A soccer/football facility for Somkhele, South Africa In many parts of Africa sporting activities, in particular soccer/football, are being incorporated into a variety of programs geared towards helping youth to address a broad range of issues affecting their lives. The "team" approach is especially important if countries are to successfully meet and overcome their current challenges, from poverty to HIV/AIDS, and from malnutrition to educational access.

This summer we are challenging the creative world to design the perfect pitch in Somkhele, Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa. This facility, run by medical professionals from the Africa Center for Health and Population Studies, will serve as a gathering place for youth between the ages of 9 and 14 including a home for the first-ever girls football league in the area. The pitch will also act as a tool to disseminate information on HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment and eventually a service point for a mobile health care clinic. The title of the competition is Siyathemba, the Zulu word for hope.

This facility is to be built with sustainable and/or local material and will include a full-size field, sideline benches and a small changing room. The entire facility should be built for less than US $5000 and with local labor. The entry fee for the competition is $15 ($25 for late registration) and is waived for entries from developing countries and communities in need. Full details will be made available when registration begins on July 1st 2004.

Three placed finalists and twelve honorable mentions will be selected by a jury of international design, medical and sports professionals. The final selection for the winning design will be chosen by the Somkhele Girls Football team. The winning design will be built in early 2005.

All finalists and a number of honorable mentions will also be featured in the March/April 2005 issue in I.D. (International Design) Magazine. In addition to displaying entries on its website, Architecture for Humanity will exhibit selected entries on a traveling exhibition starting in December of 2004.

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Important Dates

Project Announcement : May 24th 2004

Project Launch : 1st July 2004
Project ‘kick-off’ at the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum
Full project details will be made available on our website.

Registration Deadline ($15 fee) : 1st September 2004

Submission and Late Registration ($25 fee) : 1st October 2004

Notice of Finalists : 1st November 2004

Winning design announced on World AIDS Day : 1st December 2004


Paola Antonelli | Kevin Carroll | Walter Hood | Steve Kinsler | Rhana Naicker | 2 more jury members to be confirmed including an international football/soccer player.

More info on the jury

Winning design to be chosen by members of the Somkhele Girls Football Team, Somkhele, South Africa.

Project Partners
Architecture for Humanity, New York, NY, USA
The Africa Center for Health and Population Studies, Somkhele, South Africa
The Somkele Girls Football League, Somkhele, South Africa
East Coast Architects, Durban, South Africa

Media Partners
Archinect | ArchVoices | I.D. Magazine | more to confirm.

About Architecture for Humanity
Architecture for Humanity is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1999 to promote architectural and design solutions to global, social and humanitarian crises. Through competitions, workshops, educational forums, partnerships with aid organizations and other activities, Architecture for Humanity creates opportunities for architects and designers from around the world to help communities in need. We believe that where resources and expertise are scarce, innovative, sustainable and collaborative design can make a difference.

Architecture for Humanity’s past initiatives include two international design competitions: Outreach: Design Ideas for Mobile Health Clinic to Combat HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa (2001-2004) and Transitional Housing for Kosovo’s Returning Refugees (1999-2000).

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In addition to implementing design initiatives and competitions, Architecture for Humanity aims to promote humanitarian and social design through advocacy and education programs. To that end, we have consulted with government bodies and relief organizations on a number of projects, including mine clearance programs and playground building in the Balkans; earthquake recovery assistance in Turkey and Iran; and refugee housing on the borders of Afghanistan. At the university level, architecture and design programs around the world have used our competitions and design criteria as a model for semester-long projects. Elementary and high school students have also benefited from our design initiatives through after-school workshops.

Finally, we foster public appreciation for the many ways that architecture and design can improve lives.

Cameron Sinclair
e: cameron@architectureforhumanity.org
p: 1 646 765 0906

Further information will be found at


Image from our recent trip to Somkhele, South Africa.

This project has been made possible by the generous support of Kevin Carroll and Architecture for Humanity.


Volunteers Needed
We are looking currently looking for volunteers to help translate competition information, to design and distribute competition posters and spread the word on the project. If you would like to volunteer please email us. Alternatively if your in San Francisco on Tuesday we are throwing a ‘party for no reason’ at the Marriott on 4th @ 8pm.

Newsletter Challenge
As we are a small non profit organization we rely on our members to get the word out about competitions, events and lectures. At the bottom of this email should be a button ‘to send to a friend’. If possible, please forward this email to 5 people you know, who might be interested in participating or getting involved.

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