Pretoria - The spirit of the FIFA World Cup has not only gripped South Africans but the rest of the world as the Football Federation Australia (FFA) has pledged to buy thousands of lap desks to help the education of African children.
FFA Chairman Frank Lowy, who visited Johannesburg's Mohlakano Primary School on Wednesday announced that the federation would spend R1 million to buy 9119 lap desks for children in the area.
He said that FFA has joined an existing partnership between the Australian Government and LapDesk Company to purchase lap desks decorated with numerical and alphabetical learning information as well as information about Australia.
"More than 80 million children in Africa have little or no access to a desk in their classrooms and the contribution of desks will help some of them have a better chance of learning at school.
"Sport is vital to the well-being and health of people, especially children and youth and can be used to promote messages around life skills, HIV and AIDS, health and hygiene, tolerance and understanding and education," Lowy said.
He added that FFA is committed to working with the Australian Government in development activities and the tournament is a great opportunity to make a difference to the people hosting the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
"We are trying to make a difference in Africa while the eyes of football lovers from around the world are focused here on South Africa and on the African continent."
Federal Sports Minister Kate Ellis said the Australian Government has been doing tremendous work assisting other African governments and communities to address education and other social issues facing children and supporting the countries in making progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
"It is great to have FFA on board helping us make a difference to many children who deserve to have the best chance of enjoying a productive life, this is the first step in a planned broader initiative to help address key development needs in Africa, including education and health initiatives," said Ellis.