My name is Shingi Mavima, the founder and international director of CLUBHOUSE.
Let me start by thanking you all for checking our work out. Being a community-centric organization, we fully depend on your support to achieve our goals. More importantly, our communities will be best-served through our collaborative efforts; and that is something we can never under-appreciate.
So, how did CLUBHOUSE come about? Well, I spend the earlier part of my childhood in Dangamvura, Mutare in Zimbabwe and, although my environment was humble, those remain the best days of my life. Living in my grandparents’ house with half a dozen aunts and uncles and twice as many cousins, I learned early the importance of community.
Some time in junior school, I discovered the fantastic manifestation of talent and community that is football (soccer.) And Oh, how we played. Any piece of open land was a field; and round object was a ball. Although I was modestly talented compared to everyone else, my passion for the game brought me back to the field eveyday.
Fast forward ten or so years. Now I am in graduate school at Penn State University, getting a Masters Degree in International Affairs. While my life path has taken me through twists and turns, two things have been constant; 1) I have always felt football (and sport/culture in general) has a much higher purpose than physical strength and entertaiment and 2) I always felt life is worth living only if a portion of it is dedicated in service to your underprivileged fellows.
And thus the idea of CLUBHOUSE was born (http://www.clubhouseaf.org/). I set out and approached a few dozen people for advice and assistance, before settling on the excellent board of 8 that created CLUBHOUSE (http://www.clubhouseaf.org/our-team/). These are more than just people I work with. These are more than just people I went to school with or grew up with. These are my family: the people who volunteered to work with me in chasing a life purpose and to bring much-needed relief to the communities that desperately need them. Thank you All
Finally, my thanks go out to you all again for giving us your time. We look forward to your support!