Ned Meerdink (DR Congo)

Ned Meerdink (Sos Femmes en Danger – SOSFED): Ned earned his Bachelors degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he studied humanitarian work in Central and Eastern Africa. After graduation, NED worked for human rights NGOs in the US and Congo. They included Mutuelle Jeunesse Active (MJA) in Sud Kivu. AP deployed Ned to Uvira, in South Kivu, in September 2008 to work with civil society organizations including Tunza Mazingira, Arche d’Alliance, and SOS Femmes en Danger. Ned launched the partnership between SOSFED and AP in 2009.



Pole Sana FC Kabimba

20 Oct

Today (I am writing this Sunday, October 19) the MJA kids had a match against FC Kabimba, which is a village about 10 km away from our center in Uvira. Interestingly, because of the roads which we use to arrive there (we all jam in one truck), it takes about an hour or so to arrive, and that is if the truck holds up, we have gas, etc…

We formed the team to give local kids something productive to do during the afternoon that emphasized setting goals and working together, and found guys in town to coach the team and run daily practices. Some fundraising in the USA got the team uniforms, shoes, balls, and everything they needed to get going. The kids really look forward to matches, which we organize about once a month. Out of all the things I do here, the matches are probably the most fun. I get to practice, but matches are a little out of both my age and skill range. Sometimes there is not so much to get really excited about in day to day life here, and if there is something going on, often times the excitement is in the negative sense, as in “Can you believe THAT happened?”.

So tonight, the MJA team played well and won a close match, 2-1 against a really good team from Kabimba. The kids treat every game as if it were the World Cup final. All the way home, the players sang “Pole sana FC Kabimba,” which translates to “So sorry Kabimba.” The pictures do most of the talking though.

Ned Meerdink

Talking up the MJA squad to the Kabimba side before the match.
Everyone from the village always comes to the matches, but the lucky people get the seats in the trees.
L’équipe MJA, les gagnants.
Pole sana FC Kabimba.

Posted By Ned Meerdink (DR Congo)

Posted Oct 20th, 2008

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