I made a promise to myself in June that I would return to Malawi to work with the Love Support Unite Foundation once again. Admittedly I was a little skeptical as to whether it would be financially viable – I searched for fundraising ideas, I had never fundraised before as my first trip in April was completely self funded. When you have a vision and an end goal fuelled with a love and passion – anything is possible. September came and I was on that plane heading back to the Warm Heart of Africa!
As it was my second trip I was now my own project manager. I set my own objectives, managed my own time and allocated my (fundraised) project money wisely. Thus creating a completely different experience from the get-go as I set out to create lasting changes within grass roots football in Malawi.
Prior research stood me in good stead and gave me an understanding of current football initiatives in place, but even with this, there is only so much you can do from The UK. Being on the ground in Malawi I was able to network like crazy and eventually shake the hands of the people that run football in the country! I met with Officials, Ex Professionals, Academy Directors, TNM Super League (top tier) Coaches/Managers/Directors and finally the Technical Director and Vice President of the Football Association of Malawi (FAM). Alice and I met with these important individuals and laid the foundations for a collaborative future.
Although the project is still very much in progress, connections have now been made necessary to help begin to create a brighter future and increase participation in grass roots football across the country. I am now currently communicating with The FAM via email working jointly on a business plan to restructure their current training of coaches.
Before this trip I definitely did not foresee myself forming a partnership between LSU and The Malawian FA! I wholeheartedly give thanks to Alice and the other awe inspiring volunteers that were with me in Malawi on this trip; for aiding the success, sustainability and not to mention many fantastic memories!
Although it is impossible to compare this trip to my first trip, in it’s own right it has been another top, top experience that I will value highly for a very long time! Thank you to all those involved.
P.s We are in desperate need for passionate footballing individuals, whether it is to help coach practical sessions at grass roots level or help research and produce documents. Please get in touch for more details.