Students in deprived schools in rural Northern Tanzania come from traditional Maasai communities where female genital mutilation (FGM), early marriage and child labour are common. Since 2014 Ace Africa has delivered an innovative football project to address these issues, transforming the lives of hundreds of girls and boys.
Ace Africa and the SOL Foundation – the power of partnership
Ace is delighted to announce its partnership with SOL Foundation to deliver the ‘Ace Future Stars Football League’ in 2021-2022. Following their generous support in 2020 this long-term agreement meets urgent needs and means Ace can plan for the future.
Thanks to the SOL Foundation, the project has the majority of the resources it needs to change the lives of 800 vulnerable children in twenty primary schools.
The power of sport
Ace Africa works with local authorities to identify schools in most urgent need of help – those with minimal resources, often no sports progammes, poor academic performance and students at risk of abuse at home. The ‘Ace Future Stars Football League’ was designed to address these issues.
So far 84 schools and 2,514 children have benefited. Football training and regular games at each school, culminate in a 12 week competition with other schools. Boys and girls between 7 and 14 take part, including those with special needs. Ace trains teachers as football coaches and provides much needed equipment, from goal posts to footballs.
The excitement of the league means children attend school more often. Regular exercise improves physical and mental health, self confidence and self-esteem. And thanks to all these factors, schools see their academic results improve.
Protecting child rights
Each of the schools taking part benefits from an Ace Child Club. Ace trains teachers to use games and role play to teach children about their rights and how to enforce them (as well as other important issues such as hygiene and nutrition). The students run the clubs and share what they have learnt with other children, including exactly what to do when they need help. The clubs will involve 1000 students across 20 schools.
In areas adjacent to the schools Ace will establish two new voluntary child rights committees. Members of the local community will be trained how to identify, report and refer cases of child abuse. These committees provide the practical support to the school children. Since 2015 Ace has established 19 similar committees benefitting 11,262 women and children.