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6 Reason How Voluntary Work Changes Your Life
The sun is shining on the lawn, kids are laughing, a ball flies through the air, and happiness is all around. We are in one of the world’s metropolis where the gap between poor and rich is still huge – Cape Town, South Africa.
But today this gap is not present. Happy kids from both sides of the town, the townships and the wealthy areas are playing football without any prejudice. It is the official launch of the “We Love Football Academy“.
Christian Alder, a former German football player in the national league is also one of the initiators of this charity. Years ago he took the chance to go to South Africa to play football as a professional. This is how his passion towards the country and its people was started.
During our interview Christian revealed the 6 reasons how voluntary work changed his life.
1. Helping others
How was the idea created to form the “We Love Football Academy“?
Already in Germany I organised football camps for kids. In my opinion it is a great opportunity to share important values with children. Next to showing them the positive side of exercise, they learn to take care of each other, take responsibility for their behaviour and experience victories but also failure.
After visiting a township in Cape Town I knew that I wanted to give those kids the chance to experience all of this.
2. Changing direction of your life
What is the goal of the organisation?
We want to contribute a piece to a better future for those kids. With us they can not only play in a safe environment but also have the chance to do their homework and get a healthy meal.
Our goal is to create a path for them, whether it be as a professional football player or whatever they may hope to be in their future.
3. Networking with others & gaining insights in new areas
What are you offering to make sure you can create a path for them?
Twice a week a group of children is picked up in their neighbourhood and brought to our football field. There we split them in two groups. One starts with the training and the other has the chance to do their homework. Afterwards, they change and we offer them a healthy meal to stay focused. We also give them sports clothes to change into.
To help them with their homework we are supported by social workers. Naturally, this is great for us too as we get insights in new areas and can grow our network.
4. Collecting experiences and overcoming obstacles
Was there any obstacles on your way?
For sure, we had to face one or the other challenge. Figuring out all the bureaucratic duties in South Africa was something completely new for us. However, I was surprised by all the support from the state and city! Thinking about it now, finding an adequate football field was the biggest obstacle. Nonetheless, overcoming all these challenges was an important and great experience for us.
5. Living your passion
What has been the most beautiful experience so far?
Every second with the children! Even before we had the official launch, we invited some of the kids in for training. Their carefreeness and their laughter are worth 10 times every hour we are investing voluntarily!
6. Fulfilling your potential
What is your wish for the next year/s?
Our next short-term goal is to expand the building next to the football field. There are no washing rooms and the common room is poorly equipped.
And in the long-term we will make every effort to improve the life of the participating children and their families sustainably.