I'd love you to read this and then watch this:
It's lovely to be part of a good news story for a change. The media persecute us mercilessly, as a rule. Mindless stories about mollycoddled bad guys sell papers but don't help anyone else.
The Football For Life project in South Africa is just fab. The kids the project aims to help are growing up in poverty and gangland culture. Many of them are fatherless too. The football coaches are trained to mentor the kids they work with, using football as a distraction from gang activity, and a way to channel gang rivalry (better to fight it out metaphorically through a football match than literally fight it out). Along with the football they deliver messages about health, and some education, and a bit of surrgogate fatherhood. I think it's a wonderful thing but it's not just what I think - there is statistical evidence for the reduced murder rate in the area, for reduced teenage pregnancy among the girls they're working with, etc..
Glasgow The Caring City are our main link with the Monte Christo Ministries project in South Africa, and they are in partnership with World Emergency Relief who made the video.
If you're looking for a project for your church or school you could contact Ross at Glasgow The Caring City and offer to sponsor a team in South Africa for their football kit for a year. £250 is an achievable sum (a non-uniform day at school or a dress down day at work, for example?) which would make a world of a difference to the lives of these kids. But they'd accept any money of course. I know for a fact that their football shirts and boots would be their most prized possessions. The plan is eventually to post the projects' football teams' scores on the internet so that folk can follow the performance of the team they're sponsoring. What with the World Cup being in South Africa (without Scotland though, sadly) it is a project that has the potential to capture the imagination of kids as well as prisoners.