_South East Football for Hope Centre_

Yesterday saw the start of the 2014 world cup in Brazil, with FIFA at the receiving end of widespread criticism, in particular for the demands imposed on the host nation. But, as this project for a football community centre in Botswana demonstrates, not all the legacy of the world cup is negative.

Architecture for Humanity, who coordinate humanitarian projects worldwide state that:

“As a legacy of the 2010 Football World Cup, FIFA and ‘streetfootballworld’ launched the Football for Hope program, with the aim of building 20 centers across Africa. The centers are managed by local NGOs, each having a specific program. All centers address health and education issues using soccer as a tool for development. Architecture for Humanity joined the program to manage the design and construction of the community centers and the building of the soccer pitches. By having a professional architect at each project location, working hand in hand with local consultants and the community, Architecture for Humanity developed 20 unique projects, each one specifically designed to fit the local context and answer the community’s needs.”

23.Botswana_SEDYEA_NW view

North West approach with new pitch on the left


View of center with wall of changing rooms and toilets in foreground.

The SEDEYA Football for Hope Center is located in the South East District of Botswana, in Ramotswa, and serves as a hub for programs currently implemented in 5 villages in the District. It offers a youth football pitch and a gathering space to house community-based social and economic programs. The programs are aimed at children and young people, and use football as an instrument to promote participation and dialogue. The center “… uses the energy and enthusiasm that young people have for sports to draw them away from risky behaviors.” Open Architecture Network.

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Outdoor seminar space

23.Botswana_SEDYEA_N view

North view

23.Botswana_SEDYEA_S Approach

South approach


The L-shaped roof unifies the volumes and negative spaces


View from existing garden

Elisa Engel, from Architects for Humanity, who coordinated the project describes it as follows:

“The new Football for Hope Centre is located on the SEDYEA site, between the existing Youth Centre and the catering area, addressing both these spaces, and within close vicinity of the existing and the proposed football pitch. The approach to the new centre is via the existing landscape area around the Youth Centre. The L-shaped building forms a small arrival courtyard welcoming visitors and creating a sheltered social outdoor area. This courtyard is connected visually to the football pitches via the outdoor seminar room. The multi-purpose room, computer room and offices are all accessible directly off the courtyard via a covered circulation area. The outdoor seminar space is located facing both pitches to serve as a match planning area during practice sessions and a cover for the stage and spectator rest area during league days.

23.Botswana_SEDYEA_outdoor seminar space

Vertical shading to the outdoor seminar area ensures that this space is shaded and usable all day

The design proposes the use of materials that are long-lasting, robust, local where available and that create the most comfortable indoor environment possible. Walls are bagged and painted externally, creating a hard-wearing textured finish. Local stone is used for external paving and for low walls that define external spaces and act as informal seating areas. Handmade bricks are used as contrasting paving in some areas. Floors internally are painted screed throughout, a robust finish that allows natural cooling from the ground into the building.

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Window ledges double up as seats


Kids playing in the multi-purpose space

… The building orientation and roof overhangs are carefully designed to minimise heat gain during the summer months and to maximise heat gains during the winter months. The mono pitch roof and soffit creates tall spaces, further minimising overheating. The roof is made of IBR sheeting with a white Chromadeck finish to reflect heat and is insulated using recycled paper insulation … The roof is fitted with gutters and rainwater downpipes to facilitate rainwater harvesting and one of the rainwater downpipes will be connected to an existing water storage tank on the site. Local clay bricks are used in the wall construction, they were selected for their low embodied energy and good thermal properties.”

At a cost of $196741 USD this centre is a drop in the ocean for FIFA. Regardless of FIFAs motives, the center claims to benefit 1,200 young people between 10 and 25 years old across the South East District of Botswana.



Site plan

23.Botswana_presentation plan


All images and drawings: Open Architecture Network.

Further images, drawings and construction documentation on the project can be found in Open Architecture Network.

Center opened in April 2013