The launch of new initiatives both Stateside and abroad made 2013 the biggest and best year yet for CFDP. Unrelenting in our efforts to drive ahead in 2014, we want to reflect on all the things that made us love 2013.
#1 – Play for a Purpose!
Initially launched by our favorite Pitt soccer player / intern Nico Wrobel, April 2013 saw the first initiative that created the opportunity for everyone to make a global impact by simply playing their favorite game. The Play for a Purpose movement quickly caught on with local soccer enthusiasts, with the University of Pittsburgh holding three tournaments last year. High school students from Wheeling, West Virginia, hosted a tournament as well. Also Playing for a Purpose was the York High School Girls Soccer Team, who hosted a middle school soccer camp, and raised $760 for our programs in Cameroon. The Nativity Lutheran Church also joined the movement last year, driven by a passionate soccer heads, hosting a friendly match which raised $200.Finally, Montreal coach Isabel Julian facilitated the Goals for Growth program, where our supporters pledged monetary donations for each goal that her team scored. More on this one in 2014…
Don’t scroll down without checking this brand-new video here!
#2 – Our Friends at the Pittsburgh East Rotary Club
Last year, we were lucky enough to build a wonderful relationship with the great people who make up the Pittsburgh East Rotary Club. This fantastic group of professionals believes in our mission and our people on the ground and worked tirelessly to help us submit and win our first official grant. Thanks to this club, and the GREAT organization that is Rotary International, CFDP benefited from $22,000 in program funds for 2013-2014. The Youth Enrichment Football League in Kumba is the result. We are extremely grateful for our friendship. If you live in Pittsburgh, please join us on the First and Third Thursdays at Coffee Tree Roasters in Shadyside at 8:30am.
#3 – Growth of After-School Programs
The After-School Programs in Kumba took an immeasurable leap forward last year. With changes to the curriculum, the establishment of CFDP clubs at the local schools, and the support of the entire community, we have found the recipe for sustainability.
First, we engaged older youth as mentors and role models for younger youth who become peer educators. Thanks to our partnership with the US Peace Corps, we were able to launch the program in unprecedented style, and have kept the momentum going throughout the Fall Term! We are excited to see this initiative flourish in 2014.
#4 – The Beginning of Pittsburgh Programs
In 2013, we did not limit our mission and vision to the youth in Kumba. Rather, we looked to help develop youth in the communities of our stateside home of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Along with our new partners Pittsburgh Soccer in the Community, we have implemented our programs in three Pittsburgh locations to date, which are located in Wilkinsburg (where we celebrated the Global Peace Games) and Garfield, as well as at the Imani Christian Academy. This is just the beginning – we’re expecting to expand our reach to more communities this year.
#5 – A Fantastic Board of Directors
After two years as an organization, we have finally engaged a highly motivated, intelligent, and credible Board of Directors. They are a massive reason why the other items on this list have been possible. But it doesn’t stop in Pittsburgh. The Cameroon Board of Directors is more engaged than ever and we expect big things from them in the New Year.
The US Board has just returned from a retreat at the Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management, and are ready to continue their game-changing work this year! We’d like to thank the entire group for their hard work!
#6 – The Youth Enrichment Football League
Funded by the Pittsburgh East Rotary Club, we could never have imagined what the Youth Enrichment Football League has developed into. The YEFL has changed the way youth soccer is played in Kumba. Every match transcends the way the game is played, with a different life skill focus every time they players take to the pitch (peace, discipline, self-respect, etc.). Games are worth ten points total: three for a win. two if the players avoid yellow cards, one for arriving on time, one for pregame educational activities, one for the team captain’s message to participants and spectators, one for coach’s leadership, and one for sportsmanship. With the focus turning to personal development, our youth has taken initiative and are now leading discussions on pertinent topics themselves.
With the great results from the YEFL, we hope to expand the league into surrounding communities this year!
#7 – The Best Taste of Africa Yet!
With a new venue, increased attendance, and an all-around memorable experience, our premier event, A Taste of Africa, was the best one yet! Held at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, the event saw our musicians get the crowd dancing and taste the delectable cuisine prepared by the Cameroonian Community of Pittsburgh. Thanks to the support of our friends, family, Pittsburgh community members, the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, and our sponsors for a successful night! We hope to see you again this fall!
The One That Didn’t Get Away!
If we could make an exception, we can’t complete this list without mentioning 2013’s women’s initiatives! We have made great strides in our women’s programs, partnering with Peace Corps to teach women and girls in Kumba to cook soya and make tofu, bead jewelry, and market themselves in the business world. This has led to stronger relationships with members of the community and reinforced our standing as a premier development NGO in K-town. We were a bit reluctant to include this one in the list… simply because we don’t know the results of our early endeavors. In coming months, we will work to measure the progress. Odds are, it will rank high on next year’s list!