PLAY SOCCER Nonprofit
PSNI was founded in 1999 by Judy McPherson as she retired from UNICEF as Deputy Director. The PSNI focus at that time was Africa. With the help of Dr. Sarah Kambites, an education consultant with UNICEF, PLAY SOCCER Ghana was launched in 2001 with a grant from FIFA as the first PSNI country organization.
PSNI, with the flagship PLAY SOCCER Ghana organization, became an international leader in recognizing the power of sport as a vehicle to support the United Nations goals for human development and peace. PLAY FOR FUN, LEARN FOR LIFE, PSNI’s holistic development through sport curriculum engaged community members and offered an educational opportunity for children and youth to help themselves reach their potential for healthy productive lives, and as agents of change, to develop leadership to help achieve broad public health and socio-economic benefits for their communities.
With a mission and program for grassroot communities, PSNI used the intrinsic value of soccer/football, its low cost contribution to physical development and wellbeing; the social engagement and inclusive values it promotes; the educational opportunities it affords to teach health and social life skills; its positive impact on school and community engagement, and its potential to prevent disease and its impact on productive lives and socio-economic development.
PLAY FOR FUN, LEARN FOR LIFE developed “activity based learning “ to go beyond promoting soccer and the game to teach:
How the body works and how better to care for it with age appropriate exercise, good nutrition, hygiene, health literacy, prevention of disease
How education, self-esteem, gender equality, teamwork respect, conflict resolution and cultural awareness can lead to positive change and peaceful solutions
How the training and sportsmanship of the world’s most popular game empower us to work together and master skills for a healthy and successful life.
In 2001 PSNI also created the Global Peace Games for Children and Youth to promote the UN human development goals and peace and established a global network of children and youth committed to implementing the goals and a culture of friendship and understanding. The “GPG” were held yearly under the initiative of PSNI through 2018, organized by communities and organizations around the world as grassroot soccer games on or around the UN International Day of Peace, September 21. Each GPG event was recognized by PSNI with a Certificate and official Letter from the United Nations Office of Sport for Development.
A timeline below highlights how PSNI and the Network of organizations it founded have evolved over the years. (Coming Soon.)
PSNI NETWORK as of 2022
PLAY SOCCER Cameroon
Bamenda NWP, Cameroon
Program Director & Board Chair:
Acha Acha Samuel
859 475 3853
PLAY SOCCER Ghana and the FIFA Oguaa Football for Hope Center, Cape Coast, Ghana
Program Director: Franklin Asua
233 501 477 044
Bioard Chair: Kweku Awotwi
PLAY SOCCER Malawi
Program Director & Board Chair: Patrick Kulemeka
PLAY SOCCER Senegal
PLAY for FUN, LEARN for LIFE South Africa
PLAY SOCCER Zambia