It’s May 10th as I enter the Umumena Stadium, surprisingly there are over 300 children waiting to compete for the YouthFootball for Peace this time; teams from all over Kigali and 2 teams from outside of Kigali. It is the 3rd since Nov 2011. Last year it was a great day for so many kids boys and girls at Regionale Stadium in Nyamirambo, however this time I was expecting it to be bigger, talking to
Kasimu one of the football lovers and the founder of Vision football club;
“I can’t believe how many children we have today”, Kasimu said. What was so interesting is that every team was showing so much energy during the warm up, of course one of them has to win this champion. When we decide to involve an under 12 years old football tournament, it was one of our goals is at Uburanga Arts Studio to contribute to our community by encouraging the youth to be more creative and look forward to a bright future! You may want to ask me, why am I involving myself in to football when I am a painter? First I love the nature, but most I am a dreamer; so is everyone else; I see art everywhere, however the nature build my art, I grew up playing football on the street, ever since then, I am always attached to pass by kids doing the same thing, however we have see many options where someone grows up without any hope and end up playing for a bigger team like Chelsea FC or other bigger teams, I believe Art can bring hope to so many kids who love soccer; it’s actually interesting when I was chatting to Déo, the coach of Kiyovu Sports FC, he told me something I have heard from other coaches before, that they volunteer so hard to put these teams together, they invest in so much time and money; however many investors never look at them or even help them to bring in more activities in children football’s life; “I am thankful for the youth football for peace to be here, this way I know and my team knows that at least every year there is something to look forward to, this will get the kids to work more hard; if it continues like this very soon we can have football player whom can join senior teams by the age of 16”Deo said! Every one of coaches talking about the challenges they have, the most were about that they don’t have enough workshops and material to do their jobs well, otherwise, football could be a great investment for anybody.
Our main topic this time was I AM CREATIVE, I AM SMART! I thought, it would be great for the kids to hear, and to talk about it; Didier who scored the last goal that put Kiyovu FC to win Youth Sport Fc, told me that, he had such a great time, and he was happy to compete with kids from different places; “I am going to work hard, because I know my talent means something, I want to grow up and be more like Didier Drogba, I would love once to play in the champions league” Didier Said.
I believe there is hope here, they could be a benefit in and outside you if you could support the youth to achieve what they are passionate about; I myself I chose to try; I thank very much such organisations like Amitie Am Sand- Amizero that has been a great sponsor of the YFFP since last year 2013; I also thank very much as well Coca Cola
for their great support this time; I a pleasure to thank coaches of these teams, who work so hard to change so many people’s lives through football; thank you for every single child who came and played a peaceful champion and made this day a great one, I encourage the ones who lost to work hard for next year; congratulations to Kiyovu fC/ boys and Nyundo primary School FC/Girls for their win of championship. I also thank FERWAFA for coordinate football in Rwanda.
Jean Bosco Bakunzi is a Rwandan visual artist who chose to use his art to encourage the youth through different activities; I am also the founder of Uburanga Arts Studio
Are you interested in joining Youth Football for Peace or all to bring in more ideas; contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org