Hope 2.0

The FIFA 20 Centres for 2010 exemplify how world sustainability can be underwritten by Africa’s bountiful endurance.

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The concept is straight-forward, simple really. While millions of eyeballs are cast towards South Africa for the first FIFA World Cup on African soil, why not raise millions of dollars to invest in the continued development of the continent? This is the vision enthralled by the FIFA 20 Centres for 2010, which aim to promote social development within communities and strengthen organisations through mandatory infrastructure.

In this worldwide lament of luxury and drained pounds, retail and real estate have been covered in a grainy mildew. But “sustainability” is the fresh,  voluminous way of thinking of Africa as the next yolk of the golden egg, the glister of the centre stage dancer, the marrow of the elephant’s leg that is embodied in any view of “one planet”. Aiming to utilise the role of football in society to contribute to the achievement of the UN Millennium Development Goals, the FIFA 20 Centres for 2010 will be distributed across Africa with five in South Africa. Rather than even “trade, not aid”, the investment is in self-sufficiency and social change through skills and infrastructure.

The infrastructure will consist of select buildings to provide public health services, informal education, office space and space for community assemblies, as well as an artificial-turf soccer pitch. The construction will be supervised by the enthusiastic FIFA, strategically aligned Football for Hope Movement and networked streetfootballworld; and implemented by Architecture for Humanity – an international NGO that services aspiring communities, and Greenfields, a leader in the construction and development of synthetic turf systems.

Imperative to the success and preservation of the centres is the commitment and collaboration of the local community. Hence their full involvement from the initial moment of glorious thought, right through to the architectural design for the centre, and construction involving local manpower and skill-building schemes. Architectural design and setup will meet international environmental standards and make use of innovations incorporating ideals of green and community sustainability.

Such bona fide objectives are only met with a sincere intention and the quest for sustainability has been given legs by this initiative. Lined up with this glowing vision is the execution by Architecture for Humanity (from conception to construction), Play Soccer and streetfootballworld, who will collaboratively facilitate change-management projects and educational workshops, thus naturally acting as catalysts for innovation. Imagine the hearty soup of development where public health, education and football all live and braise together in a fiesta of heat. Staunchly true and faithful sustainability is about the world helping the world: We are all connected, all interweaved and all capable of understanding with resonant empathy.

Thus, an approbation and refinement in the minds of thousands, potentially millions, of capable youngsters. The sun-smacked authorised youth of Africa that is empowered with gigantic dreams and redolent faith. Youngsters that have love for the Beckham brand, for the black-and-white checkered ball spinning towards them, for their barefooted friends and their colossal heroes both running alongside them on the sandy roads of their villages. These youngsters have eagerness for the shimmering clouds of prosperity.

As the foregone Sanskrit-writing Indians believed, Africa is a teenager coping with its emanative questioning and self-identity explorations. The world has finally started to strike their gaping starry eyes precisely on Africa, which through sport and sustainability, gallantly rises as the next luminary. Thus, the potential for greatness lies in a distinct African identity and the sustenance of African growth.

Aligning design, architecture and engineering with sincere initiative, the FIFA 20 Centres for 2010 place the accent on the improvement of overall human development. Bringing forward more belief in and awareness of how sustainability is right here in Africa, on your eyelids, living with us and in our complete mastery.

Indubitably so. As nations in the “Global South” start to realise that a valid sustainability is built from the inside and that assistance from the North has its justification, the future of Africa is activated through the advancement and succour of local chemistry. Collaboration between African-to-African (A2A) businesses and industries is where the elixir of merit lies. These allies include government and institutional phases, as well as formal and informal relationships between researchers, entrepreneurs, students and African sustainability evangelists – there’s no hierarchy. Acting as generators of ideas and visions, Africa evolves and shapes into a bonfire of the avant-garde. The new youth infantry of Africa, armed with hope and marvels, is where the governance of the new age lies.

This captivating vision is already starting to be cooperated and installed by the visionaries and enterprising vagabonds arriving on African loam along with the prophetic natives of the continent. Overhauling living conditions, reappraising economic sectors or work practices, and utilising technology for a new way of thinking about sustainability is swelling in Africa. The award-winning MMA sandbag housing solution for the Design Indaba 10x10 Housing project has shown how money and resources can be conserved, while value is enhanced and sustainability is kept as the lighthouse. Similarly acknowledged, Carin Smuts’s collection of work in low-cost housing won her the Global Award for Architecture.

Despite the COP15 United Nations Climate Change Conference in December, the private sector still displays an unbolted openness for ideas and innovation to cascade. In the headstrong minds of the world, sustainability is inescapable as the nourishment of the day. The future is impending; it is already happening. Circulating like an Ouroboro that indulges in its own tail to sustain life, the endeavour embodies wholeness as day and night crash and dance together mildly. That is the current that reverberates in all of mankind; through complete re-creation, re-hydration, re-vitalisation we emerge as super humans.

Sustainability conjures thoughts of “equilibrium”, “maintenance”, “balance” and “endurance”. Allow these to augment exponentially and you have a new universe pending – a fantastic reconciliation, a mending balm that allows for more and more congruity. So as the overall economic activity on the planet quintupled through the birth of the 21st century, Africa has been under-exploited and can act as a saviour for all. Simple.