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Soccer as a framework for better health and better futures for kids in Mali

Ismaila Konate was coaching soccer in New York but thinking about the impact the sport could have back in Mali.

Through his vision and with support from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), what started as a volunteer effort to supply kids in Mali with soccer equipment has grown into an organized push to help kids live healthier, better lives.

Care Club Foundation (CCF), the nonprofit Konate started, uses soccer as a framework to help young people succeed in school, avoid and overcome health challenges, and build skills for success like dedication and focus. CCF, an affiliate of the World Federation of Youth Clubs, provides kids with nutritious meals, school materials, sporting equipment, and necessary health supplies. The ultimate goal is to empower the young participants to become agents of positive change in their communities.

SNF believes firmly in the power of sports to bring people together, provide a framework for personal growth, and break down barriers. Soccer especially, with its simple setup and worldwide popularity, can be a vehicle for inclusion, health, and hope.