PPI-SA was able to do a lot of great work this year, and we would like to take an opportunity to highlight the best of the year 2013 in a 2 part blog series. PPI-SA can sometimes face unconventional and unique circumstances that can make even a simple basketball game a challenge. This year, the staff at PPI-SA continued to be creative and innovative to overcome the many obstacles we face in order to make our program successful. This is a tribute to the staff and participants of PPI-SA who came together to make the year 2013 a special one.
Bridging Divides: Bringing communities together
For the first time, PPI-SA brought the communities of Wentworth and Lamontville together for a day of basketball and fun. Although the communities of Wentworth and Lamontville are separated by only six lanes of traffic, known as the M4 highway, the children rarely, if ever, interact. This was an opportunity for PPI-SA to successfully bridge a real divide in the communities we work in. An outsider at the event might have assumed they had all been friends for life as they laughed, played, and competed against each other throughout the afternoon.
Developing Leaders: 9 PPI-SA coaches took part in the Laureus YES Program!
Through our partnership with the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, PPI-SA took part in the 2nd year of the Laureus YES (Youth Empowerment through Sport) Program. Through the program, leaders from all over South Africa are selected for a 1 year program aimed at empowering young people to use sport as a tool to promote positive change in their lives and communities.
In 2013, 9 PPI-SA coaches were selected to participate in the program! That’s 25% of this year’s YES participants, and over 50% of our coaches! We are proud to be producing well-rounded and successful coaches that can take what they have learned at PPI-SA into the greater sport for development community in South Africa.
As a part of the YES program, each leader had to plan and execute their own community event using sport to make a positive impact in the community. These events were incredible! For a lot of the coaches it was their first time running their own event, so PPI-SA staff were there to help them the whole way. We are really proud of these young leaders, who graduated at a special ceremony in Johannesburg from the YES program this past week.
Changing Perceptions: We hosted 2 City-Wide Tournaments!
PPI-SA hosted the 21st and 22nd City-Wide Tournaments this year! Our first tournament was back in March 2013, we were able to bring together children from 23 different schools in 6 different communities. We also were lucky to have the support from the United States Consulate, who helped fund and sent volunteers for the tournament.
Our second CityWide took place just a few short weeks ago, and we were so happy to be able to end the year on such a positive note. We teamed up with the Sports for Social Change network, Laureus, and the Brooklyn Nets to make the event possible. It was the last event for international fellow Kristin Degou, who had spent her last two years working for PPI-SA.
Check out next week’s blog where we will have part 2 of our top moments in 2013!