To Lusaka, Lilongwe and Lagos….and many others…..via Lutterworh, Leyland, London and Nakuru (again).
For our Boots2Africa New Year Blog we’re not going to talk much about what we did in 2018;  that’s aside the 5000+ pairs of boots, trainers and astros and 16000+ items of football kit that with our partners we’ve now managed to ship in a calendar year and distribute to children, schools, community and spots academies in 11 African countries.  Nor will we speak much about the experience 2018 was in terms of continual growth month on month and the amazing support and progress in all areas of our micro charity:  The #Grassrootsheroes supporters at over 100 clubs and community organisations, breaking the Boots2Africa footprint out of East Anglia to now have enduring support in Leicestershire, Lancashire and London too[among others].  Nor will we speak much about gaining our first sponsorship, from professional Goal Keeper Carl Pentney and his Keeper Academy to help support our growth.  We won’t reflect for long on our second visit to help the amazing children at the Walk Centre School in Nakuru, Kenya with Colchester United’s Football in the Community Team and in the process enrich the lives of these incredible poor and desperate children and their families with simple but effective donations of football boots and kit…….that all so last year

Looking ahead for 2019, we’ve got an ambitious target to achieve 5000 Boots2Africa donated and delivered in a single season, more if we can, widening our #grassrootsheroes network to many other academies and sports networks both in the UK and of course fully realising and broadcasting the benefit this will bring to our many benefactors in Africa.  In 2018 our [very basic] website was viewed c.25000 times and our Facebook Posts  attracted over 80000 views, giving us a massive increase in Engagament both in the UK and Africa.

In 2019 with our small army of volunteers we’ll be attending more end of season and summer tournaments with our bootbins than we’ve ever done before and we’ll be loaning out our bootbins for single club events too and we’ll be seeking further sponsorships so we can do more with more. But really it’s what more about what you our amazing supporters can do, both as empowered clubs and as a wider community:  When you see the evidence of what we’ve achieved and the never ending and enduring need the empathy with which we can engage and donate at all levels, grassroots and pro clubs, schools and business’ large and small, we will hopefully ensure we can achieve our targets and aims of keeping as many childrens’ feet safe from infection and snakebites and advancing the game of football in Africa.  Get in touch if you’d like to support us in any way, boot and kit donations, sponsorships or organising your own events.  Iain Finch, co-founder Boots2Africa 1st January 2019

7500 Up for Boots2Africa!

14th October by Iain Finch

2 years ago we had an idea on a Sunday morning;  let’s get all the preloved football boots out of the garage and see if we can get them to some children in Africa.  Still nearly new, we don’t want to see them going to landfill and It would help keep their feet safe from infection and disease, protect them from snakebites and of course they’d be able to play better football too…...just 1 family, 2 rapidly growing sports mad boys and an astonishing 38 pairs of boots and astros that we just didn’t throw away…….and Boots2Africa was born.

….so what happened?  90+ #Grassrootsheroes clubs joined us and by September 2018, our second anniversary we passed over 7500 boots donated by children across East Anglia with over 15000 items of kit too!    The amazing team at Monthind came on board, helping coordinate boot collections from clubs we can’t get to and they very generously keep the boots and kit safe before we ship them to Africa.   Last Easter (2017) and again in 2018 with Colchester United’s Football in the Community Team and African Adventures we visited, taught and supported the children at the Walk Centre School in Nakuru, Kenya;  taking 160 and 197 pairs of boots in our bags to help these desperately poor children born in to poverty;  and we made partnerships with lots of like-minded charities with their own projects gratefully accepting our gifted stock for their own concerns.  The result over 7000 of the donated boots already achieving the aim of keeping feet safe in 9 countries across Equatorial and Southern Africa and promoting better play in the sport we love to call ‘the Global Game’.

Where next for Boots2Africa?  We hope to  return to Kenya or Malawi at the end of March 2019 and with an ever-growing base of clubs supporting us we’re expecting our donations to rise to over 9000 #boots2africa by our 3rd Christmas.  International freight and logistics is a costly and customs can be challenging so if you’re we’ll connected to African export business’ we’d love to hear from you;  or if you’d like to help support us with sponsorship or fundraising event opportunities this year or in 2019 then get in touch;  there’s so much demand for Boots2Africa, just look on our Facebook page  or our website  to see the good your generosity as a business could do!