• Banda Bola Children

    CHANGE to the village

    one CHILD at a time

  • Helping Children Stay in School

    HELPING children

    stay in SCHOOL

  • Creating Girls and Boys Soccer Leagues

    creating GIRLS

    and BOYS soccer leagues

  • Encouraging Reading and School Achievement

    encouraging READING

    and SCHOOL achievement

Banda Bola Sports Foundation began operating in 2009. Kalekeni Banda, a US Women’s college soccer coach and native of Malawi, Africa, saw that soccer could be used to promote gender equality and to encourage children to attend school. Read the timeline to see our progress.


10 Year Progress Report Published

Banda Bola Sports Foundation celebrates a decade of service as a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to transforming the lives of rural children in Malawi’s Chituka Village region. The Foundation’s mission is to motivate and prepare vulnerable children to attend school and improve their lives. We create opportunities for young Malawian girls and boys to achieve personal growth and advancements in education. Click here to read the 10 Year Progress Report.

Kickin Back Fundraiser

In early March 2020 our partner, Kickin Back held their Shamrock Shootout soccer tournament. This fundraiser filled a 40 foot container with school supplies and soccer equipment! The container is ready to be shipped once Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.

Make Your Own Ball Day Makes Soccer Improvements

Our partner since 2017, Make Your Own Ball Day (MYOBD) distributed metal soccer goal posts to nine schools. MYOBD plans are on hold for a return trip in 2020 to conduct soccer clinics at the schools. Malawi schools have been shut down since March due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mzuzu City Area Girls Soccer Showcase

The Mzuzu City primary schools fielded four girls’ teams and held their first soccer showcase in 2019. Banda Bola Sports Foundation supports this program with soccer equipment and uniforms

MoonCatcher distributes sewing machines

MoonCatcher, based in Schenectady, NY, is a partner of Banda Bola Sports Foundation. Its goal is to optimize girls’ lives by removing barriers related to menstruation. In 2019 MoonCatcher brought sewing machines to Malenga Mzoma Primary school and taught girls and women how to make reusable, washable menstrual pads. These pads enable girls to attend school and give them a greater chance to complete their education. Mooncatcher plans for a return trip in 2020 have been placed on hold during the Covid-19 pandemic.


Co-ed league begins for grades 1-4 in Bandawe Zone

This grass roots coed soccer league is engaging children at a young age. The goal is similar to our older scholastic league: to encourage kids to attend school, stay in school and have fun playing with their friends. Children are being sensitized at a younger age to be inclusive and respect each other.

Foundation is laid for Girls’ Changing Rooms

Preparations for a girls’ changing room and bathrooms began in 2019. These facilities will give the girls privacy when changing into their uniforms. The Foundation launched the Buck for a Brick Campaign to help finance their construction. The changing rooms are an integral part of our efforts to treat girls and young women with dignity and respect.

Fourth Container Is Delivered

Kickin’ Back, LTD, based in Poughkeepsie NY, became a partner in 2017 and shares our belief that sports can be used for social change. In 2018, Kickin’ Back shipped a 40-foot container of supplies to our program in Malawi. The soccer equipment, sports bras and children’s books, which were donations from clubs, players and families in their area, were distributed to over 35 schools in Malawi.

Soccer Field Project Underway

Make Your Own Ball Day provided funds to begin construction of a soccer field. Field infrastructure work began in May 2018 and a group of MYOBD volunteers returned to Malawi in December to help complete the project. In 2017, this Indiana-based foundation partnered with us and sent 16 volunteers who ran clinics in 10 schools. MYOBD donated and distributed soccer equipment and soccer balls.

Coaches Across Continents Complete Program

Coaches Across Continents returned to Chituka Village and completed its 3-year in-country commitment to help build infrastructure and support for our programs. In 2018 CAC trained 60 volunteer coaches, quadruple the number from the first year (15) and three times more than the second year (20). CAC ran soccer clinics, taught in schools, and discussed development issues like human rights and gender equality. CAC will continue its partnership with us through its resources and training webinars.

Meal Program Offered in After School Mentoring Program

Attendance at the After School Mentoring Program improved greatly once it began providing a hot meal to students. Because children walk long distances to school, it was often impossible for a child to return home for a meal between school and the afterschool program. Parent volunteers take turns preparing and serving the meals.

Malawi Highlights

Banda Bola Sports Foundation registered with CONGOMA and is established as an NGO in Malawi.

Historic First: Three students from Malenga Mzoma Primary School were selected for National Secondary School.


Third Container Is Delivered

A third container of donations arrived in July 2015. In addition to soccer equipment and school supplies, Jezreel International donated prepackaged meals which were distributed at the after school mentoring program at Malenga Mzoma Primary School in Chituka Village. We have 280 children from grades 1-7 attending the program. Bicycles donated by Troy Bike Rescue were distributed to program volunteers. The MoonCatcher Project of Schenectady donated feminine hygiene products which were distributed.

Scholastic Soccer League for Girls and Boys Expands to 30 Schools

The Scholastic Soccer League expanded beyond the Bandawe zone to include the Kachele and Tukombo school zones in Nkhata Bay South. Now 30 schools have boys and girls playing soccer and over 1,500 students are participating in the region. Ten schools qualify to play in League sanctioned games. There is one girls team and one boys team from each school. Our goal is for all Nkhata Bay South schools to meet the scholastic league criteria so they can participate in official league games.

In addition, the Foundation encouraged the creation of the first Mzuzu area women’s soccer league. We support the league by providing them with equipment and plan to include them in future coaching clinics. These young women will be able to mentor the local girls in the primary schools.


Coaches Across Continents Partners with Banda Bola Sports Foundation

Coaches Across Continents made a 3-year commitment to Banda Bola Sports Foundation (2015-2017). In July 2015 they ran their first training program for coaches, leaders, volunteers and teachers in the Bandawe zone. Their curriculum and training promotes health, welfare and education and encourages self-directed learning. Their trainings will enhance the effectiveness of our program.

Mzuzu University

We entered into a Memo of Understanding with Mzuzu University in May 2014. Our respective purposes, goals and commitments to advancing the education of children of Northern Malawi are consistent and compatible. We anticipate fielding interested students and staff volunteers, as well as community members, as coaches in our scholastic soccer league program and as mentors in our after school program. We are supporting the Mzuzu University Library/Children’s Library initiative to identify volunteers and donors to help in their rebuilding process since the devastating fire of 2015.

Board Member Visit

Brian Wilcox and his family came to assess the work being done by the Foundation. They visited schools and the local chiefs and discussed the challenges faced by teacher. Their sons ran soccer clinics during these school visits.

Second Container Is Delivered

A second container of donations was shipped in September 2012 and arrived in December. In addition to donations from individuals and organizations who helped with the first shipment, we had the support of local Rotarians and more local Capital Region organizations, churches and schools, as well as from universities around the country.

After School Program Establishes Guidelines and Recruits Secondary School Volunteers

It was important to encourage and improve the attendance and retention of students in the after school program. The Foundation worked with local leaders and the school committee members at Malenga Mzoma Primary School and came up with a registration procedure. By asking parents and guardians to be involved in the education of their children, even in this small way of registration, the parents learn to value educating their sons and daughters. The school officials agreed to keep attendance records which also added to the seriousness of the program. Coach Banda recruited local secondary school students to volunteer in the after school program.

In addition to the After School Program, a summer reading program was established for the children in Chituka Village. A U.S. college student volunteer ran the summer reading program.


Scholastic Soccer League for Girls and Boys Expands

The Primary School League expanded to include all 10 primary schools in the Bandawe zone. Each school fields and supports 2 boys teams and 1 girls team in the league. A committee of representatives from each school was formed to oversee the league, enforce rules, manage equipment and schedule matches. Over 650 boys and girls participate.

Volunteer coaches from Holland and the US brought extra equipment and ran clinics for the coaches and for the school children of the Bandawe school zone.


Soccer Equipment Donated Throughout Nkhata Bay District

To lay the groundwork for expansion of the league, Coach Banda worked with two prominent local leaders, former Member of Parliament of Nkhata Bay East, the Honorable Reverend David Mphande, and PhD. and Member of Parliament of Nkhata Bay South, Emily Chinthu Phiri. They distributed start-up equipment to over 50 schools in the Nkhata Bay District. Each school received two soccer balls and pledged to start teams for girls and for boys who will be included in the Banda Bola Sports Foundation Scholastic Soccer League for Girls and Boys.

First Container of Supplies Delivered

Coach Kalekeni Banda, a village native returned to Malenga Mzoma Primary School in Chituka Village in Traditional Authority Malenga Mzoma in November 2011. The first shipment of school supplies and sports equipment arrived in January 2012. This shipment contained donations of equipment by many universities, youth soccer programs, churches, school districts and community individuals, a container of school supplies and sports equipment and thanks to the generous support of the Jack Brewer Foundation, it was shipped and distributed to the children in the area. These supplies launched phase one of the Chituka Village Project.

First After School Program Established

Coach Banda worked with community elders and school officials to deliver school supplies and sports equipment to ensure that each child had a minimum of a pencil or pen, and a notebook. An after school education mentoring program was established at the Malenga Mzoma Primary School for students to be mentored in reading and writing in the English language.

First Co-Ed Primary School Soccer League Formed

Coach Banda worked with head teachers and sports masters to organize the first co-ed primary school soccer league. The Banda Bola Sports Foundation Scholastic Soccer League for Girls and Boys in Nkhata Bay District is the first of its kind in Malawi. It promotes attendance retention and graduate rates for primary schools. Its motto is “Sports for Education”. The league, which includes two teams from each of seven primary schools in the Bandawe zone of Nkhata Bay South district, has over 350 boys and girls participating.