Soccer Equipment for Orphanage in Bagdad Iraq 2013
In late 2012, Jeff Natt of the Favela Project, Inc. in New York City heard a BBC radio report that spoke to the terrible crisis of approximately 1 million Iraqi orphans living in appalling conditions. What particularly got to him in this report were interviews with several orphans, boys around his son’s own age, who talked about how aimless they were and how sectarian armies and terrorist groups are trying to recruit them to become terrorists and suicide bombers. He was so moved by these accounts that he felt the need to do something to try to prevent, as naively as this may sound, even one child from this horrible fate and resulting carnage.
He tracked down the BBC correspondent, who put him in touch with the Director of one of the orphanages in Bagdad featured in the report. He learned that Director’s efforts to provide a safe haven for homeless kids, many of whom he finds living on the streets in the midst of the daily chaos and violence in Bagdad, was featured in several credible international news reports, including the acclaimed documentary television series “Witness” in 2012.
He was able to collect all of the clothing and equipment needed through a donation from the Favela Project, Inc., an organization in NYC which sends gently used soccer clothing, equipment and financial assistance to kids and their families living in the slums of Brazil and other poor communities in the developing world. This included 49 pairs of soccer shoes, 57 pairs of soccer shorts, 33 soccer shirts, 5 pairs of goalie gloves, 17 shin guards, 20 soccer balls, sports bags, and additional equipment and clothing items.
After raising over $1,500 from friends and family, he partnered with TD Foundation to cover the extremely expensive cost of shipping to Iraq. In early July 2013, we shipped eight boxes to the orphanage.