Youth Soccer News: How to Save Swaziland – One Teenager’s Effort to Change the World
Spotlight on Youth Soccer Player Making A Difference Around the World - Thank you KUSI's Brandon Stone for bringing us the story.
To most American teenagers, soccer is just a game. For Haley Voorkamp, it’s a way to save a country. During the month of June, Haley is collecting soccer jerseys to donate to the children of Swaziland.
Haley is not your typical fourteen-year-old girl. While she attends school and is an avid athlete, she comes from a background education that values community service. With the help of family, friends, her school and the media, she has been able to spread the word about this noble cause.
Swaziland is a kingdom in Africa about the size of New Jersey. Over a fifth of the population of less than one million is orphaned children. Since Swaziland has the highest HIV/AIDS rate around the world, the people don’t live to be very old. If the death rate continues on its current path, there is a possibility that no adults will be alive by the year 2030.
Haley is working with the Never A Neverland group that is working to show the world how the actions of some special individuals can make a big impact in others’ lives. The organization consists of twenty individuals from different parts of North America and Africa who will walk across the entire country of Swaziland and bring donations to mobile medical clinics, hospitals, and schools.
The organization uses soccer to help bring the children together in the community. Aside from collecting jerseys, the group is working with One World Futbol Project to bring soccer balls to the children and also dedicating a new FundaField soccer field to El Shaddai Children’s Home.
With all charity efforts, the work of one is never enough. Haley needs to reach 1000 jerseys by July 1, and is taking jerseys from anyone who would like to help. “It unites us on a local, national, and global sense” Haley said, “something so small to us means so much to a child in Africa.”
Haley’s KUSI Story by Brandon Stone
If you would like to support the cause, you can join on Facebook and donate any jerseys that you have that are no longer need. For information about the Never A Neverland group visit their website.
Editorial Note: Brendan Davis has recently joined SoccerNationNews as a soccer journalist and marketing research assistant.