Five teens in Lomé, Togo made history this month after being selected to play for the Under 20 National Football team of Togo. Never before have young people from a slum area been selected for the National Team.
These young men have all been part of an intentional whole life coaching football academy & KidsHub set up by Coach Eric. Eric said, “The boys came to our Centre as 13 year olds, all of them (with one exception), came from underprivileged families. We helped pay for their food and schooling. Each day the boys would come to our KidsHub centre after school and to football coaching. Every Friday evening they would be part of a Discovery Bible Study. Each boy had a peer mentor and chaplain, who were also being discipled in the KidsHub Centre. They also participated in the annual KidsHub Camp.”
When Eric and a group of friends first founded their Association Enfant Foot Developemment in Lomé in 2010, they had only one vision: to identify and develop the potential talents of children in their community and help them to discover God’s plan for them. In Eric’s words “it was a dream, we were seeing as foolish but today the dream becomes reality.”
It was at a Global Children’s Forum (GCF) gathering in Kenya in 2013 that Eric was introduced to KidsHubs. In its simplest form KidsHubs is about discipling a small group of young people around a skill they are interested in and sharing Jesus and His Word with them. Skills such as media, puppetry, computers, vegetable gardening, drama or arts & craft.
Pearl (KidsHubTV Director & KidsHubs champion) visited the team in Togo and trained them in KidsHubs Media. Two of the teens selected for the Togo’s National Football team, Parfait & Denis and three of their mentors, attended Pearl’s Media training five years ago. Eric enthused “that was the beginning of trusting the Lord through this wonderful strategy to disciple kids and teens. For our team, it is the most adaptable strategy to disciple the young people in our context. KidsHubs is not only about the Gospel but also about whole life coaching strategies by using talents and skills that connect the kids and teens to their coaches. They have common a language and common interests.”
The Togo KidsHub team are now praying they can acquire 10 – 20 laptops to start computer courses and digital communications programs with their young people. A big need in their community they are wanting to meet.