City Youth FC Trustee charity visit to Zambia
St Albans City Youth Trustee Alan Moorhouse has recently returned from a charity visit to Lusaka, Zambia, where a number of surplus and used St Albans City Youth kits, and kits provided by charity KITAID, were donated to local communities and youth football clubs in the Lusaka area. The visit was organised by Baraka Community Charity.
The visit was inspired by an earlier trip to Gambia in West Africa with Ian Stapleton’s charity, Football Gambia.
Alan was invited to attend a local match between Chawama United and Brave Warriors at the Chawama Community in Lusaka. The community market area was partly cleared and goalposts erected. The game was played with great skill and outstanding sporting spirit on a sandy surface with no pitch markings. Local interest was provided by a fair crowd of football spectators and interested market goers. The match was refereed by local footballer Joseph Banda who wore kit donated by referees from Bedfordshire. This was the first time a referee in complete kit had been seen by many locals.
The game finished 2 goals to 1 in favour of Brave Warriors, with goals from Eddy Lungu and BJ Mathews. The Chawama goal was scored direct from a corner by Mutale Bwalya. The locality has a community football league of 18 teams. Each team has 4 categories including under 10, under 12, under14 and under 17 age groups. Under the auspices locally of Andrew Tembo, the Baraka Community Charity sponsors community sports in the Chawama area.
A rural village tournament was subsequently held further afield in Central Zambia and a self explanatory letter received from Andrew Tembo of Baraka is set out below:
To sum up our work in the Rural Communities of Kapiri Mposhi Central Zambia, we organised a sports tournament that featured 3 rural schools. This resulted into a come together even for these communities and over 400 community members were treated with some form of recreation. 3 of the football kits were handed over to the schools and also the Referee kit. It was the first time in these communities to see a Referee dressed in full kit and also looking smart. The schools that benefited from the kit are as follows; Lupampa ( a community school situated 55 km from the nearest town out in the forest), Chimbo (35 km from the nearest town and Kabwale (15 km from the nearest town). These schools are meant to compete with other schools from the towns and they have all along been competing by taking off their shirts while others have soccer shirts on them.
A big thank you message from the villages
Alan, who is also a Councillor with a local Football Association, also visited the Zambia Football Association and met Technical Director, Honor Janza, who was previously a Zambia International player and Manager of the National Team.
A visit was made to the National Heroes Memorial adjacent to the new Zambia National Stadium, and a floral tribute laid, along with a moment of silent respect, in memory of the Zambia National football team which perished in an air crash in Gabon en route to a World Cup qualifying match on 27th April 1993. A total of 30 people perished including FA members, management, press and, the team of international players. The disaster claimed the lives of Zambian Football Heroes including Godfrey Chitalu, team manager and player who scored a reputed world record of 119 first class goals in a single season in 1972; Alex Chola coach and ball juggling former Zambia Footballer of the year; and David Efford Chabala a goalkeeper and Zambia sportsman of the year, who had a record 108 caps.
This was a particularly sombre and difficult occasion for Alan’s friend and guide Cosmas Phiri who knew or played football alongside a number of these National Heroes. He recalled how the country fell silent, the streets emptied, people were lost for words, and the tears flowed for days and weeks and months. He went on to recall how another great Zambia player, Kalu Bwalya, who was in Europe with PSV Eindhoven and missed the plane trip, rallied the country and eventually as manager took the National side (nicknamed Chipolopolo) to victory against Ivory Coast in the African Nations Cup final in 2012 at Libreville, Gabon.
En route home, Alan visited the Football Association of Ethiopia at their Headquarters at the Yidnekachew Tessema Stadium in Addis Ababa.