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Beyond Sport Foundation Spotlight: Alive and Kicking

With Beyond Sport United and the Global Awards now less than three months away, we’re taking a 10th anniversary look back at some of our past winners, and how they have progressed with the support of Beyond Sport and our Foundation.

We have been supporting organisations for many years that use sport to provide quality education and employment. Pan-African sport for social change organisation, Alive and Kicking, is one of those organisations. 

Alive and Kicking (A+K) create and sustain fairly paid, ethical employment through the manufacture of sports balls in Kenya, Ghana and Zambia. They provide 155 formal jobs in areas of high unemployment and informal employment. The rate of informal work in Zambia stands at 90%, Ghana at 80% and Kenya at 77%. A+K provide stable employment in proper jobs, helping individuals to develop personal, practical skills.

The provision of quality employment has a direct impact on access to quality education. 75% of their staff use their wages to send their children, brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews to school. Many of their staff also save to pay for their own further education.

Thanks to the grant funding through the Beyond Sport Foundation, the organization has been able to not just thrive, but to grow. They have increased the full-time staff from 40 to 48 people, now supporting 240 dependents.

CEO of A+K, Ben Sadler said: "Alive and Kicking Kenya was facing difficulty before receiving the Beyond Sport grant, and it is now growing again and returning to full strength. The funding provided a huge boost by way of much needed capital, capacity and expertise." 

Alive and Kicking employ people from disadvantaged communities - 90% of their staff have never had any kind of formal work before and they support an average of 5 dependents. 75% of A+K staff use their income to pay their children through school and 70% use it to access vital health care. This was all made possible through the Beyond Sport funding and the production of beautiful handmade sports balls. 

In 2018 alone, they have produced and sold 9,729 balls which is above their breakeven point. Based on A+K’s research that each ball reaches 45 people over its lifetime, their sales and donations so far in 2018 have given over 400,000 the opportunity to access a sports ball. 

Thanks to the Beyond Sport grant, A+K can realistically look to grow further. They are close to launching a pilot emotional wellbeing education programme thanks to the stabilisation of their operation in Kenya.

By 2021, the organization aims to employ 150 people, support 750 dependents, reach 10,000 young people a year through their wellbeing education programmes and give hundreds of thousands of young people access to a ball through ball donations.

A+K works towards UNSDG 4 ‘Quality Education’ and UNSDG 8 ‘Decent Work and Economic Growth’. 

If the UNSDGs are achieved, it would mean an end to extreme poverty, inequality and climate change by 2030. Beyond Sport believes that using sport is an effective and game-changing approach to make this happen. 

From September 12 - 13, we’ll hold our 2018 Beyond Sport United and Global Awards in New York City. Join us to hear directly from more organizations who are using sport to drive social change in communities across the globe -- all with a special focus on youth engagement, leadership and social. We’ll be awarding more than $350,000 to the most innovative projects using sports to address the UN SDGs, so don’t miss your chance to see who wins this year’s awards!

There are only few more days to take advantage of our early bird registration rate, so secure your spot today!