Dear friends of Ubuntu,
It’s my pleasure to reach out to you as the new head of the Advisory Board for the Ubuntu Football Academy of Cape Town, South Africa. 60% of South African children are growing up without a father in the household. Ubuntu is tackling this statistic one young man at a time through its unique, holistic approach to mentorship. Please check out www.ubuntufootball.com for an introductory video.
My relationship with Ubuntu began in a very personal way. My son Jack, then 10, began a soccer training program with one of the Ubuntu coaches in 2013 while we were living in Cape Town. Soon after, my wife Betsy and I noticed peculiar changes in Jack. First, the Bible that had been sitting idly on his bookshelf made a mysterious migration to his bedside table. Next, yellow sticky notes began appearing between the pages, and highlights appeared on the text. His maturity and schoolwork improved, and his skill on the soccer field began to grow by leaps and bounds. When Jack was invited to Ubuntu Academy trials, we came to learn that our son wasn’t the only boy in South Africa to experience this powerful transformation through mentorship.
There are three excitingdevelopments at Ubuntu I’d like to share with you.
First, Ubuntu continues to establish itself as a powerhouse among elite development academies in Africa. Its teams rank at or near the top of Super League competition across all age groups, and its players are being promoted up the ranks of national and regional select teams, while gaining the attention of professional clubs across Africa, Europe, and U.S.A. With the backing of some strategic partners, the Ubuntu Football Trust has recently acquired a National First Division franchise and are competing at the professional level this season as Ubuntu Cape Town FC.
Second, the Ubuntu Football Academy School opened its doors in January. The school is currently serving 34 boys and is off to an amazing start. But there’s so much hard work ahead. The goal is to build onthe educational offeringas a platform forentry into top NCAA recruiting networks.
Third, we are honored to welcome NFL superstar and San Francisco 49er Eric Reid to the Ubuntu Advisory Board. You can read about Ubuntu’s “NFL connection” on the news section of the website. We are so grateful for Eric’s support and leadership.
Ubuntu’s mustard seed-like qualities became clear to me when it came time for us to pay Jack’s Ubuntu Academy fees. The annual cost came to around R350 South African Rand—the equivalent of around US $27. [For reference, comparable USA soccer academies cost thousands of dollars!] It was heartbreaking to see that many of the boys couldn’t afford even this small amount. The need for mentorship in South Africa is overwhelming. And with the help of partners like Eric, Ubuntu is tackling this need with the fierceness of a Pro-Bowl safety!
Ubuntu has come so far. But as our footprint has grown, so too have the financial realities. They are stark. Ubuntu needs funding partners to honor its mission to mentor the next generation of great African leaders. Please consider partnering with us bydonating on our website at ubuntufootball.com. Your donation will go towards making sure that the boys have the education, mentorship, soccer training and loving environment that they need to fulfill their full potential.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly if you’d like to learn more about this amazing outreach.
Ubuntu Football Academy Advisory Board
Phone: USA +1 828 855 6192