Hope Is Where The Heart Is

AS the World Cup is beamed into homes across the globe Norman Brook has contacted the Naked Leader to highlight the work done by the Football Association’s charity, Coaching for Hope.

Coaching for Hope is an innovative programme which uses football to create better futures for young people in West and Southern Africa. It is part of the international volunteering and development charity, Skillshare International.

Norman is regional programme manager for the charity based in Southern Africa. ‘Coaching for Hope is using football to change lives,’ says Norman. ‘In particular young people who we are developing as leaders such as Nothembo Bambiso who accompanied David Beckham recently to hand over the England 2018 bid.’

The charity taps into the universal passion of football and organise coaching courses where professional coaches from the UK train local youth workers to recognised FA standards.

At the same time, the local coaches learn how to deliver HIV awareness sessions to young people in their communities. So the organisation is helping to create leaders and once the UK coaches leave, the programme staff provide ongoing support to the graduates. This means they can delver Coaching for Hope sessions and develop training initiatives of their own.

With 30,000 children having benefited from the sessions, as well as 700 coaches, it has to be a worthwhile cause. The kids are vulnerable, often orphans or with disabilities who have little access to sport and health education. Helping them in this way means they have the chance to play football in proper kit and take part in a tournament. It can be a life-changing experience which raises their confidence and self-esteem and builds valuable life skills.

While the stars of the World Cup will be the focus of our attention in South Africa, it is worth reflecting on the unsung heroes such as Norman who are rallying round for such an excellent cause. Along with many groups and organisations, he is working to help reduce poverty, injustice and equality. The charity does this by sharing and developing skills and ideas, facilitating organisational and social change and building awareness of development issues. They deserve the biggest cheer this summer.


  • Mary-hull

    This is a great idea and I am pleased that, with the focus on the football, there is wonderful work being done in SA allied to leadership as this is so important for the well-being of the individuals involved. To give them a purpose. I am extremely pleased to know so much is being done to help youngsters prosper.

  • Chris

    Just watched the game between England and America and it shows you how far the Americans have come that they can draw against one of the world's superpowers. It's a great result for them and not so good for us although we will still make the group stage. will the other nations be scared of us. I think not. But it was a great atmosphere and I think a draw was a fair result.

  • Chris

    Also, what an excellent article on the state of football in Africa and just what it means for some youngsters to be helped in this way. The charity seems to be an excellent one and for the education of youngsters to be taking place in such a vulnerable society I think it's a wonderful.Leaders are those who are able to take others with them. To think there are leaders being nurtured out there shows that leaders are made not born.I think the ethos of the NL has always been that life is your choice. I guess this proves that. Those people who are benefiting from the help is South Africa were not born to be leaders but now they are being guided in the right way they might well become one. Great stuff.

  • Paul

    Wow, a real worthwhile cause and one that promotes leadership. that must be a wonderful project to work on and certainly one to come through if you are one of the pupils of the scheme. You just pack in lots of learning and are then able to pass on that message to others. Good stuff.

  • mary

    It's a good thing when something so tangible comes from the World Cup. Helping others and getting Premier League stars from this country involved to help others is a worthwhile cause and I expect makes them feel better too. They are putting their wealth and fame to goo use.

  • mark

    I suppose there has to be good coming out of such a large project.The world cup looks to be such a major event for the country but the infrastructure left will be difficult to justify. Especially when kids are starving etc. In that way the tournament and the money spent seems a bit extreme but there is no doubt that a lot of people will benefit. I just hope it's a long-lasting legacy.

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