Still struggling with the aftermaths of the civil war, Sierra Leone, the home of blood diamonds, is considered one of the poorest countries in the world. Thousands lost their lives or became amputated during the brutal war that ended in 2002, and the people and communities in Sierra Leone have become torn apart by the many years of conflict. Throughout these tragic and dark years, the Sierra Leonean people have had one source of light – football, and their passion for the sport has helped them in uniting once again.
hummel wants to embrace and support this passion for football, as it is part of the company’s heritage and a key element in the mission to ‘Change the World through Sports’. Tapping into the passion for football in Sierra Leone, hummel has embarked on several different football projects as a way to bring the people together, create a sense of “team spirit” and develop the country further.
Read more about all the different projects below or check out the videos from our different partners:
Learning & Playing
hummel is determined to making a difference for the people in Sierra Leone, and its engagement is therefore not limited to a sponsorship of the national team only. In 2010 hummel opened its first football school in Sierra Leone, where the national team players act as role models and trainers.
Today, hummel has facilitated 9 football schools and football festivals, engaging 85.000 people per year. Together with partner organizations, hummel also arranges football matches in villages and districts were the wounds from the civil war are still very visible.
As part of hummel’s efforts to motivate the children to contribute to a peaceful society, hummel combines sport and education to nurture friendships and the understanding of teamwork. Using football as a tool enables hummel to bring people together in school activities and community gatherings, which contributes to the development of peaceful societies where children can once again exercise their right to play.
hummel hopes to increase its engagement in Sierra Leone further and build more football schools and academies in the future.
In order to have a true feeling and contact with the people in Sierra Leone, hummel has established a partnership with the NGO Play 31. Play 31 was founded in New York in 2008, and the organization’s Danish section was added in 2010. In New York Play31 has a board that includes UN Ambassadors, an assisting UN secretary general, and the bestselling author Ishmael Beah.
The organization also won the award for “sport for conflict resolution” in the prestigious Beyond Sport Awards 2011.Play31 uses the unifying power of football to bring together people and communities who have been torn apart by armed conflict. By facilitating community tournaments and workshops focusing on human rights and conflict resolution, they contribute to the creation of local societies where children can fulfill their right to play football.
In Sierra Leone, Play31 works closely with the NGO Fambul Tok, a local community-based organization that focuses on reconciliation. Play31 works in five regions in Sierra Leone and around 100.000 people participate in Play31's football events annually. hummel is proud that it can contribute to Play31’s efforts and that participants all wear hummel.
In order to increase the engagement to football in Sierra Leone, hummel has embarked on a new collaboration with the Danish NGO, FANT (Football for A New Tomorrow), founded by professional football player and coach Erik Rasmussen and Cecilie Hauerberg. FANT was founded in 2012 in connection with the start of the humanitarian project “Football for Unity”, which FANT operates in collaboration with hummel and DGI
FANT is established to create social change through football and games. Starting seven new sports clubs in different areas of Sierra Leone, FANT aims at uniting the different local communities in a common passion for football. As part of the project, FANT runs a tournament called Karma Cup every year, where the different teams of each club meet and play against each other. This tournament brings together the 1400 members of all the clubs, creating close friendships and ties between the different communities, something that is particularly important in a country previously torn by civil war.
Every club in Sierra Leone is connected to one friendship club in Denmark, establishing a contract of mutual obligations. As part of the contract, the Danish club must gather used sports material from its members and once a year ship these to the local club in Sierra Leone.
FANT also arranges leadership education to all their local employees, which focuses on the development of management skills in the local association and strengthens the social and human responsibility towards the clubs by allowing the employees to influence their local society towards a more democratic way of thinking. hummel proudly provides the necessary materials for FANT and the Sierra Leonean clubs to support not only football in Sierra Leone, but also the development of the local communities, and in this way Change the World through Sport.
In connection to the European Men’s Handball Championship in Serbia in January 2012, hummel developed a unique ‘Rebel Karma’ shoe, which was worn for the first time by many of the players.
In their fight for the Championship trophy, the players not only scored goals for their respective countries, they also scored goals to collect karma points in order to help those in need. Every time a player wearing the hummel shoes scored a goal, hummel donated a ‘Karma Kit’, which consists of a bag containing a football, a handball, a ball pump and training vests. With these ‘Karma Kits’, hummel aims at bringing the joy of sport to disadvantaged children.
In order to give the handball players a personal influence on the charity they helped, they were given their own choice of which project to support. Consequently, ‘Karma Kits’ for a value of approximately DKK 850,000 are now on their way to different sports academies in Sierra Leone or elsewhere, providing excited and passionate children and young people the opportunity to engage in sports.
Consumers were also able to support this initiative by buying a pair of Karma Rebel. This secured a hummel donation of 20% of the retail price to mobile football fields in Sierra Leone. The shoe was marketed in four styles in Serbia, Germany and France in February, 2012 and in Denmark later that year.
Watch hummel's International Sales Director, Simon Schiølin, explain how one goal is converted into a Karma Kit thereby helping hummel change the world through sport.
In the video underneath, you can follow Emma on her quest in Sierra Leone to hand out all the karma kits secured throughout the championship. You can find all four videos with Emma here.
The aftermaths from the civil war are still very much visible today, yet the people of Sierra Leone have not forgotten their passion for football.