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Sports and Community Development

April 6 every year has been declared, ‘The International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP)’ by the United Nations. Sport has been recently recognized as a low-cost, high-impact tool in humanitarian development and peace-building efforts.UN Sport Day Sports play a fundamental role in economic and social development of individuals, communities and nations. In the field of local and global development, sport can be a powerful tool.  The value of teamwork and fair play, building of life skills and self esteem, prevention of non-communicable disease, and equal opportunity for boys and girls can all lead to meaningful promotion of unity, peace and connection. 

At Ubuntu we recognize; the unifying power of sport, promotion of human development, potential for sport to break down barriers and build sustainable connection and positive change.

 Meet Josh

Josh has played soccer since he was 4 years old and the impact of this sport has been life changing for him. During a trip to Ghana in May of 2023, Josh quickly became involved in helping the soccer teams there. He made the connection that sports helps with both personal and community health and he decided that he would help these children and this community. Josh has set up fundraising events and continues to help these kids. 

Read about the SHARK Footballing Club below. 

SHARK Footballing (Soccer) Club – Frankadua, Ghana

Frankadua, Ghana is a village in the Eastern Region of Ghana.  Frankadua is surrounded by many small villages with the larger villages of Juapong and Apeguso on either side.  There are many children and schools in this area.   

In many areas of the world, soccer is a way of life. Frankadua is no different.  A junior or senior football (soccer) game can draw everyone from the village to cheer, praise, dance and celebrate their community. 

In 2023 the theme for The International Day of Sport for Development and Peace is “Scoring for People and the Planet”.  No one understands this more than Godwin Amegbor, better known as Shark. 

Shark is an electrician by day and a soccer (football) coach by evening.  Shark noticed in and around Frankadua that may of the children were not attending school due to financial challenges and access.  He also noticed the incredible interest and commitment these same children had towards football.  Shark wanted to connect education and sport, specifically the game of soccer.  He came up with the model of ‘edutainment’.  Edutainment is where children and youth can be supported and brought together for education and soccer. 

Shark started with one child, and now he has seven children that he fosters/adopted and supports through his program.  He provides funding for their education, accommodation, nutrition, clothing, and training on both basic life skills and footballing.  This is Shark and his foster children. Shark is an inspiration to his community and these children.

Shark has a dream to build a sustainable footballing academy that will support children from in and around Frankadua.  This includes a boarding or residential school that will provide education, life skill development and football (soccer) training and development. 

The following is Shark’s words describing his mission, vision, and goals for SHARKS Footballing Club.

Our Mission        

To establish a rural football academic dedicated to nurturing and developing young athletes from rural areas that may be disadvantaged by financial and other challenges.

To scout, discover, train, and educate talents into football professionals.

Committed to promoting accessibility, inclusivity, and equal opportunities for aspiring players, regardless of their background or socioeconomic status. 

We strive to instill values such as commitment, respect, teamwork, perseverance and a "can do" spirit, fostering personal growth and preparing our athletes for success on and off the field.

Utilizing creativity and fun to achieve empowered education and strong healthy child development.

 Our Vision

Our vision is to establish a rural football academy that transforms the lives of youth athletes and empowers them to reach their full potential, both on the field and off the field.  Through the power of sport, we aim to cultivate a thriving community that embraces the values of hard work, team work, community, determination, and    Our academy will provide a nurturing and inclusive environment where talented players from rural areas can receive high quality education and coaching.  We envision developing well-rounded individuals who not only excel in football but also become future leaders, role models and agents of positive change for their communities.   

Our Goal

With the support of our donors and partners, our ultimate goal is to create a vibrant football academy in the rural area around Frankadua, Ghana, inspiring a love for sport and education, producing talented players who can compete at the highest levels of football and life while remaining connected to their roots and the larger community.

Short term needs (current):

Financial support of Shark’s 7 adopted children.  This includes shelter, nutrition, education, training, equipment and any other basic needs of the children.  ($120-$250 Canadian per month)

Financial support related to hosting, training, equipment and travel costs for Shark’s football teams at the Junior and Senior High School levels. (cost varies depending on opportunity and how many children) You can see in many of the pictures and videos that equipment is inconsistent or not available at all to some of the players, especially soccer shoes. 

Longer term goals (1-5 years):

Purchase/secure 10 acres of land to serve as the official space to build the academy.  The land sited for this project is located on the Frankadua to Ayidam-Podoe stretch of road, linking Frankadua to some communities in the North Tongu district of the Volta Region.  The cost of the land is 27,000 Ghana Cedis per acre, which is approximately $3300 Canadian per acre.  For all 10 acres the cost is approximately $33,000 Canadian. 

Building costs will also need to be raised, including the following;

·       Two-storey, 100 capacity dormitory block to house both males and female students.

·       Build a six-unit classroom block for teaching and learning.

·       Build a double pitch to serve as training and match grounds. (Football fields)

·       Development of a farm that will create a sustainable food source for the academy students.

·       Drilling of two mechanized boreholes to supply water for the academy.

Ubuntu is working hard to help Shark’s vision happen, donors like you make all the difference!  Thank you!! 

Thank you to the New West Soccer Club https://newwestsc.ca for their generous jersey donations. The team on the left wore them for their final match and brought home the gold.