Volunteers change their local environment by improving quality of life for their neighborhoods, communities, and local charitable organizations. Regional recipients of their altruism are made better by their presence. Quality of life is enhanced and personal satisfaction soars. Knowing that they make a difference in their home towns, local church groups, or community action programs creates a net worth within these enclaves that cannot be measured by dollars dropped into donation jars. For many volunteers, it is the personal satisfaction that comes with knowing that he or she has helped in some meaningful way. But while volunteers often illicit change close to home, many seek out charity that inspires them, correlates with a set of personal values, or as a means to pay forward a generous act. When we think of the volunteer, though, it can sometimes be easy to forget that this microcosm in which we live isn’t confined to our neighborhood blocks. It is not zoned along districts or dissected across city, county, or state lines. People don’t give in silos or receive in shackles. We don’t inhabit only our place on a map, we inhabit the map. No, giving is not a local phenomenon, it’s happening in places all over the world. When we can begin to think in such grand terms as nations, the world, or the human race then we are reminded that ultimately, we are a community of one. Then our actions take on grander scale and we begin to improve not just the lives of those closest to us, but the lives of humans as a global society. Perhaps then we can be one step closer to achieving global unity and peace. With that in mind, the Blogunteer has stepped to the periphery of community action blogging, looked out on the vast expanses of the global volunteering community and has decided to once again profile an organization beyond the borders of the United States — an organization with a global “playing field”.
Friend of EduSport, based in the United Kingdom, is an International fundraising and advocacy support organization with global influence. It originated in Falkirk, Scotland in 2007 and now has regional development committees operating in Scotland, Bath, Southampton, and London with International links to dedicated supports all across the globe – America, Australia, New Zealand, Dubai, Norway, and Zambia (to name a few). Their mission is to, “unlock the potential of young people through education and sport”. Using sport as the platform, they have three basic outcomes to achieve this mission: to educate, to empower, and to inspire.
Friend of EduSport was founded by natives of Scotland; Fiona Campbell and Derek Keir; after a visit to Lusaka, the capital city of Zambia. Now, I must interject here with a bit of history for you, my loyal reader. This is not, of course, to suggest that you need any help in expanding your world view, but when speaking in such broad terms as global altruism provides, there must necessarily be an educational component. Only by knowing where a place is, can we truly understand the vastness of goodwill and the physical boundaries it supersedes. And has, in all recorded history, there ever been a better way to share information than the “World Wide Web”? Lusaka is not only the capital of Zambia, a landlocked country in south-eastern Africa; it is the largest city within that country. With 1.7-million people, four major highways pumping life-blood into its core, and the seats of three branches of national government, Lusaka (a primarily English speaking community) is the cultural hub of the nation.
Consequently, Lusaka is also fueled by its passion for sport and community action. As evident, Campbell and Keir were attending a series of workshops set in Lusaka when they became enamored with the achievements of the local NGO EduSport’s peer leadership program. At every turn, they noticed that boys and girls were playing key roles in their local communities through organized and coordinated volunteer programs centered on sports. When they returned to Scotland, they began seeking sponsors to fund the schooling for the peer leaders they had worked with. Once it registered as an official charity, Friend of EduSport began receiving global support that has allowed it to work even closer with partnership organizations in Zambia.
Its signature event is the Go Sisters World Series – a series of sporting events aimed at promoting girls in sport. An event that started as a football match, is now an International event geared towards personal empowerment and advocacy for girls in all countries. So global is this competition that the Friends of EduSport website (see link below) encourages its followers to register and organize their own events!
But organizing sporting events and breaking down gender barriers are not the only outcomes of Friends of EduSport. Of its many accomplishments, it has recently secured a site to build Chawama SEE at the Chawama compound of Zambia. This will be a specialist sports college that will extend the educational and sports influence of Zambian culture to Zambians and students world-wide. They have had two fundraisers, and 13 volunteers have successfully biked a route from London to Paris to raise funds for this college. If you would like to donate to this worthwhile cause, please see contact information below.
As Friends of EduSport will tell you, an old Zambian proverb states that, “If you run alone, you run fast; if you run together, you run far.” Similarly, if we give regionally, we give a LOT. In fact, we should aspire to improve the quality of life in our local communities. That is a very admirable goal, one in which The Blogunteer obviously supports unconditionally. But, we should also always keep in mind the global stage. Ultimately, we are all a community of one – the human race. Don’t forget that and together, we can run far!
Friends of EduSport contact Information: