Last month, the GPS Foundation partnered with Cheryl Nelson, parent coordinator of the GPS MA Elite White 01 team, on her mission to the African nation of Malawi where the club tackled education, public health, and of course soccer.
Nelson works in the field of International Development in Medicine, and part of her advanced studies saw her travel to the nation of Malawi where she worked with the Malawi Children’s Mission.
The Malawi Children’s Mission, MCM for short, is an orphanage that was founded in 2007. The focus of the organization is to not only provide basic necessities like food and shelter but also provide them with luxuries enjoyed by non-orphans such as education all with the purpose of showing the children that they have value, a purpose and a bright future.
GPS Foundation and the club, intrigued and eager to help Nelson on her mission, put their full weight behind this obviously important cause that aligns directly with the Foundation’s core mission.
The club provided the MCM with coaching curriculum, such as practice sessions and other helpful materials, in order for them to begin coordinating their own soccer program at the school. While they do have teachers, equivalent of PE teachers, who get the kids moving and participating in sports, they often have no formal training or experience teaching the game of soccer.
With the curriculum in place, the kids needed equipment to go out there and play their best. A few dozen soccer balls, a plethora of cones, t-shirts, and jerseys were donated to the MCM. All of the items donated were brand new.
Nets were also donated to make their goalposts a bit more official looking for a special treat for the children, a tournament played between the MCM children and the Government School children that was hosted on Malawi’s Day of Independence.
Sport was not the only focus of the mission however, as medical assistance was being provided by Nelson in addition to her regular volunteer work. GPS donated Malaria prevention bed nets for the children as well.
The GPS MA Elite 01 team, coached by GPS Foundation director Steve Schechter, gathered and donated children’s books for the MCM to have and read. They went a step further however by having each team member be recorded reading a book in English, so the children at MCM can learn English while reading along with them.
About the GPS Foundation
GPS Foundation is a non-profit 501c3 organization based in Waltham MA. The foundation was born out of Global Premier Soccer’s commitment to enriching kids’ lives regardless of socio-economic and other barriers. The GPS Foundation exists to create opportunities for kids both in the US and abroad. Through soccer, we bring the joys and learning that come along with the most beautiful game. We build relationships with children, families, and communities in a relentless campaign to enrich young people’s lives as students, athletes, and future leaders.