Health and Education at Berea-Albion Football Club
Cougar Park in Pretoria, South Africa, is home to Berea-Albion Football Club and Academy, where disadvantaged youths are given hope and encouragement as they strive for a better future. The academy hosts up to 60 students at a time, with 50% coming from non-privileged backgrounds and 50% coming from more fortunate circumstances.
“The majority of disadvantaged youths in our development programmes are orphans, or they come from single parent families,” says co-founder Neil Bosman. “They have struggled with poverty, HIV/AIDS, abuse, alcoholism, and poor educational backgrounds.”
There are currently 21 former Berea-Albion students playing top-level football around the world. However, there is also an awareness that not all students will reach professional level, and every player is prepared for a successful future with the combination of educational, social, and health structures taught at the academy. Students attend Bosman College, where the focus is on providing “a sound education base” as well as full professional training in football.
The academy’s motto is “Passio Pro Perfecto” (a passion for perfection), and the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart have been glad to be able to support them in their great work in the past.
“We sincerely thank you for any support you can provide,” says Neil Bosman. “All donations are being put to very good use as we make sure that our young footballers are housed, clothed, educated, trained, and nutritiously fed at Cougar Park.”
A donation of just €50 will provide a pair of football boots and a ball for a student,
providing essential tools in these invaluable youth development programmes.
MSCs working with the Sisters of St Therese
A group of Sisters of St Therese from the Democratic Republic of the Congo are working with the MSC community in South Africa to minister to local communities in need of pastoral aid. Together, the Sisters and MSCs do great work in the area of Rabie Ridge, a very poor township in Ivory Park parish, located outside Johannesburg.
Many of the Sisters are qualified teachers, but they live on very little. They have no means of travel apart from public transport, making extended ministry more difficult, and they live on minimal food and provisions themselves.
The house in which the Sisters live has recently undergone some repairs, as it was in a terrible state – particularly the roof, which regularly let rain in. The house is now in better repair, but the Sisters are still in need of a comfortable space in which they can pray. The extension of their chapel space is estimated at a cost of just over €1,500, and this will provide the Sisters with an essential place of prayer.
The Sisters also run a feeding scheme for children in local primary school St Gemma’s, with 25 children who have been orphaned or who come from vulnerable backgrounds taking part in the programme. From Monday to Friday, the children have a nutritious lunch at 11.00am; however, the Sisters are under real pressure to maintain this due to a severe lack of funding.
It costs less than €2 per day to feed one primary school child
– a total of just over €230 for a week’s food for 25 children.
A small donation can make a great difference.