2015 has been a busy year at Alive and Kicking, capped off with being named the winner of the inaugural Football For Good —International Impact Award. This was a hotly contested award and we are delighted to have our work recognised by the wider football community. It was our unique combination of economic growth and sustainable development that swayed the judges. I was incredibly proud to accept the award on behalf of all 150 of our staff.
You may have noticed we launched a new logo and a new website in September. The launch coincided with our ‘Starting XI’ event in London; a celebration of our 11th anniversary. It was also the première of an 11-minute film about our work; you can still watch it on our website in case you missed it! The launch of the new logo in Kenya was even more spectacular with a ‘Pepeta’ (Keepy-Uppy) competition. There was plenty of skills on display from the thousands of entrants and a few tears of joy from the incredibly talented winner, Alan.
Our health programme has expanded, training over 200 local coaches to deliver football based drills that teach young people about HIV and malaria. This year we partnered with Arsenal in the Community (AIC) who provided two young coaches—Max and Laura—to help us deliver the training sessions in Ghana. According to Max the programme was a real success: “The health programme organised by Alive and Kicking was extremely successful and gave young Ghanaians a chance to play football and learn about important health issues such as HIV and malaria”. We plan to continue the partnership with Arsenal
The Ghana stitching centre has gone from strength to strength; we now have 40 staff in proper, full time, fairly paid jobs. During the year we employed 10 young apprentices, all who have been trained in the art of making a football, and all of whom are now full-time employees of Alive and Kicking. Hanna, 22, says “This is my first job. I have been able to help my mum pay off her debts.” According to Frank: “There is happiness here. I now earn a salary and I am able to help pay my brother’s school fees.” 600 balls equals one job for a stitcher in our centre, so increasing ball sales is essential in our aim to providing fair paid jobs for women, young people, and disabled people in Ghana.
Unemployment rates remain high across many parts of Africa including Kenya, Zambia and Ghana. Awareness rates among young people about preventable diseases remains variable. We know what we are doing is making a real difference in the lives of everyone we meet. We are different, and we make a real difference.
But we want to do more; more of everything. More jobs, more ball donations, more coaches trained, more young people engaged with our health and quality of life programmes. In short: more making, more playing and more living.
We need your help for that to become a reality.