International Inspiration is using physical education (PE) and sport to improve the overall quality of education and explore the links between sport and culture. It is also raising awareness of issues that affect the security and well-being of young people, such as HIV, other sexual health challenges such as teenage pregnancy, and violence among peers in and out of school.
'Thanks to International Inspiration, football has given me a sense of purpose and helped me stay away from trouble. Our coach encourages us to play soccer and he guides us in life.'Tshepo, 14
Young people in South Africa are developing a sense of purpose so they can discuss harmful attitudes openly, make good life choices and share cultural experiences with their peers in the UK.
Reasons to celebrate
- Supporting the Government of South Africa reviewing its existing policy on PE and sport.
- 60 schools in South Africa and the UK have met face-to-face to share best practice and develop a two-year collaborative plan using sport as a tool to address challenges
- 30 pilot schools have been identified in provinces across South Africa with a view to nationwide expansion.
Many South African children remain out of school. The inclusion of disadvantaged children in school and the provision of a high-quality learning environment, especially for girls, still remains a challenge for the education system. Over the coming months, International Inspiration will work with the Government of South Africa to address this situation, using sport to encourage and motivate children and their families, communities and schools.
Four young sports leaders from South Africa participated in the UK School Games in 2009 and 2010. They gained new skills in leaderships, officiated in volleyball and athletics events, and made firm friends with their counterparts from 10 other countries involved in the programme. One young leader, Melodie, said: 'Telling and listening to each other's stories and backgrounds made me realise that one way or other we are somehow the same despite how different we might seem. I learnt important skills like communicating with different people and giving people a chance to express their views and beliefs.'
Window of hope
Tshepo lives in a run-down township near Witbank, eastern South Africa. International Inspiration is offering pupils like Tshepo a window of hope in a community that has little to look forward to; even most of the windows at his high school are broken. Local volunteers organise regular football games, which help give children a sense of purpose and teamwork. By giving these young people goals to aspire to, International Inspiration is helping to improve their self-confidence and boost their performance in class.
'A lot of the kids used to lack confidence before we started playing football, but now they have so much more belief in themselves. Football has given me a sense of purpose and helped me stay away from trouble. Our coach encourages us to play soccer and he guides us in life.' Tshepo, age 14