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Swiss charity appeals for donations of used football kits to help African children who cannot afford shoes

Coaches and players at the Kampala Galaxy Soccer AcademyAppeal supported by German jazz pianist Joja Wendt.

Has your child grown since he or she last played soccer? Would you like to donate last season’s clothes and shoes to some of the world’s poorest young players?

We are calling on all our InterSoccer parents to look through their child’s wardrobe for any soccer items that are no longer needed, to be sent to a children’s football academy in Africa.

Switzerland sends used football kits and boots to the Kampala Galaxy Soccer Academy in Uganda

Seefeld FC, Zurich, one of InterSoccer’s host football clubs in Switzerland, will take the clothing to its African partner school the Kampala Galaxy Soccer Academy in Uganda. The school, in the Bukoto city district of Kampala, offers free access to football for 200 children aged five to 17, and some older youths. The children come from such poor communities they have no chance of buying their own gear, or of playing soccer, without the support of Seefeld FC.

Swiss Civil Service

Marc Caprez, President of Seefeld FC, founded the Kampala Galaxy Soccer Academy in 2017 after sending two coaches – his son, Vasco Caprez, and Leo Bauer – on a fact-finding mission.

He said: “One of our club members did his civil service in Uganda for six months as a doctor. I mentioned once that I would like to do a development project in Africa and he said, why don’t you go to Uganda? He gave me the names of some reliable people and I made contact.

“It started really small and it grew really quickly. The first time we went down we took balls and bibs because we thought they needed ordinary training gear. One day after his arrival Vasco sent me a video showing the feet of these kids and wrote as a caption – we have a whole other problem. These kids don’t even have boots.

“Naïve as we were back then, we thought they need balls and things like that, but it starts at the bottom – it starts with the boots.”

Uganda – one of the poorest countries in Africa

Last year the Seefeld President travelled to Kampala with Vasco and his other son Gion to hand over 130 pairs of football boots donated from Seefeld players and other clubs, and 100 FC Seefeld shirts. Mr Caprez and Vasco will make another trip in July this year. He said: “Whenever you have football gear that you do not need any more, you can give it to us and we will manage to take it to Uganda.

“You cannot imagine how poor this country is. The boots we bring down, they give them out at the beginning of the training and then they have to collect them back because they can’t send the kids home with them. Otherwise when they walk through the ghetto, a bigger kid will come and knock them down and steal the shoes, or the father will sell the shoes.

“Also the guys that are running the academy have no money, not even one Swiss franc. They live in extreme poverty, without sanitary installation, no running water in the house. It is one of the poorest countries of Africa.”

Football scholarships to private schools in Uganda

As a result of their involvement with the Kampala Galaxy Soccer Academy, eight players have won sports scholarships to private schools in Uganda using their football skills. The academy is open to boys and girls and there are around 15 girls who play. It is run by local coaches. After two years Kampala Galaxy Soccer Academy has more than 200 registered kids, who can benefit from good coaching in a safe environment for free.

How to donate

Steve Long, CEO of InterSoccer, said: “InterSoccer is very proud to be supporting this brilliant grassroots football charity. It’s a new football season now, and many children haven’t played for several months

 “If your child’s grown, and if he or she doesn’t have a sibling to hand clothes down to, please think about donating them to this very worthwhile appeal. Just bring them along to one of our spring courses or camps, hand them to a coach, and we’ll do the rest.”

Take your football boots and clothes to one of the many InterSoccer courses running now all over Switzerland. There will also be collections at InterSoccer’s Easter camps in Basel, Geneva, Vaud, Zug and Zurich. Football boots of all kinds, t-shirts, shorts, protector gloves, shin guards and football socks are all very welcome. If you have any questions about the appeal, please contact rachel@intersoccer.ch

Financial donations

The Kampala Galaxy Soccer Academy is also in need of financial donations to fund basic running costs. Mr Caprez, who pays most of the expenses out of his own pocket, said: “I can promise to everyone who donates that if you give me one Swiss franc, the whole Swiss franc will end up in Uganda. “We have no administration fees, and all the people who go down pay their plane tickets and all other expenses by themselves.” Anyone who wants to make a financial donation should email marc.caprez@gmail.com

Fundraising concert by German jazz pianist Joja Wendt

Celebrated German pianist Joja Wendt, who was discovered by Joe Cocker 30 years ago, and has performed with greats such as Jerry Lee Lewis and Chuck Berry, has agreed to play a fundraising concert for the Kampala Galaxy Soccer Academy.

He was persuaded to help out after meeting Vasco and Leo during a stay in Uganda, where he was very impressed by the Kampala football project. He promised them he would come to Switzerland to do a benefit concert. The jazz concert will take place at the Kirche Neumünster, Neumünsterstrasse 10, 8008 Zurich on Wednesday, 22 May from 8pm. Visit the booking site to buy tickets.

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