Life is a journey – and research has shown time and time again that what ultimately brings us the most happiness are the experiences that we had, the places that we visited, and the people that touched our lives rather than the material things that we owned. If you have ever wondered what it would be like to visit Africa, discover its magic, incredible landscapes, and its friendly people and to give back to the community and make a real difference in children’s lives, then you should have a look at the Hoops 4 Hope outreach program.

Kids playing basketball at Hoops For Hope
Hoops 4 Hope teaches kids from disadvantaged backgrounds the skills they need to thrive through sports

Hoops 4 Hope (together with its sister company Soccer 4 Hope) is a non-profit organization that uses sport to teach young people from disadvantaged backgrounds in Zimbabwe and South Africa the skills they need to play team sports and to enable them to cope with the many challenges they face growing up in a world where crime, poverty, and the HIV epidemic is rife. Their aim is to equip kids with the necessary skills to succeed in the future and to grow up to become healthy and contributing members of their communities.

Established in 1995, Hoops 4 Hope is funded through generous donations and grants from individuals, foundations and companies. This sports charity partners with local community organizations, schools, and shelters to offer young people development programs to become the best they can.

Hoops 4 Hope has a dedicated team of All-Star staff and volunteers to help them provide a safe haven for young people, where they feel nurtured and can gain invaluable life skills. The backbone of the Hoops 4 Hope program is the coach, which is so much more than just a sports teacher. These carefully trained individuals mentor and support the young people to help them develop the discipline they need to build the sports, as well as life skills that they need to succeed in life.

Hoops 4 Hope team with Dikembe
The Hoops 4 Hope team with famous NBA player Dikembe at Basketball Without Borders

Hoops 4 Hope also partners with ‘Basketball Without Borders’ which is an outreach program of the NBA that selects 60 of Africa’s finest young basketball players each year to participate in training camps run by many current and former NBA/ WNBA team players and coaches. The players (aged 19 years and under) stem from 26 countries across the African continent and are selected based on their basketball skills, dedication to the sport, as well as their leadership skills. At this five-day event, the participants are not only put through a rigorous program to hone their basketball skills, but they participate in daily life skills sessions in which NBA players in partnership with Hoops 4 Hope address important issues such as education, HIV/ AIDS prevention and awareness and general healthy living. Famous NBA players who have been a part of this initiative include Dwight Howard, Dikembe Mutombo, Luc Mbah, Chris Bosh, Danilo Gallinari and NBA legend Bob Lanier.

Kids in Zim playing games to promote peace, gender equality & respect for environment
Beaming kids taking part in a Hoops 4 Hope program in Zimbabwe to promote peace, gender equality and respect for the environment

The positive change that can be seen through the work that this African charity does is immense. And this ripple effect of positive change filters through to the many exchange students who visit Africa for the first time to discover not only it’s incredible wildlife and landscapes, but its remarkable people. Many students who have been a part of the Hoops 4 Hope experience, credit it with being one of their most memorable. Community based tourism is the future of our industry, and the African term ‘Ubuntu’ (meaning ‘human kindness’) truly encapsulates the incredible work that Hoops 4 Hope carry out for our children.

We’ve devised a fun and effective way for clients who are travelling to Cape Town to donate much needed balls and sports gear – contact us to find out how

Watch the cool video that Red Bull made about Hoops 4 Hope below.