Your donation to a Football Academy in Indonesia will give children skills, self-esteem and more opportunities in their future.
Sport has been proven to help children develop not only their physical fitness but also their cognitive development, social skills, self-esteem and mental health. In Central Kalimantan, where the minimum wage is well under $200 a month, parents have nothing left over at the end of the month for extracurricular activities for their children and there are few opportunities for many children.
The Borneo Football International Academy (BFIA) brings together children and youth from underprivileged backgrounds, with different religions and ethnicities, and gives them an opportunity to take part in a sporting activity and much more.
In Central Kalimantan, nearly 1 in 3 children aged 7-15 are not in school. The number is higher for older children. Even though school is compulsory in Indonesia, school fees and the cost of uniforms and books often make attendance impossible. Many Indonesian children also have to help their parents by taking paid jobs at an early age. Data from the Education and Culture Ministry showed that 1,014 million elementary school students either dropped out of school or did not continue to junior high school in 2015/2016.
Central Kalimantan has one of the highest growth stunting rates in Indonesia and BFIA has found that many of its young players are underweight and below average height. In addition, a high percentage of Indonesian adults smoke, a habit often begun as teenagers, along with other unhealthy and toxic behaviours such as alcohol and drug abuse.
The third major challenge faced by young people in Central Kalimantan is environmental. Borneo is one of the most bio-diverse places on earth, but is gradually losing its natural resources due to fires, deforestation, mercury pollution and mining activities.
The Borneo Football International Foundation is aware that an integrated approach is necessary to address the challenges faced by Central Kalimantan’s youngsters and for results to have a positive and long-lasting impact. Therefore, besides football training and the opportunity to take part in tournaments, participants have access to a holistic health and education programme.
BFIA’s footballers have access to educational materials, subsidies for school fees and, for those with excellent school performance, an opportunity to compete for scholarships. The children are also encouraged to join English and computer classes run by a neighbouring organization, Yayasan Usaha Mulia (YUM) – an NGO also associated to SDIA.
The project promotes awareness of the benefits of sport for a good mental and physical development and campaigns for the prevention of drug, alcohol and tobacco abuse. It also supplies potable water and a nutritious food supplement during trainings and monitors the health of participants.
The children also learn about the island they live on. Protecting Borneo from further destruction has become of global importance. It is therefore vital that these kids understand the importance of conserving their ‘backyards’.
Through its Youth Development Fund, BFIA is looking for funding to cover 30 scholarships for our young players. $195 per year covers the costs of one player for an entire year. This includes training and tournaments, but also:
- Football uniforms and boots
- Educational support to help children access school
- Regular participation in tournaments and cultural exchange activities
- Health monitoring and nutritional healthy food and drinks during trainings,
- Basic English
- Sponsorship to attend English or computer courses
- Participation in Conservation activities
Scholarships will help many youngsters participate in the programme who otherwise would be unable to.
SDIA is seeking to raise $6,450 USD to support the Borneo International Football Academy in this initiative.
Long Term Impact
Funding 30 children to take part in BFIA’s holistic programme will provide these youngsters not only with a regular healthy activity to help them keep fit, but also with educational support, important social skills, a solid nutritional grounding and awareness of healthy habits, and knowledge about the importance of protecting their precious environment. The young people will grow up, stronger and more self-confident, to become responsible and productive adults. The programme also has a snowball effect as young people have been known to influence their peers and help change their families’ habits.
Here are a couple of testimonials about participants of the BFIA’s football programme:
Nikko, a Dayak Muslim boy living in Tangkiling is 12 years old. His mother says that attending the football academy has been really good for Nikko because he has changed. “Now Nikko helps me in the house and even washes the dishes! He doesn’t disappear in the afternoons; he stays at home and likes to play with his football in the kitchen”. Nikko’s mom believes this change in attitude is because he has learned discipline through the football trainings.
Lala (13), Daniel, Davin (12) and Dandy (11) are Dayak Christian sister and brothers living in Sei Gohong. Their parents say: “We are very grateful that our four children are in the Academy because we know they are in a safe place, engaging in good activities. It is good that our kids can drink milk or eat mung beans during trainings, because we cannot afford it”.
The twins look after their younger brother who has had a tough start in life with a deformed foot making it difficult to join their friends’ games when he is barefoot. When the brothers are able to get second-hand shoes, they prefer to save them for Dandy, so that he can play football and other games without pain. When Lala comes home from school, she helps take care of her brothers and cooks for the family because her mom is working; on weekends, she has a part-time job and contributes to household expenses. Attending football training and learning IT and English with her friends is an opportunity for Lala to have time for herself, time to be a child.
BFIA’s official video 2016