How A Few Balls Can Give Hope To Kids

How A Few Balls Can Give Hope To Kids

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Little did I know what the domino effect would be when Michael Gallus asked me if I would like to be a part of the work they are doing for the children of Uganda.

It was a truly fantastic when Michael Gallus, Volunteer Founding Director of Footys4all charity, met with Daniel Male from Uganda who had come to say “thanks” for restoring hope to 1,000’s of children across 16 schools in Uganda, Africa - all through the power of sport! 

What I love about Footys4all is that 100% of our donations go to kids as it is all run by volunteers.

Daniel Male is a courageous young teacher who travelled 11,000 km to thank those involved with the donations of sporting goods for students. (These children didn’t even have balls, but were using rubbish wrapped in elastic bands instead.) Daniel is passionate about restoring hope to the Ugandan children, to give them a spark in their lives and to see that their future can be bright.

"Thanks to the Footys4all Australian spirit, which follows the Australian tradition created across many generations of hardship and challenges of sticking up for the underdog. Through the power of soccer and the passion of humanity we have established a spark of hope for Ugandan African children suffering in extreme poverty, which is both exciting and life-changing." - Daniel Male

Please read the story below by Michael Gallus, founding director of Footys4all, about how the people of two nations separated by 1,000's of kilometers united to change the world through the power of sport.

Late last year in 2017, Joanne Ciantar, President of the Caroline Springs Westside Strikers Soccer Club, North West of Melbourne, wanted to make a difference to others. Their club donated superseded soccer jerseys and shorts to Footys4all to distribute to kids in need.

Then, Daniel Male from Kampala in Uganda, Africa contacted me via Facebook. He was in Melbourne looking for some soccer clothing and equipment for a school he worked at in Uganda called the Amazing Grace Primary School in the Luwero District of Kampala City.

Unfortunately as I was working full-time as a primary teacher, I was unable to meet with Daniel due to his busy Australian schedule, but I was able to promise Footy4all footballs and Footy4all Gilbert netballs, along with the Westside Strikers Soccer Club clothing donation. Daniel sent a friend who picked up the uniforms, trophies, soccer balls and netballs, which were stuffed to the brim into three suitcases, to be gifted to Daniel in Uganda.

We received photos and videos of the overwhelmed children and teachers playing soccer in their new uniforms with their brand new Footys4all balls.  We were pleased to have made a difference in these kids lives all the way from Australia.  Little did we know that this was just the beginning of something extraordinary.

“Sport speaks to youth in a language that they understand. It is more powerful than governments, race and religion in creating hope where there once was despair. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does.”  - Nelson Mandela.

Daniel contacted me earlier this year to ask if he could use my name for a soccer and netball tournament at sixteen Ugandan primary schools.   All these Schools are in Luwero district, which is north of Kampala City.  Luwero district was the most war-affected area between 1980 and 1986..

These kids might not have shoes, but they now have balls, not banana leaves and rubbish to play with.  They are so happy.  These kids are so poor. The work by Footys4all has made a huge impact in these kids lives. 

These kids might not have shoes, but they now have balls, not banana leaves and rubbish to play with.  They are so happy.  These kids are so poor. The work by Footys4all has made a huge impact in these kids lives. 

Daniel wanted to call it The 2018 Michael Gallus Ugandan Soccer and Netball Tournament, which will begin in April and finish with finals in late July, with grand finals in early August. I was humbled and honoured to be given this recognition.  He then asked if it was possible for me to fly over to present the trophy in early August?  He also said that he was coming to Melbourne in February and asked if we could meet up to discuss, to which I excitedly replied “yes”.

War has ravaged the area we are looking at running the tournament in.  Children are struggling for food, clothing and water, like many other rural parts of Africa.  The support from Melbourne, Australia delivers to the children, teachers and parents something far more significant than the clothing, trophies and soccer and netballs supplied. This act of kindness and compassion from Australians 11,236 km's away delivered hope to children in the schools and communities of Uganda.

"The support from all the way from Australia is regarded as a great blessing by the people of Uganda. We cannot thank Michael and Footys4all enough for caring about us from so far away.  Many schools are going to participate in this tournament and the children are so excited to be able to play sport.  Hundreds of children in this community have not been getting such a privilege or opportunity to exercise their sporting talents and we believe that this being the first tournament of its kind in our area and country of Uganda-supported from Australia, it's going to help so many children develop their talents." - Daniel Male.

Footys4all it is not rocket science it is just Footys4all, and it works! Just ask Daniel Male and the children of Kampala, Uganda, Africa.

Read about my wonderful day with Michael and my son James handing out balls to special needs kids here.

See the full interview from SBS here.

How Can You Help?

Kids of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia your turn is here to help the kids of Uganda Africa who most sadly have never seen, let alone played, with a real soccer ball. They have been so excited by Daniel setting up the Michael Gallus Cup across 16 schools and thousands of kids, but they still have no soccer balls to train with. I need your help to change this and to donate a new or near new soccer ball for me to send to Daniel in Africa.

Your parents can help too by donating $5 with every soccer ball to help us to pay for the postage to Uganda Africa.

Here is your chance kids to be the change you want to see in the world! Please also write a letter or draw a picture to send to the kids in Uganda telling them to not lose hope and to keep going as you care about them!

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All your help is much appreciated and will change the lives of children who also have few other personal possessions. Many of these kids have no parents either so your Australian support will make a huge difference and give these kids hope.  

I spoke with Michael this morning.  He is meeting with Bill Shorten.  I loved the way Michael said we are only asking for a few balls for these kids, not a full stadium or oval, only balls.  Scouts have now started to come to see these kids play to offer them a scholarship to schools.  The domino effect of your donation is huge.  We can never put a price on education and hope.

Thank you for reading and for sharing with others, and for your donations to footys4all.  

Stay tuned as Michael will write us an article on his trip to Africa in August so you will see what a difference you have helped to make to these children.

Carolyn Rowland is a qualified NLP Master Therapist, Advanced Practitioner of Matrix Therapies, Time Line Therapist, Practitioner of Hypnotherapy, has a Diploma for Business and Life Coaching and A Professional Image Stylist.  Carolyn is happily married to her husband Simon, and raised four beautiful children, who are now young adults and a teenager.

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