We teach marginalised children and youth how to build an active, self-sufficient life.
Our approach is built on our values such as fair play, respect, team-spirit and how to overcome challenges, all with a view to assisting young people in making intelligent choices for a better future. The academy runs a number of programmes that contribute to long-lasting positive social change.
The LYFA is focused on improving the quality of lives of all the players in the academy as well as the wider community. Good nutrition is such an important area to focus on as it is essential to good health and well-being. Football is an intense physical activity and for players to play for a full 90 minutes it requires a combination of fitness and sufficient nutrition. One of the ways we can help to achieve this is by giving players a snack every time they come to training or play a match. Providing players with this extra energy source before training gives them more energy during the session to play to their full ability.
Bicycle Education Empowerment
With limited and often unaffordable transport options in Zambia, getting to school and training can take significant time out of the day. It’s not uncommon for a child in Zambia to walk a 15km round trip to and from school everyday. With the provision of bicycles for our players in our new programme for 2019, they can now get to these places easier and faster. Some of our more entrepreneurial players are even using the bicycles to help carry tools and equipment around for their small businesses. As long as they commit to participating in community development initiatives and keeping a good school attendance, they have full use of the bike which they can even share within their friends & families.
Health Education & HIV Testing
Twenty of our academy players have been trained as ‘peer educators’ who go into local communities to deliver football sessions designed to educate young people about HIV and other health-related topics. The weekly sessions, designed by partner organisation, Tackle Africa, create a safe space to learn about and discuss sensitive issues in a way that they enjoy, remember and understand. So far, we have worked with over 520 young people and delivered more than 300 sessions to 12 different communities. We combine this with regular tournaments where players can access a free sexual health screening, contraception and counselling, all at the pitch side.
We a strong believers that sports should be accessible by anyone and everyone, regardless of gender, race, economic position, religion and ability. Every Saturday we run a football-for-all session where anyone aged 10-25 can come along and have a kick around at our grounds, free of charge! Playing football is a great way to contribute to fit & healthy lifestyle. It reduces the chance of becoming overweight or obese, and reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In addition, youth players also develop stronger muscles, stronger bones, and improved coordination. Football also develops social skills, teamwork, communication skills, self-esteem and enhanced cognition.