Intern Blogpost 3
A charity which has the unbelievable power to unite all three areas of Hout Bay on the football field and nurture their children through empowerment and mentorship, thereby uplifting the whole community. Off the pitch they provide their youth the guidance required to help them along their journey through education and towards gainful employment.
Walking into the HBUFC office I was immediately greeted with an inauguration ping pong match and an introduction to the HBUFC philosophy.
In Hout Bay, the community is divided in three by the transparent barriers of apartheid. A thick body of massive whole felled trees divides one community from the other leaving no room for cultures to associate amicably.
The soccer field is the only place where you will see all races come together around the pitch and show their support for each other- something very special which challenges the deepest of deep misunderstanding between the history of cultures and races everywhere.
From the first day, I realised how much of a powerful influence I had on the children and the community at large. After growing up in an environment where I tactically learnt how to play football since the age of 4, I coached the children the same way I was taught- watching them smile as they realised they were finally being taught how to play football the right way, rather than on the streets, and in masses of bodies chasing after one ball made out of plastic bags and string, suffering horrendous infections, cuts, and burns. They also became obsessed with the way I looked asking how I was born with such smooth hair. They then asked me if players like MESSI and RONALDO were real, genuinely believing they were from a different planet and told me they don’t ever die.
When I first looked at these boys, I saw them by their bodies, their eyes, their skin, their ambience. Soon, these all became second nature as I began to see them through their awareness and consciousness viewing the world just like myself, but through different eyes. I wanted them to understand that no one has anymore importance or purpose than anyone else- a man made concept passed down through generations of their parents and grandparents own insecurities and viewpoints. I told them these players and celebrities come from the same place as us, they have mothers just like us, and they have problems just like us, but in a world fabricated with luxuries, riches, and fame, it is hard to visualise them having those problems when you live in a 5 ft by 10ft shack with no running water or electricity.
I came out here initially to coach and help out in the charity wherever I felt useful. After coaching and mentoring these children, I have truly fallen in love with them. They come to me every day to show off something special, or tell me how many goals they’ve scored or a funny joke they’ve learnt. They will accompany me when going to get heavy equipment and help me set up, just to get a precious few minutes of socialisation from someone who will actually listen, talk, and joke with them like they are just as important. I have become someone these children can confide in because a lot of them go home to lonely households where they are shut down and become emotionally unavailable.
After the children united on the football pitch, I was able to listen to their beliefs and educate them- trying to make them aware that they are not simply a product of their skin colour or gender. Primitively, we are here to survive and reproduce, but we must challenge these basic human instincts while exploring and understanding ourselves and most importantly, evolving as a human race. While they may not have found their purpose yet, they can grow and move forward with a newfound curiosity for personal growth and limitless ambitions.
I received from this experience just as much as I gave to the children. I learnt how happy and kind u can be in a world with nothing. And I also learnt how to inspire and teach children to use their own awareness to form their own beliefs and question everything instead of just believing what they are told. I gave everyone here my heart and they returned love.
Various interns that spend time working for the Hout Bay United Football Community