Open Field (formerly CameroonFDP) is a Pittsburgh-based 501.c.3 nonprofit organization and registered association in Meme Division (Southwest Region, Cameroon, Africa) with the mission to improve the lives and futures of youth through sport. Open Field was founded by American, Justin Forzano, and Cameroonian, Peter Ngwane. The two met in 2006 during Forzano’s first trip to Cameroon, Africa as an engineering student working on rural development projects.
In early 2010, the co-founders embarked on a mission to fill a void in social infrastructure by implementing Sport for Good programs. Initial activities included an educational youth soccer camp in 2010, followed by after-school programs and international team exchange in 2011.
In 2013, Open Field was awarded our first grant from The Rotary Foundation, with support from Pittsburgh East Rotary Club, to pilot a new program model that integrated health and social education directly into community soccer leagues. The following year Open Field gained entrance into streefootballworld, the premier global network of Football for Good organizations. In 2015, Open Field received funding from the FIFA Foundation (formerly FIFA Football for Hope) and has been supported every year since then.
Beginning in 2017, Open Field began developing and testing a new model for Sport for Good that put youth at the center of all activities. Various components of our youth-led, community-based approach were introduced and tested in 4 neighborhoods in the Southwest Region of Cameroon in 2017 and expanded to 3 more in 2018, including one in a city in the Northwest Region.
In addition to hosting competitions and several educational sessions per week for more than 3,000 youth over the years, Open Field has created life-changing experiences for youth, such as the Super Cup to Develop Young Leaders for boys in 2015 and the Super Cup to Empower Girls alongside the Africa Women Cup of Nations, which Cameroon hosted in 2016. In 2018, Open Field’s select U-15 boys soccer team from Cameroon was invited to participate in the SATUC World Cup in Bulgaria (Europe). It was our first international tournament.