Leading charities Laureus Sport for Good and Comic Relief have once again teamed up to work together to continue improving the lives of disadvantaged children in Africa.
Comic Relief, which already supports projects with Laureus Sport for Good in both Africa and Latin America, has committed more than £400,000 to two new grants - one with the Mathare Youth Sports Association (MYSA) in Kenya and one with Diepsloot Mountain Bike Academy in South Africa.
MYSA uses the power of sport, principally football, as a means to provide opportunities for young people in the area. The funds will provide young people with opportunities to develop skills to tackle problems that arise in their daily lives, gain work experience, career guidance and access to education. At the same time, the grant will assist the project with awareness around HIV/AIDS and hygiene and sanitation in the slums of Nairobi.
In Johannesburg, youngsters from the Diepsloot township community will benefit from the new support of Comic Relief for The Diepsloot Mountain Bike Academy. The Academy works with youngsters who are regularly exposed to high levels of violence, neglect, poverty, unemployment, illiteracy and HIV.
The project will provide vulnerable young people from the township with access to educational support, while girls and young women will also have the opportunity to join a leadership programme, building self-esteem, confidence and enhancing education and employment opportunities. Young people will also have opportunities to participate in regular training and competitions.
“These new grants and the continued partnership between Laureus and Comic Relief is great news for us and a significant boost for the Sport for Development community,” said Andy Griffiths, Director of Laureus Sport for Good.
“This partnership with Comic Relief is a great example of how organisations can create synergies to make our support even more sustainable, efficient and long-lasting.”
Steve Harknett, Sport for Change International Grant Manager at Comic Relief, added,
“MYSA and the Diepsloot Mountain Bike Academy are doing exciting and effective work using sport to help socially excluded young people fulfil their potential, which is Comic Relief’s aim. Beyond this, these innovative projects will also generate learning to benefit the whole Sport for Development sector.”
David Thiru, MYSA’s Executive Director, welcomed the announcement, which will help him and his organisation continue to deliver Sport for Development work to those who need it most. He said:
“Comic Relief and Laureus have already played a pivotal role in ensuring the stability and expansion of MYSA to continue to deliver at a high level. This has been achieved through their support in organisational capacity development, monitoring, evaluation and learning which has positioned MYSA to deliver high quality services to over 24,000 registered members annually.”
Andre Ross, from Diepsloot Mountain Bike Academy said:
“It is an honour for the Diepsloot Mountain Bike Academy to become part of the Comic Relief and Laureus Sport for Good family. We are excited at the prospects of this partnership, particularly improving our operational efficiencies through the assistance offered by the Laureus network. For the youth raised in one of South Africa’s most marginalised communities, this grant is an endorsement of their efforts to improve themselves, and brings home the reality that they are part of a global community; the reality that the world is bigger than the 5Km² where they have been raised. We are thrilled to see where the next part of our journey together leads.”