While sports isn’t the only focus for the One Person Project helping kids in East Africa, it is key.
The One Person Project believes in sport for development as an effective tool to help improve the lives of children, families and communities. The volunteer-driven organization made its first trip to Kahama, Tanzania, in February 2008 with a 12-metre container. During that trip they brought supplies in 94 boxes that included uniforms and sports equipment. Last month, six members of the One Person Project went and distributed soccer uniforms and balls to a small number of schools in Kahama.
“We find that supporting sports over there keeps the children in school,” said co-founder, director and vice-president Denise Whittaker. “As well as the same benefits that children have here from playing sports, the fitness and the team building, there is the added benefit that they are staying in school and they are getting the extra HIV/Aids education.”
Some schools in Tanzania allow girls to take part in soccer but they primarily play netball. The One Person Project ensures that half of the uniforms be given to netball teams. The One Person Project receives support by soccer associations as well as individual families and businesses. Whittaker said Sherwood Trophies engraved some trophies and medals for them in Swahili.
“We had a soccer tournament over there between the teams,” she said. “They were presented with medals and cups.”
Whittaker said donations make a positive impact.
“There is still a long ways to go,” she said, adding that they have a common ground with soccer.
With more people to reach, the organization is returning in early 2014 with another container. Volunteers from the organization are busy collecting items from the community and raising money.
“The more the better,” she said, adding the the cost to purchase and ship a container is $18,000. “We have dances and events and fundraisers throughout the year. Any donations are welcome.”
The organization is also looking for volunteers and they can provide opportunities for any interest people have. Anyone interested in donating or volunteering can reach Denise Whittaker by phone at 250-460-0565 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.