PMP: US-based Ghanaian Brothers launches “Soccer for Dreamers” Foundation, to support young African footballers
The first-ever fundraising gala, “Soccer for Dreamers” took place recently at the prestigious Canoe Brook Golf and Country Club in New Jersey. The event represented a momentous milestone for the foundation founded by three innovative Ghanaian brothers, who seek to empower young African players to realize their dreams in soccer.
Distinguished and esteemed guests from different walks of life attended the remarkable event, which provided an opportunity for corporate leaders and professionals to gather to show support for the foundation’s mission, including Dr. Diane Recinos, President of Berkeley College.
The iconic late soccer player Edson Arantes do Nascimento, affectionately known as Pelé, was the night’s honoree, and his daughter, Kely Nascimento, graciously accepted the award on his behalf. In her heartfelt acceptance speech, she expressed gratitude to the Soccer for Dreamers organization and highlighted Pele’s foundation’s unwavering dedication to preserving the remarkable legacy of this legendary icon.
The inspiring keynote speaker, Carla Harris, Senior Client Advisor at Morgan Stanley and one of the most influential women in corporate America, captivated the audience with her profound words, emphasizing the transformative power of making a difference in the lives of others. She eloquently stated in her speech, “It is what you do for others that takes your life from success to significant.”
The “Soccer for Dreamers” organization was born out of the passion and personal experiences of the three Ghanaian brothers, Baruch, Jed, and Kayden Akwaboah, who have dedicated their lives to the game. Reflecting on their journey, they shared their compelling story during the event. Since their early childhood, soccer has been a central part of their lives, having played in various countries, including Singapore, England, Sweden, Thailand, Vietnam, Ghana, and America.
Through their travels, they witnessed firsthand the talent and potential of players around the world who lacked the means to pursue their dreams due to financial barriers. This realization inspired the brothers to take action and leverage their resources. They sought support from friends, family, local clubs, and stores, collecting donations of soccer cleats, shin guards, clothing, and drawstring bags to assist young players in Ghana.
The brothers highlighted the story of the late Christian Atsu, who overcame extreme poverty and adversity to become a professional soccer player for esteemed teams like Chelsea and Newcastle, as well as the Ghana National Team. His journey demonstrated that it only takes one person to believe in these aspiring athletes for them to have the opportunity they deserve to play at a high level. This belief fueled their determination to make a difference.
Last year, the organization donated nine large boxes of soccer gear, impacting the lives of over 200 children. They organized a soccer exhibition tournament, fostering camaraderie and unity while distributing gear to ten local teams. Collaborating with the Ghana Football Association, they educated girl’s teams on menstrual hygiene and distributed 100 menstrual cups, highlighting their cost-effectiveness and sustainability. Additionally, they emphasized the importance of dental hygiene by conducting a demonstration for the athletes. These efforts culminated in a fundraising total of $4,000, leaving an indelible impact on the lives of young players in Ghana.
Encouraged by the positive response from both the children and the media, the “Soccer for Dreamers” founders were determined to expand their mission further this year. Their firsthand experiences playing alongside the boys in Ghana revealed the incredible talent and resilience within these young athletes. The opportunity to witness their potential firsthand reinforced the importance of providing them with a professional setting to thrive in.
The inaugural “Soccer for Dreamers” fundraising gala and launch event proved to be a resounding success, raising both awareness and funds to support the organization’s noble cause. The event brought together influential individuals passionate about making a difference and creating opportunities for aspiring players, raising over $50,000.
Sylvia Akwaboah, President of the foundation and mother of the three Ghanaian brothers, expressed her profound gratitude to the attendees for their support. She announced the game-changing initiative, the Ubuntu Academy, which aims to equip African youth with the tools and skills to dream big and succeed. With a focus on education and empowerment, Sylvia emphasized the academy’s mission to break the cycle of poverty, urging attendees to contribute generously to make these dreams a reality for future leaders.