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Bulawayo Football for Hope Centre

Building Occupancy / Site Capacity: 

The Bulawayo Football for Hope Centre will engage youth with HIV/AIDS prevention activities and leadership training.

Project completed!
The building and the pitch are finished, the community partner is taking ownership of the building. The first opening ceremony was held on November 9th, but the center host is planning another big event in June.

Host Organization:
Grassroots Soccer
Football based programs since 2003

Bulawayo Football for Hope Centre’s mission is to provide a safe, productive space for the delivery and dissemination of soccer-based HIV prevention education and services, and create and support of programs for healthy community development and enrichment.

About the Centre Host:
Grassroots Soccer uses the power of the world’s favourite game to educate African youth about HIV and AIDS and deliver HIV testing and other health services to underserved populations. The organization was founded in 2003 in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, and has since trained community leaders, educators, and professional soccer players to deliver culturally relevant HIV-prevention curricula to more than 30,000 youth in communities hit hardest by the epidemic.

Grassroots Soccer implements two HIV-prevention curricula for school-going youth aged 12-18 and hosts Voluntary Counseling and testing soccer events in disadvantaged communities to increase access to HIV health services and reduce stigma.

Kuda Mutsonziwa

The site is situated in Luveve suburb located in the North western part of Zimbabwe’s second largest city- Bulawayo. Bulawayo city Council donated the land to build the Bulawayo Football for Hope Centre for FIFA ’20 centres for 2010’ campaign. Luveve, previously Chief Luveve’s native Village, is one of Bulawayo’s oldest suburbs.

The new Bulawayo Football for Hope Centre design has been driven by two major factors; to address GRS expansion plans to accommodate their curriculum and centralize their activities. To maximise on views of the FFH pitch as well as future activities on the site, an L shaped building has been selected. The L-shaped building has a small arrival courtyard, welcoming visitors and creating a shaded social outdoor area. All rooms are accessible directly off the courtyard via an external circulation area and benching has been proposed in this area to activate the space.

Due to the constraints on the site, mainly the high pressure water pipe leaking in to areas on the site, and the presence of a bottle store close to the land donated, the centre host preferred the current location of the building. This location also allows easy access to the FFH centre as it is located along Gwabalanda road which is a busy road for both pedestrians and public transport.

The proposed pitch location is driven by a desire to maximize on views into the site. One of GRS’s main goals is to attract community members to the centre this is done by giving the pitch a visual connection to Gwabalanda road. Currently there are no trees close to the site area. In-kind donations will be sought to fund the planting of trees outside of this budget. To avoid clashes with the current leaking pipe and maintain a strong street visual impact the pitch is orientated on an east/west direction.

The internal programmatic requirements had a strong emphasis on providing adequate space to run the core curriculum activities in doors to avoid disruptions during the rainy season. This has been addressed by incorporating a large multipurpose room with a large store room for furniture and equipment needed for day to day activities and larger community events. The sanitary facilities are located at the centre of the building making them easily accessible for all users. The administration area is located at the site entrance.

The re-purposed vertical shipping container is to be used for football equipment storage and is located near the pitch. This will be graphically treated and will act as 'the unifying element' that graphically connects all Football for Hope Centres. The horizontal container next to the multi-purpose room will be used for the youth friendly corner and food preparation area during tournaments.

Supply of a borehole for the site is a crucial element in the implementation of the FFH centre. Currently the municipality water cannot be used for construction purposes and Bulawayo is in a low rainfall area with frequent water shortages. A borehole, tank, piping, solar panels and controls are needed on site. This will be dependent on cost, geo tech survey in the design development phase.

Sustainable Features:

The building orientation and roof overhang are designed to minimize overheating during summer months, while maximizing solar gain during the cooler winter months. Typically the multi-purpose block facing the court yard receives morning sunshine. This is ideal due as mornings in Zimbabwe are generally much cooler. The admin building block side facing the courtyard receives afternoon sunshine which can result in overheating. The provision of an outdoor shaded area here as well as a recessed façade promotes cooler temperatures in this area.

Water conservation, rainwater harvesting and adequate sustainable urban drainage systems to combat large-scale soil erosion in the area as well as effectively drain excess water from leaking high pressure pipe away from the pitch and FFH centre are vital elements in the successful implementation of the new FFH centre. In addition, a new bylaw prohibits usage of municipal water during construction. We have proposed a borehole and water storage tank to supply adequate water supply to the centre in this predominantly dry region. Although the area receives 590 mm of water annually, most of the rain falls between November and February. Most of this water drains back to the Indian Ocean leaving the area prone to water shortages in the following months. Research on the possibilities of rain water harvesting in this area will be conducted during the Design Development phase to address this issue. In addition gravel, paved and planted areas are proposed around the site to minimize surface run off and soil erosion.

The project includes a base donation of solar power products and installation as a turnkey sub-contract with Yingli Solar, with Phaesun as the implementing agent. Provisions for solar lights around the pitch have been included in the project base brief. In addition, the centre host requires a solar water heater for shower and change areas and solar panels to power the borehole pump (as budget allows)

The use of re-purposed materials and recycled materials whenever available and economically viable and use of Traditional ‘building techniques as appropriate and with warranty’ is proposed Patterned stone decorative panels on paved areas, incorporating traditional Ndebele wall patterned styles on the exterior façade and using traditional Shona brick coursing styles for air-brick clad areas are all ways to infuse cultural elements in this building. Wherever possible, naturally renewable materials with low embodied energy such as wattle along the outdoor shaded area are used. The choice of material will be cost dependent and will be decided in the next design stage.

Pedestrians and vehicles all access the site from Gwabalanda road as indicated on the site plan. To comply with building regulations, the building is setback at 9m. Provision for 10 car park spaces has been provided located next to the covered pedestrian entrance walkway. Vehicular access at the back of the ablutions and multipurpose block allows for vehicular access to designated tent areas during event days. The building is accessed from the court yard area acting as the main circulation area for the building. This together with ramped access at the entrance pathway of the building allows all building users to safely enter or exit the building.

The positioning of the windows on the building plays a crucial role in providing natural surveillance around the site, especially where the admin office is located where staff can see what is happening on the pitch, building entrance and site entrance. To access the building visitors have to pass this area through the covered entrance way which allows building users in the admin block and the multipurpose room to view who is entering the building. In addition metal security gates for the ablutions and admin block have been proposed. Using smaller and higher window openings where possible reduces the risk of intruders entering the building and lessens the cost of providing burglar bars to windows.

Supply of a borehole for the site is a crucial element in the implementation of the FFH centre. Currently the municipality water cannot be used for construction purposes and Bulawayo is in a low rainfall area with frequent water shortages. A borehole, tank, piping, solar panels and controls are needed on site. This will be dependent on cost, geo tech survey in the design development phase.

About the Football for Hope Campaign:

“20 Centres for 2010” is the Official Campaign of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™. Its aim is to raise funds to create twenty Football for Hope Centres for public health, education, and football across Africa. The centres will address local social challenges in disadvantaged areas and improve education and health services for young people.

Back to Football for Hope program overview


Gwabalanda Road Luveve


Project Details

NAME: Bulawayo Football for Hope Centre
PROJECT LEAD: Football for Hope
LOCATION: Gwabalanda Road, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
START DATE: May 08, 2013
CURRENT PHASE: In construction
COST: $179921 USD (Estimated)
SIZE: 167 sq. m
PROJECT TYPE: Youth Center, Stadium/Sports Facility, Public Space/Gathering Space, Landscapes/Parks/Outdoor Spaces, Education Facility - Training Center, Community Center
CONTRACTOR(S): Gateway Construction Ltd
CLIENT: Grassroots Soccer-Zimbabwe
PROJECT PARTNER: Architecture for Humaity
COST ESTIMATOR: Marsden Consulting Africa
BENEFICIARIES: Youth in disadvantaged communities hardest hit by the HIV epidemic.