This month, the GPS Foundation partnered with Cheryl Nelson, parent coordinator of the GPS MA Elite White 01 team, on her mission to the African nation of Malawi where the club tackled education, public health, and of course soccer.
Nelson works in the field of International Development in Medicine, and part of her advanced studies saw her travel to the nation of Malawi where she worked with the Malawi Children’s Mission.
Malawi Children’s Mission, MCM for short, is an orphanage that was founded in 2007. The focus of the organization is to not only provide basic necessities like food and shelter but also provide them with luxuries enjoyed by non-orphans. This is done with the purpose of showing the children that they have value and a bright future.
The GPS Foundation, intrigued and eager to help Nelson on her mission, put our full weight behind this important cause that aligns directly with our core mission.
Global Premier Soccer provided MCM with coaching curriculum, such as practice sessions and other helpful materials, in order for them to begin coordinating their own soccer program at the school. While they do have teachers who get the kids moving and participating in sports, they often have no formal training or experience teaching the game of soccer.
With the curriculum in place, the kids needed equipment to go out there and play their best. A few dozen soccer balls, a plethora of cones, t-shirts, and jerseys were donated to MCM. All of the items donated were brand new.
Nets were also donated to make their goals more functional. For a special treat, a tournament played between the MCM children and the Government School children was hosted on Malawi’s Day of Independence.
Sport was not the only focus of the mission however, as medical assistance was being provided by Nelson in addition to her regular volunteer work. We donated Malaria prevention bed nets for the children as well.
The GPS MA Elite 01 team, coached by GPS Foundation director Steve Schechter, gathered and donated children’s books for the MCM children. They went a step further by having each team member record themselves reading a book in English, so the children at MCM can learn English while reading along.