Each year Northern Illinois Athletics commits to be an asset to the community by encouraging student-athletes, coaches and staff to volunteer their time locally, and even internationally. In 2017-18, the Huskies partnered with local schools, and sent student-athletes to Africa.
Members of the NIU men’s and women’s soccer teams worked with Humanity for Children on the Turanyi (good neighbor) Project, a new venture to help young people in Kazo Village in southeast Rwanda. The project is designed to use soccer as a tool to keep kids in school while developing self-discipline, non-violent ways of handling conflict and HIV/AIDS prevention strategies.
NIU men’s soccer student-athletes Christoph Koninger, Max Voss and Adrian Coardos, along with women’s soccer student-athletes Kelsey Chope and Abby Gregg, traveled to Rwanda in July 2018 where they provided equipment and donations for the Turanyi Project. Along with delivering soccer equipment and running clinics, the group also spent time with the Rwandan people, going to schools and getting a glimpse into Rwandan life and culture.
Throughout the 2017-18 school year, the Huskies led the community-wide initiative to collect cleats, shin guards, soccer balls and matching uniforms to deliver on their journey to Rwanda. The NIU contingent, which also included men’s soccer assistant coach Jack Mathis and Dr. Bob Hansen, the President of the Board of Directors for Humanity for Children, spent about a week in the East African country.