Malawi Update

Date: 4th November 2022

The SFSA formed a partnership agreement with Play Soccer Malawi in 2017 which resulted in our Co-Founder Paul Goodwin and our Ambassador Jimmy Bone travelling out to Liliongwie and to Blantyre to help develop the partnership through a series of Coaching Masterclasses.
Since those early days the relationship has developed and has also seen us work with the Malawi FA and the Malawi Football League.  We have also been working with the Scottish Malawi Partnership and we have the long term aim to help the development of Grassroots Football Programmes in what is one of Africa’s poorest countries. Just as we have seen  in Scotland football can be a fantastic tool to help get across health, well-being and education messages.
What we have done so far
·         Development of our Malawi network here in Scotland and in Malawi
·         Pilot coaching sessions devolved by Coaching guru Jimmy Bone
·         On-going provision of recycled kit and boots to be used in Malawi
·         Our recent Fish for Football Project saw our members raise enough money to buy a fishing boat the sale of fish will allow for a small community football programme to be sustainable
·          A visit of one of our members Dr Walt Adamson from the University of Glasgow saw us work together to support his on the ground  where they are working on the health issues surrounding Sleep Sickness – using football as the community engagement tool
What we want to do next
·         Fundraise for an outboard motor for the Fish for Football Project
·         Develop a plan with our partners at the University of Glasgow to get kit out to Malawi on a regular basis and build on the recent success
·         Looking for wider funding opportunities to further develop the programme
Anyone who would like to assist us should get in touch paulgoodwin@scottishfsa.org
Dr Walt Adamson’s recent trip out to Malawi
Dr Adamson is a scientist at the University of Glasgow and a Queen of the South fan currently working on infectious diseases and how they affect African populations.

Sleeping sickness is a disease that affects some of the poorest parts of rural Africa. It is caused by a parasite and transmitted by tsetse flies. Although the disease is treatable, it is fatal if left untreated, and diagnosis is often hampered by logistics (most cases occur in remote locations, far from medical facilities), misdiagnosis (initial symptoms are similar to malaria), and misinformation (resulting in a lack of trust in scientists and doctors in affected communities). There is currently a significant outbreak of sleeping sickness in Malawi, and Dr Adamson is involved in several research projects there: trying to understand the causes of the outbreak, and what can be done to prevent it spreading.

In much of sub-Saharan Africa, football is by far the most popular sport and the areas that we were working in were no exception. Our Malawian collaborators told us that one of the best ways to draw a crowd for our work was to organise it around a football match, with local villages playing against each other. They also told us how resources for sports equipment were scarce in these areas, and that donations of football kit would be a great way to encourage teams to take part and to forge links with the communities that we visited.

Thanks to our work here at the SFSA, alongside help from Glasgow University FC, Bo’ness United Community FC, and Queen of the South fan Ross Corbett, Dr Adamson departed for Malawi in early October with cases full of kit from Scottish football teams, and over the past couple of weekends it has been getting delivered as part of his work. The reactions from the communities we have visited have certainly been extremely positive, and it has been amazing to see how much these people appreciate the kits.

The football strip donations seem to have caught the imagination of clubs in Scotland, and several have been in touch offering sets of strips that they no longer need. As a result, more teams from areas such as the ones we have visited will receive kit in the coming weeks. If anyone has football kit that they no longer need and would like it to go to a new home where it will be very well appreciated, then please get in touch via walt.adamson@glasgow.ac.uk


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