Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Kumakwane Community Football Event

Today I had the opportunity to host my second event in one week (and potentially make the US Embassy in Gaborone's website again)! This was an extra special event for me in that it was a collaborative effort of Peace Corps Volunteers and Returned Peace Corps Volunteers and took place in my old village of Kumakwane. The event was, essentially, a community football game but it was so much more than that...

You may recall from an earlier post but, a few weeks ago, a friend (and RPCV from Botswana, 2005-2008) called me and said that some friends of hers were coming through Southern Africa and wanted to donate football (aka "soccer") kits. She wanted to know if I knew of any teams that would be in need. I immediately thought of Kumakwane and my friend Fila, who coaches youth teams and plays on a team in the village. I had often gone with the other PCV in the village to watch his games and had recently seen a picture of a new team, the "New Town Ballers", that they started (picture above). I hoped to give back to the community that I love so much so I pitched the idea and she loved it! As we continued discussing the potential plans for the event, it morphed into something much bigger (and better)!

In the end, the plan would include a visit to my NGO in Gabane to talk with my staff about orphans and vulnerable children in Botswana and programs around the country that work with this population, a visit to Pellegano Village Industries to show a community project and to watch pottery being made (and for them to buy some pretty gorgeous pieces), and then to hold a "community event" in Kumakwane. We arranged for the Kgosana (ward chief), Rre Modise Thebe, to be present at the New Town Ward Kgotla, along with other New Town community members, especially children. There was a short introduction, complete with speeches made by the Kgosi and our benefactors and a presentation of the donations to the football teams. The culmination of the event was the football game, where everyone - regardless of age or gender - could play together. To us, this symbolized unity, civic responsibility, and caring for your neighbor. Together we can have a healthy life and a healthy community (and a little bit of fun!).

The wonderful and generous donations were made by Christina and Mark Sloop, along with their teenage sons, Ian and Nico.

The event was everything we could have hoped for and more. It truly was a community effort and something that brought people from all walks of life together. We had the generous support of our new friends and benefactors from Sonoma Village (who traveled all this way to hand deliver sporting equipment), Peace Corps Volunteers (old and new), and we had village members of varying strata. It was a seamless event that everyone enjoyed! Now, for your viewing pleasure, the highlights of today's event:

"I expect to pass through life but once. If therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again." 

Another glorious day in this life. More smiles and more happiness shared. Success in the form of giving back. Perfection. ♥

1 comment:

  1. How fun!! I love multi-generational activities. I think they are so adorable.