Our Co-Founders – Growing up with a ball at his feet in rural Africa, Daniel Thomae experienced firsthand the transforming power of soccer. For young people all around him, soccer was the pathway to the life they dreamed of. Success on the field could open doors to education and travel; it could put food on the table and provide for families. For so many, soccer offered a faint glimmer of hope in a world of darkness. After having the privilege to travel the world playing soccer and going on to earn two degrees in the USA, Daniel was determined to use the game he loved to give back to the continent that had offered him so much. Understanding that soccer was the most powerful medium at their disposal, Daniel & Kendra Thomae founded training4changeS in 2010 with a desire to harness the power of the game and use it as a catalyst for change among those who need it the most.
The power of soccer – Soccer may be the world’s most popular sport, but it’s far more than a game. The language of soccer is spoken universally. Nelson Mandela once said, “If there is one thing in this planet that has the power to bind people together it is soccer.” Soccer offers a platform to teach life lessons, include the marginalized, empower the powerless, and bring hope to the hopeless. Soccer breaks down barriers and opens doors; it speaks louder than our voices ever could.
The importance of Africa – Africa is the fastest growing region in the world; it is already home to 200+ million youth. Poverty, hunger, disease, and corruption are rife. Without access to good education, many of the continent’s children are deprived of the means to prosper. Violence has robbed many of their dreams. In a land teeming with orphans, very few are defending the fatherless. Too few young Africans ever have the chance to realize their dreams. Empowering the youth of today will help shape the future of Africa. South Africa is in a unique position to shape the future of the African continent. Full of potential yet rife with obstacles, we view The Rainbow Nation as a strategic platform for impacting the continent as a whole.