The Crystal Palace FC Foundation has joined forces with the Kagisho Dikgacoi Foundation and the Rio Ferdinand Foundation to set up a pilot project in South Africa.
The ‘Isagoyarana Football Coaching Development Programme’, based in Bloemfontein, Free State, will empower underprivileged 18-24 year olds and help them develop the necessary tools they need to give them a brighter future
The programme will focus on job creation and developing valuable life skills as well as identifying talent both on and off the football pitch.
In addition to this, by joining together and being stronger, the three foundations can have direct engagement with the South African government and the country’s private sector to create an avenue for development of football and foster a positive impact on the economy of the country.
After launching the Kagisho Dikgacoi Foundation in London back in November last year to raise awareness and secure funding, the KDF has partnered with Dikgacoi’s current club, Crystal Palace FC, and the Rio Ferdinand Foundation, who work in the Western Cape.
Dikgacoi, founder and trustee, Kagisho Dikgacoi Foundation said: “Giving back to the community is something my grandparents taught me from an early age and something my mum still reminds me of every day.
“Ever since I turned professional I have been giving back to the community on a personal level but I can make more of a difference through setting up my own foundation.
“The KDF has experienced and passionate staff working for us and alongside myself we are glad to be working with the Rio Ferdinand Foundation who have a history of working in South Africa and in particular, Cape Town.
“Poverty is the main factor that affects young people and their chances of reaching their potential not only in South Africa but the whole of Africa. We are a talented country sports-wise but because we have a lack of infrastructure and poverty, these can stand in someone’s way but with the KDF joining together with Rio and Crystal Palace we can help these kids and revive their dreams of whatever they wish to do and that will be great.
“We want to raise as much funding as possible so we can create jobs and keep a long-term commitment. We want to help as many people as we can and if I can say in a year that we have helped 100s of kids get jobs and maybe some working for the Foundation itself that would be awesome.”
Donald Forde, head of the Crystal Palace FC Foundation, added: “When Kagisho and his foundation discussed this work with us we were very happy to come on-board. Alongside the Rio Ferdinand Foundation, we have worked in South Africa and also received some great young coaches on an exchange visit to Selhurst Park recently.
“This is a pilot project and from the awareness and, hopefully, subsequent funding that comes from it, all three parties will be hoping to push forward.
“Crystal Palace FC were the first club to play in South Africa following the end of Apartheid and with this proud tradition it was an easy decision to partner with the Foundation of one of our First Team players.”
For more information about the programme, please contact the Rio Ferdinand Foundation via email on firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.rioferdinandfoundation.com.