in the United States and around the world, where youth do not receive an adequate education, and this needs to change. My other passion is football, and I constantly surround myself with the beautiful game in any way I can. It has been my dream is to combine these two passions into a program that promotes education through football that I can spread around the world. The Little Eagles Football League is a culmination of my experiences and a realization of this dream.

How did you first hear about Changemakers?

Web Search (e.g., Google or Yahoo)

If through another, please provide the name of the organization or company

50 words or fewer