Nurturing the holistic human being has always been a central belief for IYSC founders Amyn Bhulji and Abeed Hirji. Through their love and passion for soccer they have been able to exercise this belief in Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton and have recently extended the same model across the ocean to East Africa.
Last year, Bhulji’s nephew Minoo Kanji travelled with him to Moshi, Tanzania with loads of soccer balls and other sports gear to hold soccer camps. Under this initiative, dubbed the Moshi Football Initiative, disadvantaged youth were taught valuable lessons in teamwork and encouraged to bring about positive change and development in their community.
“For one week, we want to bring them happiness” says Bhulji, holding a soccer ball. He was joined with 4 other Canadian coaches – Amin, Shain, Alnoor and Hannah for this goodwill soccer camp.
Earlier on, through IYSC and their supporters, Aga Khan Primary School in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania got their soccer field upgraded and completely overhauled to a world-class natural grass pitch. A small dressing room was also built much to the excitement of the students and teachers.
Ask Bhulji what inspires and drives him to do all this, he points to IYSC’s vision document and talks about “Fostering Stars of the Future” – the seeds of that inspiration comes from His Highness the Aga Khan’s guidance to the community.
The Ismaili Youth Soccer Camp (IYSC) began as a non-profit, grass roots camp in July 2002 by it’s founder Amyn Bhulji who yearned to create and leave behind a soccer legacy since his days of playing semi-professional soccer in the 1970s in Tanzania. With the help of IYSC co-founder, Abeed Hirji, IYSC got its start.
IYSC is what it is today because of the tireless effort and dedication of more than a hundred volunteers over the years. Generous donors have continued to step forward year after year, donating items such as soccer apparel, nutritious food and beverages for kids’ snacks and other donations in kind. IYSC is a big proponent of giving too, like the uniforms and soccer boots donations to Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Zanzibar.
IYSC is open to all youth, regardless of ethnicity, gender, athletic ability and socio-economic status. It is an all-inclusive camp that boasts an average attendance of 180 kids annually, along with a 5 to 1 ratio of kids to coaches. They aim to have kids actively participate in sport while developing core, life-long skills such as leadership, team building, fair play and good health. Today, IYSC continues to be self-sufficient and 100% volunteer operated. IYSC has branched out from its humble beginnings in Vancouver, to Calgary and more recently, Edmonton.
Accelerate your awareness … Learn even more!
1. Ismaili Youth Soccer Camp (IYSC)
2. Moshi Football Initiative
3. IYSC – Back to Africa
4. IYSC Vision & Goals
5. All related Ismailimail posts on Amyn Bhulji
6. All related Ismailimail posts on IYSC
Research, Insight & Perspective by A. Maherali