The Crystal Palace Foundation FC has teamed with two other charities to set up a pilot project in South Africa.
They have joined forces with the Kagisho Dikgacoi Foundation and the Rio Ferdinand Foundation to set up the Isagoverana Football Coaching Develoment Programme based in Bloemfontein.
The programme will help 18-24 year olds find jobs and develop life skills as well as finding talent both on and off the football pitch.
Eagle’s midfielder Dikgacoi set up his foundation in November last year.
He said: “Giving back to the community is something my grandparents taught me from an early age and something my mum still reminds me of every day.
“Ever since I turned professional I have been giving back to the community on a personal level but I can make more of a difference through setting up my own foundation.
“The KDF has experienced and passionate staff working for us and alongside myself we are glad to be working with the Rio Ferdinand Foundation who have a history of working in South Africa and in particular, Cape Town.
“Poverty is the main factor that affects young people and their chances of reaching their potential not only in South Africa but the whole of Africa.
“We are a talented country sports-wise but because we have a lack of infrastructure and poverty, these can stand in someone’s way but with the KDF joining together with Rio and Crystal Palace we can help these kids and revive their dreams of whatever they wish to do and that will be great.”
“We want to raise as much funding as possible so we can create jobs and keep a long-term commitment. We want to help as many people as we can and if I can say in a year that we have helped 100s of kids get jobs and maybe some working for the Foundation itself that would be awesome.”
Donald Forde, head of the Crystal Palace FC Foundation, added: “When Kagisho and his foundation discussed this work with us we were very happy to come on-board.
"Alongside the Rio Ferdinand Foundation, we have worked in South Africa and also received some great young coaches on an exchange visit to Selhurst Park recently.
“This is a pilot project and from the awareness and, hopefully, subsequent funding that comes from it, all three parties will be hoping to push forward.
“Crystal Palace FC were the first club to play in South Africa following the end of Apartheid and with this proud tradition it was an easy decision to partner with the Foundation of one of our First Team players.”
For more information about the programme, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.rioferdinandfoundation.com.
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