This is an interview with a young strong girl who takes great innitiatives. She has collected more then 50 pairs of shoes for the kids to play soccer with and money for four teames to go to a soccer camp to learn more then just to play soccer. She also works for a great cause here in Africa, Zambia, Livingstone.
Emma Grzechnik Mörk
YWCA, Young Women Christian Association (Sprung from the idea of YMCA but for women and in Sweden called KFUM, Kristliga föreningen unga människor)
The Zambian organisation is very christian and religious. You pray together many times a day and before every meal. But in Sweden it is more about teamwork and doing sports.
In Sweden she is a mentor in Alnäs, Uppsala, a summercamp for children. She graduated two years ago and then studied english in Britain before coming to Africa.
I was interested in development projects and I had did a short visit to Zambia through school before, when writing my final thesis in Swedish gymnasium.
So she came across this project to go to Zambia. And she basically teaches people youth justice in a number comunities to kids who are in risk of getting in trouble.
We teach finacial education, the importance of saving. Life and health, how to stand strong on your own, also about the value of teamwork. And childrens health, the rights you have as a kid.
What is best with Zambia?
The people I have met, they are open and like a family. I have been sick a lot lately and it was tough, but then I have theese fantastic collegues who are really supporting, coming to my house and cook, driving me to the hospital, calling and caring. They show friendship in a great way here.
I met you first in Malawi a couple of weeks ago. And we talked about supporting your team mates. Heard you have done some progress since on your own, tell me?!
Yes. In fact you inspired me Fredrik. And I wrote about this on Facebook. I wanted to collect money for a soccer tournament teaching about Aids, Sports for youth tournament. They mix soccer with teaching and work shops. And people have really been supportive. We got so much so we had money for a first aid kit box and the tournament for four teams, even if my initial thought was supporting only my girl- team.
How did you come up with this project? When I started working here I saw people playing soccer in the getto. I asked to join and so I did. I did not tell my parents at first, they would not have liked to hear that. But people around me were really supportive and colleagues took turns watching me at practice. The coach was also very protective, allways sending me away before dawn in a cab. So then I started getting to know the kids and there difficulties in the getto. Many are orphants. From 16 many girls get pregnant or married. The players here are mostly between 10-18. Two girl teames and two boys team. They practice twice a week for about four hours.
YWCA used to have a project for supporting school fees for both boys and girls here but they only supported a certain amount of kids and it is not on any more. I feel it is so sad that this project ended. I want to fund my girls in the team and also the boys. I know theese people and I have a personal relation to them. For me that is important. I would like to help them and here and see that it goes well for them. It is comforting that we know each other and I believe they will use the money in a good way.
I have also talked to the kids here about sex and so now the coach does that for a litle bit, every practice before starting. The coach is very dedicated to help the kids and is many times talking to the parents to help them to do the best for the kids.
I meet the two coaches and Emma on the field. It is looking like some kind of field allright. Big bumps, ditches and some trash spread over a big open area partly with grass. There are about a hundred kids here from 3-18. Not many parents around to watch them. Usually the older sisters look after the younger ones.
I see a couple of spades by the field where some girls who has the flue sits with many soccer shoes by them. The tools are to dig ditches to not destroy the field so much by the heavy rains.
And the shoes are used ones from Sweden, thanks to Emma and here passion for the sport and this team. So she collected old shoes and now the kids can borrow them for practice.
So now Bike of good hope wants to help and donate. But lately it has troubled me that the fund seldom give things so the receivers actually can sustain themselves. So after some discussions with Emma and the coaches we come to a beautiful solution.
They will start two businesses. There are two players that have no dad and no work and because of that they both had to drop out of school six years ago. This gives us two possible hungry workers.
Then one of the coaches knows computers and have run a print and copy shop before. So we decide one of the guys will sit in that business, using the "lost" computer, which I as I write this, finally have received.
Then we will also buy a popcorn machine. They can buy popcorn and sell during the days and around the field for the soccer.
The next day I receive the parcel with computer and we decide Emma will get money for buying the popcorn machine.
The president of Round Table Zambia has promissed to make sure the computer and printer they receive in the end will be of great quality and value of money for K 9500 or ca 100 USD.
Everybody happy and hopes are that they can save the profit and expand. Supporting the team for sport clothes and footballs. And it feels great that theese two guys can start work allready next week!