April 28, 2010

Advance Work Complete

Posted in Advance Trip at 12:42 am by kampala2capetown

Greetings Kampala 2 Cape Town super fans, thanks for being patient, we apologize for the delay between posts. We have completed the advance work and the planning team is happy to have traveled the 5,000 miles and come away healthy and with a great new understanding of technology and the power of football to move and inspire people. We are excited by what is forming as we grow closer and closer to the World Cup, but more on that for the next post.

The final steps on our Kampala 2 Cape Town advance trip journey consisted of short stopovers in Windhoek, Namibia and Cape Town, South Africa. It was in these two countries that a purpose for the project really clarified. The project vision sharpened when we got to meet with a potential group of beneficiaries.

One early afternoon in Namibia we came upon youth playing football on the outskirts of the informal settlements of Windhoek, a region called Katutura. The setting was in great contrast to what is found in the well developed downtown area of Windhoek.

Most of the homes in the area are tightly spaced tin homes without reliable electricity or running water. For the young soccer players who lived in these homes, we wanted to know, where would you watch the world cup? We were toured around the settlements and brought to the one of two places in Katutura where the games could be watched.

What we found gave the advance team shivers. We were taken to a stuffy and loud bar, that even In the middle of the day, was occupied with adults consuming alcohol. The TV was quite small, and the viewing space could possibly hold 75 people comfortably. We considered the viewing experience youth might have here and felt a renewed passion for the project.

After taking in the scene at bar and discussing with local community members.  We walked over to a wonderful community center at the heart of Katutura.  Inside the hall, which could hold close to 200 young people, we discussed the project with local residents, and the hard realizations of what it would be really like trying to put together world cup viewing venues became apparent. The dream of outdoor venues for thousands would raise incredible security risks, and there was possibilities for the party that we saw in the bar to easily take over a public venue. What we would need to plan for smaller gatherings that offered a safe and secure space.

As we headed out of Namibia our new friends posed for a picture, something of importance to take with us as we continued our planning for a once-in-a-lifetime world cup experience.

We landed in Cape Town a few days later then we had hoped and had only a few days to spare. However, we made the most of our time, visiting the new Green Point Stadium and finishing our trip symbolically at the FIFA Football for Hope Center.

Our team is now finalizing the plans for Kampala 2 Cape Town and our next post will be exciting and reveal our path forward…