Nigeria is a country which has suffered greatly through sectarian violence, as Muslim and Christian clash and news of massacres are only too common on our television screens. As a response to this, Onside Soccer has set up a project in Jos, in northern Nigeria, an area which has seen some of the worst of the violence.
Coaching in Jos for Onside Soccer is Henry Dakat, former professional player with Plateau United and student with Youth With A Mission in the U.K. Henry has a passion for his fellow Nigerians and has seen first hand how football can unite his countrymen where everything else has failed. Henry returned to Nigeria in late 2012 to set up a project to bring Christian and Muslim players together and is also looking at setting up a further project in Lagos, working with a number of churches in that area. So far he has visited a number of schools in Jos, organised some matches and has begun recruiting for a football academy in the area, which has a strong emphasis on reconciliation between Christians and Muslims through sport. The football academy has two age groups, seniors and juniors, with the seniors training 5 days a week from 7 am to 9 am, and the juniors training in the evening from 4 pm to 6 pm. The goal is to disciple them with Biblical values and to build trust between the group, with each training session including a 30 minute talk from Henry or one of his team.
- to see God use these youth to bring about positive change in the community
- the provision of further kits for matches and training for the junior teams. Onside Soccer was able to provide kits for the senior teams but further kit is required for the younger players
- the provision of two more assistants with a passion for coaching to help Henry with the junior team