For Jan Prinsloo, principal at AJC Jooste Combined in the little Free State town of Petrusburg, the problem was simple. And maddening. "We keep on buying soccer balls, one after another, and they are destroyed within a few days," he said. "The reason the balls don't last is because the children play soccer every day, all day."
It all began with a bedtime conversation in the upstate New York town of Millbrook, a mother and her young children sharing thoughts about the world and its ways. “The initial idea for Soccer Unites sprouted from a conversation that I had with my two oldest children, Jude and Kaden, who are eight and six,” says Kinue the founder of Dreamfields newest partner Soccer Unites.
“They were complaining about not having a Playstation and a Wii and we discussed the problems many children around the world face like poverty, lack of clean drinking water and disease,” she recalls.
“For one week, Kaden consistently asked me what we were going to do to help these kids and we decided to start an organization. We chose soccer,” Kinue says, “because it is the most popular sport in the world and it would provide us with a good tool to reach as many children as possible.”
At Dreamfields we love it when a plan comes together, when a passing movement involving the whole team gets you through tough defence, and ends in a goal.
Our work is hugely satisfying but the construction of a beautiful field of dreams in Cape Town’s Kensington community has given us special pleasure. This was teamwork at its very best.
The story began in Holland with Henk Breunissen, a field-building expert, whose company Happy Feet Sports Systems has given Dreamfields technical advice since 2008. “Somehow I feel attached to South Africa,” he says of a country he first visited as a tourist. “And as I want to contribute to a better life, a better community, I wondered how to do this.”
Henk told us he could lay his hands on a lightly-used artificial grass pitch which was ours if we could ship it over and find a good community project to make use of it.
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