The much-anticipated inaugural fundraising gala and launch event of “Soccer for Dreamers” took place on June 9, 2023, at the picturesque Canoe Brook Golf & Country Club in New Jersey. This momentous occasion marked a significant milestone for the organization, founded by three visionary Ghanaian brothers. Distinguished corporate leaders, professionals, and esteemed guests, including Dr. Diane Recinos, President of Berkeley College, joined forces to rally behind the organization’s mission.
The legendary soccer player Edson Arantes do Nascimento, fondly known as Pelé, was honored during the event. Accepting the award on his behalf was his daughter, Kely Nascimento, who expressed heartfelt gratitude to the Soccer for Dreamers organization. She highlighted Pelé’s foundation’s unwavering commitment to preserving the extraordinary legacy of this iconic figure.
The keynote speaker, Carla Harris, Senior Client Advisor at Morgan Stanley and a highly influential woman in corporate America, delivered an inspiring address that resonated deeply with the audience. She emphasized the transformative power of making a difference in the lives of others, eloquently stating, “It is what you do for others that takes your life from success to significant.”
The roots of the “Soccer for Dreamers” organization trace back to the passion and personal experiences of the three Ghanaian brothers: Baruch, Jed, and Kayden Akwaboah. Their lives have been dedicated to the game, and they shared their compelling story during the event. From their early childhood, soccer has been an integral part of their journey, having played in various countries worldwide, including Singapore, England, Sweden, Thailand, Vietnam, Ghana, and America.
While traveling, they witnessed firsthand the remarkable talent and potential of players worldwide who lacked the means to pursue their dreams due to financial barriers. This realization inspired the brothers to take action and utilize their resources. They reached out to friends, family, local clubs, and stores, collecting donations of soccer cleats, shin guards, clothing, and drawstring bags to support young players in Ghana.
The brothers highlighted the incredible journey of the late Christian Atsu, who overcame extreme poverty and adversity to become a professional soccer player for prestigious teams like Chelsea, Newcastle, and the Ghana National Team. His story illustrated that all it takes is one person to believe in these aspiring athletes for them to have the opportunity they deserve to play at a high level. This belief fueled the brothers’ determination to make a lasting impact.
Last year, the organization donated nine large boxes of soccer gear, positively impacting the lives of over 200 children. They organized a soccer exhibition tournament, fostering camaraderie and unity while distributing gear to ten local teams. Collaborating with the Ghana Football Association, they also educated girls’ teams on menstrual hygiene, distributing 100 menstrual cups that showcased their cost-effectiveness and sustainability. Additionally, they emphasized the importance of dental hygiene by conducting a demonstration for the athletes. Through these efforts, they successfully raised $4,000 in funds, leaving an indelible impact on the lives of young players in Ghana.
Encouraged by the positive response from both the children and the media, the founders of “Soccer for Dreamers” were determined to expand their mission further this year. Their firsthand experiences playing alongside the boys in Ghana revealed incredible talent and resilience within these young athletes. Witnessing their potential firsthand reinforced the importance of providing them with a professional setting to thrive in.
The inaugural “Soccer for Dreamers” fundraising gala and launch event surpassed all expectations, raising both awareness and funds to support the organization’s noble cause. The event brought together influential individuals driven by a shared passion for making a difference and creating opportunities.
Culled from Face2face Africa.