FOOTBALL HAS THE POWER TO UNITE AND BRING HOPE
For several years, hummel® has been supporting non-profit organisations in Sierre Leone. Organisations that use sport as a mean to convey the importance of – and teach the country’s local communities about human rights, public health and education as they battle the repercussions of the civil war and an Ebola epidemic.
Right now, hummel is working closely together with the organization Football for a New Tomorrow (FANT) on projects that aim to create development and positive change for marginalized groups. FANT primarily uses football to create unity and understanding across religion, class distinctions and social laws.
Together with FANT, we have produced a short documentary titled “The impossible Team”. The documentary seeks to enhance the support for the football team Flying Star Amputees where all the players are victims of civil war amputations.
It will touch your heart
In the documentary, we follow the team’s new ambassador, former pro-player Jonathan Richter, closely. Jonathan is listed as one of the unluckiest football players in the world, as he got struck by lightning during a football game resulting in him having one of his legs amputated.
The documentary highlights how football brings joy, confidence and hope for a better future to the disabled of Sierra Leone.
You can watch the documentary by clicking on the video to your right – and, to quote the Flying Star Amputee captain himself, we promise that “you will be touched in your heart".
Sierra Leone is amongst the poorest countries in the world, still recovering from the civil war and an Ebola epidemic. This has left many families and communities suffering under harsh living conditions.
Football is gigantic in Sierra Leone. Kids and youngsters are playing almost everywhere and for them, the dream of a professional football career is also the dream of a way out of poverty.
Meet the team members
Former pro-footballer Jonathan Richter (center of the photo) is ambassador for the Flying Star Amputees. Jonathan got struck by lightning during one of his football games. He was dead for 41 minutes – but survived thanks to the first aid team. He was kept in a coma for 11 days and due to serious damage, his left leg had to be amputated.
It was the first time ever Jonathan tried amputee football and he was more than impressed by the skills of the team. It takes enormous strength and unique technique to master playing in sand with crutches.
The team’s goalkeepers are either missing an arm or have no hands. All outfield players only have one leg.
The team’s leading goalkeeper, Ibrahim, was captured by rebel soldiers during the civil war. The soldiers tied his hands together and sat them on fire. Ibrahim works as a truckdriver and is also designing and producing bags in his home outside Freetown.
YOUR DISABILITIES DOESN'T DEFINE YOU
FANT and Jonathan Richter facilitated a workshop for the Flying Star Amputees at the FANT office. On the agenda was, amongst other things, how to inspire the team members to not let their disabilities define who they are as a person.
About FANT and Flying Star Amputees
Football for A New Tomorrow (FANT) is a humanitarian organisation that through the establishment and operation of sports associations works to create development and change for marginalized groups in Sierra Leone. FANT uses football to create unity and understanding across religion, class barriers and social laws.
FANT works closely with the organisation Flying Star Amputees. Flying Star Amputees runs a football team consisting of players that are all amputee victims from the civil war. Together, FANT and Flying Star Amputees use the power of sport to mobilize disabled persons in sports clubs and football networks.
For FANT and Flying Star Amputees, sport works to improve the well-being and inclusion of people with disabilities in two ways – by changing what communities think and feel about people with disabilities and by changing what people with disabilities think and feel about themselves.
Together, the organisations strengthen the social network and improve the self-confidence of disabled people, while they also teach them about democratic principles and basic human rights.
Watch Cecilie Hauerberg, Co-Founder of FANT, elaborate on the non-profit organisation and the work it does in Sierra Leone here.