The early stages of construction of the Football for Hope Centre at the WhizzKids United Health Academy are underway, an infrastructure legacy left behind by the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
FIFA’s brainchild, the Football for Hope Centre initiative, awarded to 20 African countries, including 5 to South Africa is now seeing the early stages of construction developments from one its partnering organizations, WKU Health Academy.
The WhizzKids United Health Academy was specially selected by FIFA as one of the many None Government Organizations to benefit from what FIFA calls “its mission to contribute to the building of a better future.”
Preshanta Vandeyar, head architect of the Football for Hope Centre at the WKU Health Academy, shares her thoughts on the joys and complexities of heading such an imposing project. Preshanta explains how the all too familiar sight of any edifice site has reached visibility in Edendale. The demolition and excavation has made the old surface unrecognizable as the foundation of trenches has converted all tarred areas to heaps of sand.
Asked what stages of construction the FFHC has reached so far? Preshanta replied,
“The construction is at early stages of construction. We have reached demolishing and excavation stages, the foundation of trenches and construction of drainage and strip footings.”
Construction however has not been too smooth Preshanta explains,
“Due to site constraints and certain parameters, progress has been slower than programmed, but not unusual for the beginning stages of a construction project. It is often the case that most of a project’s delays lay within the earthworks; it is where most of the unknown exist.”
The other four Football for Hope Centres across South Africa are in Khayelistsha, Alexandra, QwaQwa and Mokopane, all of which are complete. Preshanta also expressed her enthusiasm of working with a project of such magnitude.
“The project is evidence that those less fortunate can be helped with the right type of collaboration. FIFA, Street Football For Hope and Architecture for Humanity as well as many more sponsors are working together to deliver 20 Football centres in Africa. Bringing football to the people - not only for recreational purposes but for something far more important, to give hope, aspiration and motivation to those who need it most.”
Once complete the Football for Hope Centre will have an artificial football pitch, infrastructural site building, used for health and educational purpose. The building will also have offices, library and an educational space.