Team It Up™ —
for the Youth of Today —
for the Hope and Promise of Tomorrow
TEAM IT UP™ is HPI’S way of crying out to others for help.
It has always been obvious to the founders of HPI that the needs of the hungry and the hurting within eastern Africa are so large that no one group could possibly tackle the challenge by itself. HPI wanted a different way to say “let us work together”. We looked for a dynamic set of words that might capture the attention of like minded individuals and groups. We believe that we have achieved that in our call to TEAM IT UP™.
We propose a solution! It will be a herculean task — a massive undertaking — requiring nothing less than a major team effort. The challenges and problems will not be corrected without a coordinated team approach.
On this page we would like to draw your attention to the needs of the youth within the Obbo region of South Sudan; but is representative of most youth within Africa. Countless numbers of young people are standing idle. Idleness is never a good thing — extended idleness leads to hopelessness and despair. The children of eastern Africa are like children everywhere. They need a healthy portion of love, acceptance and encouragement combined with a feeling of security and a hope for a better tomorrow.
Normally, a little fun is not a bad thing. Neither is a distraction from daily doldrums—especially when its accompanied by misery and pain. Life for children growing up in villages of eastern Africa holds few similarities to the life of typical Canadian or American children. In many rural settings of eastern Africa, schools and education are largely non-existent. Rather than the children gathering together to learn and play, the children spend their days tending to family chores or tending to the cows and goats. Many children grow up in isolation from the broader community and do not develop the necessary social skills to advance in the modern world.
While HPI’s primary focus is related to agricultural economy growing activities, it cannot be oblivious to the needs of the young people, many of whom have been severely traumatized. Undertaking a process to address the emotional and life-skill needs of the young, is daunting. The fate of the nation is in large measure, dependent upon the character, emotional health and education of the country’s youth.
The HPI team recognizes the limitations within its own collective life experiences and skill sets and is reaching out to those of you who may be able to assist with this important undertaking. HPI does not have a mandate to engage in the academic needs of the rural children; but, HPI fully intends to play a part in preparing the young people for the future.
HPI has purposely chosen sports related activities as a key mechanism to help develop South Sudan’s next generation of leaders and shall shortly relocate its existing inventory of sports equipment and uniforms to the Obbo region of South Sudan where HPI will utilize this sports equipment for its character building and leadership development activities.
Many of the young have been emotionally scarred by the social unrest within their nation. Most lack deep feelings of hope or optimism for a better future. The financial costs of the social unrest has been very burdensome for the nation. Those with the highest authority capture the greatest share of the financial prize. This has caused cynicism and mistrust amongst the South Sudanese youth and the outside world. Western aid agencies and donors are shying away from engaging with governmental interests and agencies.
HPI does not choose to assess the fault, however other leaders in the region recognize the nature of its own challenges.
“I believe that the single greatest issue facing the African nations is not the lack of tools or opportunities but the lack of moral character among many of those in authority”.
(Former Zimbabwe Government Sports Official — Kennedy Mutepfa)
Most foreign agencies that have been working within Africa for any extended period of time would probably agree with that statement. We are not here to pass judgment regarding the reasons that things ‘are as they are’, but the lack of high moral character among many of those in authority is apparent.
HPI would like to assist in the creation of an environment conducive to healthy mind-sets among the younger population and believes that sports related activities would be a highly valuable and useful method in dealing with many of the issues that are plaguing the youth.
Many words have been written about the character building exercises and therapeutic healing benefits for those who participate in team sports. HPI shall be integrating its character building exercises, along with its leadership development programs, into sports related activities that are currently being developed. HPI plans to launch these integrated activities in April of 2019.
South Sudan’s CISD (Community Innovation for Sustainable Development) has expressed a strong interest in the HPI vision for South Sudan. HPI-RSS (HPI-Republic of South Sudan) is currently working on a Memorandum of Understanding with the government that will define the HPI-RSS joint undertaking for the development of sports activities within the Obbo region of the RSS. Watch for further developments on this proposed cooperative effort.
In an effort to create fully integrated multi-sport/character building exercises, HPI has assembled a joint African/Canadian Team comprised of former Ministry of Sport and Culture officials and Leadership Development specialists who are preparing the “Pathways” program—a leadership manual that will be the framework for all teaching at HPI sponsored sporting events.
A feeling of belonging is a healthy emotion with strong therapeutic benefits. Donning the names and colours of their local sport teams evokes immense pride and feelings of accomplishment within a community. HPI has a large inventory of sporting equipment and has many team jerseys but would like to up its game plan. HPI is reaching out to Canadian or American teams to sponsor a “sister” team within South Sudan and help to provide proper playing fields, sports equipment and team uniforms.
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