From the moment Julio and Erica (and Erica’s children) dreamed up the final ideas for Kids In Cleats, the organization has been a host for collaborative compassion. A cadre of empathetic donors seeking to make the world a better place, have helped bring the first phase of KIC’s vision to reality.
KIC has completed these Phase 1 milestones:
- Acquired 5-acre parcel in Cameroon, Africa
- Hired 15 clearing contractors
- Cleared land by hand and machine
- Prepared land for Phase 2
- Dug, installed and capped well
- Hired 10 Foundation builders
- Built Foundation Wall
Phase 2 is currently underway. KIC has already hired 10 contractors to make bricks and build walls to secure the field. Once this is completed, contractors will install the irrigation system, seed the field and help ensure that the soccer pitch is up to US and European standards.
KIC co-founder, Julio Tsasse was in Cameroon in March 2021 to check on progress, and lend a helping hand.
Phase 3 will include recruiting players, hiring staff and acquiring transportation. A solid coaching staff will be essential as to serve as both great trainers and mentors for our KIC team members.
Phase 4 includes completing a multi-purpose community center with technology to support school work. Each KIC team member will be expected to meet educational goals that will prepare them to enter into secondary school and/or specific training programs. Further, it will be mandatory for KIC kids to attend educational sessions that focus on HIV/AIDS awareness, safe sex practices, type 1 diabetes, and various other health care issues.
Engaging Young Ambassadors in Montclair, NJ
KIC’s Young Ambassadors (YA) program is much more than kids helping kids. It provides an opportunity for young people to grow as global citizens.
KIC’s Young Ambassadors share the same love of soccer as kids in Cameroon, who are equally, if not more, enthusiastic about the sport. YAs are also inspiring advocates of KIC’s mission. They support KIC by reaching out to their social media following, decision-makers in the community, and other young people to inspire them to also support the KIC mission.
In doing so, Young Ambassadors are learning and practicing essential life skills:
- Diversity, equity and inclusion
- Speaking out on behalf of a cause to educate and motivate others
- Finding agency
- Understanding the value inherent in giving back
Access to Clean Water in Cameroon
“Having clean water and sanitation means being able to avoid exposure to countless diseases. Every year, millions of people die from diseases caused by inadequate water supply, sanitation, and hygiene. Other than pneumonia, diarrhea is the main cause of death in children under age 5” ~UN Foundation
KIC has taken the first step in providing the clean water that citizens in Cameroon and across the globe need and deserve – something many in the U.S. take for granted. During Phase 1 KIC drilled, installed and capped a well that is being used for construction of walls around the field. During Phase 4 the well infrastructure will be extended to provide clean water to the entire village.
Job Creation in Cameroon
Job creation is a first step to stabilizing families and communities. Jobs impact economic growth and build hope. To date, KIC has provided a living wage to the 25 contractors that are constructing the soccer field. This impacts the lives of the contractors’ family members, as well as community members who see increased demand for their products and services.