Mawela Mashinini is a founder of the Hope Games tournament which is made up of teams of young boys between the ages of 14-15 years old. It is an annual event which runs from 16 December till 31 December at 10:00am -17:00 pm.
The main purpose of this tournament is to keep the kids away from the streets during the holidays. Knowing that children have an intuitive mind and they are always curious, things like forming gangs, using drugs and alcohol tend to interest them because they are not occupied. Having something to do, like playing soccer contributes to keeping the kids busy and never have time to think about silly things.
The Hope Games have several intentions. Apart from keeping these kids occupied throughout the festive season, with the proceeds received from this initiative 203 children’s annual school fees will be covered, and they will be assisted with uniforms. Also during the duration of the tournament (15 days), 200 children will be fed daily. This translates to 3000 children that will be fed over the period. They envisage to keep this kind of study support going throughout until tertiary level, to those who will still be eager to study that far. The long term objective is to groom a responsible and an educated young community.
So far, two of these kids have been selected to join Orlando Pirates academy and Mamelodi Sundows academy. This is to show that their talents are recognized and this tournament is not just for fun.
Mr Mashinini also mentioned that they have tried to gather girls to be part of these games because his intention is not only to focus on boys but to focus on each and every child in the village. They are in search of a woman who can work with them to have young girls join and have indigenous games, girl soccer team,netball team. They are hoping to reach this goal by the year 2020.
It is said that a child is raised by a community and Mr Mashinini is living up to that saying.
May we continue supporting The Hope Games and attending matches just to show that this good work is being recognized.