One day a long time back..........
The Fantasy Soccer Academy (FSA) was an idea in formation as David Gachungi was growing. The idea shadowed him through his pre-and post-High School days. As a parent who saw his own children take up football (soccer) at an early age, he looked for ways to get them to a wider space where they could kick at the ball, run, pass, and dribble. He would drive long miles from their home to find the nearest football pitch. He was so many things in one: a driver taking the children for a game, a parent making sure they were safe and a coach making sure they got the knowledge and skills. He juggled these roles skillfully until one day at a chance meeting he met other parents who were looking for ways to get their football-liking children into an Academy. An idea was born out of this, and it took its first step in 2017. With a pioneer team of ten children, the enrolment doubled within a week, prompting David to pursue it further. Fantasy as it is known became the go-to nurturing space for many young children in Nyeri, Kiambu, Marsabit, Kitengela, and beyond, which renewed their passion for soccer. During this initial period, we realized that more than 80% of these children came from resource-limited family backgrounds and were going through a lot of challenges despite their passion for both soccer and school. Another idea was born. Through the Fantasy Soccer for Education Initiative (SFEI), we came up with income-generating projects out of which money to sustain and accommodate non-regular children enrolling at the FSA was generated. Currently, we have adopted an eligibility system where children are vetted for vulnerability using two parameters: family background and academic performance. We connect the children whose likelihood to join or stay in school can be near impossible, yet they are doing well both as footballers and in academics. We work with well-wishers who have or are still also supporting our endeavours for example: Marsabit County Government, FKF Machakos, FKF Kajiado, Nyeri County Government, Utumishi Sacco School to whom we are grateful for the time they offered us their school training grounds up to 2021, Ball to All, through Inuka Direct who gave us balls to start, Toriano Hobbs who donated soccer boots and equipment, The Giving Exchange who are currently supporting our T-shirt project, Denali Waters who have consistently supplied free water, Kikuyu grass for upgrading Utumishi Primary grounds, Betpalace for mentorship, Level 5 Experts, Sade Marketing Solutions, Safaricom, The Mumenya Family for graciously extending the Kitengela Oasis Gardens, PEFA Ruiru Cathedral for working with us about their Lamu Resource facility we hope to run, the Advocacy Network Africa (AdNetA) for catalyzing and rejuvenating the physical and mental health activities and interventions, and all those who through their encouragement, partnerships, donations, physical visits, children mentorship programs, subscription subsidies, offsetting expenses and other gestures, have seen us through to the present-day achievements. We are grateful.
- To create an enabling environment for the provision of first-class football education and holistic development;
- To establish contexts for formation, growth, and development using football, play, and recreation to forge passion for football and sport;
- To instill in our children a sense of esteem, awareness, discipline, responsibility, and commitment;
- To use our space to talk about alternatives to drug use, dealing with alcohol use debut, and provide avenues for rehabilitating those already facing drug-related problems;
- To offer essential life skills such as co-operation, leadership, responsibility, and teamwork
- To give the children an opportunity to learn about football as a sport and explore possible careers in football other than as a player;
- To provide a critically safe and fun environment for children from all backgrounds further instilling a sense of belonging.