February 1, 2003 - Passback: Passback and the Peace Corps in Malawi

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Malawi: Peace Corps Malawi : The Peace Corps in Malawi: February 1, 2003 - Passback: Passback and the Peace Corps in Malawi

By Admin1 (admin) on Saturday, February 01, 2003 - 5:31 pm: Edit Post

Passback and the Peace Corps in Malawi

Passback and the Peace Corps in Malawi

Brendan and Mike Moylan, the founders of Eurosport, love soccer. They always have and they've built their lives around it, so in 1989 when an opportunity to give back to the game presented itself they seized it. It began when a family friend came into the old Eurosport store looking for some gear to send to his daughter, a Peace Corps volunteer working with children in Malawi. While looking for gear they could send her, the Moylan brothers realized that they had closets full of their old soccer gear that they no longer used but was too good to throw out. So they boxed up a package and sent it off to her. But they didn't stop there. It dawned on them that if they had closets full, there must be other players out there whose garages, closets and basements also overflowed. Recognizing a need in the world-wide soccer community, they created the Passback program.
The Passback program collects used but still playable gear and sends it to teams/organizations who are otherwise unable to afford even the most basic soccer equipment. From a small school in Zimbabwe to an after-school program in inner-city New York, Passback gear has found its way to all corners of the globe. It has grown from one box sent to a family friend to a program that donated some 30,000 pieces of gear last year.


In Eastern Africa, nestled between Zambia, Mozambique, lies the small country of Malawi. Peace Corps Volunteer Stephanie Jayne works for the Department of National Parks and Wildlife there. Her project in her own words...

"As there seems to be a 'cycle of dependency' and expectations of hand outs in this area, we chose a different strategy in getting the cleats to those who could use them. The Department...together with the Kazuni Football Club established a 'Shoes for Work' program. The idea is simple. The FC identified specific projects that benefit the community as well as long-term conservation of Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve. The soccer cleats simply served as incentives for community works. I wish you could have seen the faces of these men as they tried on their new shoes. They had earned these shoes by virtue of their hard work; they were not just given to them by some wealthy donor."

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This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Malawi; Special Interests - Sports; Service



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