Featured

The Future of African Baseball

My name is Gingo Samuel. Founder Pearl Baseball and Softball, http://www.pbsfuganda.org. Also a baseball coach in Jinja Uganda. I started coaching in 2012 with my friend Derrick and since then we have trained a huge ng number of kids in various communities. 

Baseball is a tool we use to reach out to kids, inspire them to live a purpose driven life, and be a beacon of hope for their families. 

Our first team was started in a slum in the outskirts of Jinja town. Kids we started with in 2012 were not going to school, stayed in video halls every day, and due to the rough life some were introduced to drugs. This team defied odds despite the community the players come from by being national champions 4 times in a row! No matter the challenges, keep doing what you do to its best because help is on the way! When we cant have a bat, we cut a tree brunch; when we can’t have a baseball, we use a rock; and when we can’t have a glove, we use our palms. The skill is not in the equipment, but in the soul! We adapt, improvise and overcome.

Baseball kept them from all these dangers and bad influences and trained them to be morally upright citizens. We have been able to get over 20 kids in school through out friends. This is because no matter how good ball players they are, they need an education. We have tried to ensure that we help them holistically. 

We have had success stories that a boys team has been national champions 4 times in a row! The slum despite the ridicule to it, has produced some of the best ball players in the country. Some that I have posted on my Twitter account.
I know kids are so good here and they dream big to be professional baseball players in MLB. This dream however, never seems to be a reality because there are no developed facilities to train our kids to be to that level and no opportunity along the way. Many kids drop out of baseball and their dreams gradually are banished from their minds. This breaks my heart. 

That’s why with my program, we want to concentrate on about 3 frontlines: education, professional baseball, and vocational jobs. We want to have our kids getting baseball scholarships in high schools and college allover the world. Playing for academies and clubs. Our kids have that potential because they work hard. Given an opportunity they will shine. 


Most of these come from families that can’t provide 2 meals for them a day,  and we believe if we get opportunities for them, they will help their families in due time.
Right now we have 60 active players in schools and communities. Our kids are ages 9-18
From these 25 are between 14 to 18 years. 35 are ages 9 to 13.

Meta a 9 year old is a wonderful kid, and the world should watch out for him!



We believe that as coaches we are doing our best to find opportunities for our kids and they are in turn working hard to be good players! Little by little we are building a baseball empire in Uganda and be the first company to spear head the development of commercial baseball in Africa.

This is on a slo-pitch organized by Pearl Baseball and had delegates from the US Embassy Kampala.

We look forward as a nonprofit to working with many people to add value to our programs and also build this vision together. In Africa we say UBUNTU which means “we are because we are.” If we are to play baseball right in Africa, we have got to equip our coaches and players with the necessary resources and knowledge. As a former ball player for the Uganda national team, I understand the struggles coaches and players go through to keep this game rolling in Africa. Unlike nations where baseball is a common sport, we have got to go past many barriers to make this game popular in our communities and nations in this beautiful continent. Great investment has to be made to sustain this growth. This is why I call upon every individual who can partner with us and invest in this great cause. Many families in the US invest money, time and resources in their kids, in Africa coaches invest in the kids! This can never be sustainable because coaches are also struggling.

As the world helps us develop baseball in Africa, those of us in Africa have a vast task to do; to make popular this great sport in every community. This means working overtime teaching as many people as we can about baseball. We need to let our companies know baseball hence the hope of getting local sponsorships and investments. This is going to take a team of determined selfless individuals to propagate this vision of #GROWTHEGAMEAFRICA_ baseball & softball. Africa has talent the world has not seen yet and we want to deliver these wonderful players to the MLB. Now we are not going to plead with the MLB to take interest in African countries, but we are going to make them come to us because of the quality of talent we are going to showcase. We are only here to play and advance a sport we love! When will it become heritage for Africa? It has to start now. We have to do the biggest job in developing it as African leaders.

East Cardinal’s player Ivan Buni tagging out at 2nd base

I have a dream that one day African is going to have an African baseball and softball league and it would be nice if you were part of this great quest! Partner with Pearl Baseball & Softball Foundation today to cause this change. I have never underestimated the power of unity and small beginnings. I remember our humble beginning in 2012 and look at how far we have come and say there is yet more to be done. I bat for African baseball. Development in individual communities in Africans countries is the first step to building an African baseball domain. We want to see our players in the MLB and in academies all over the world. However, we must first build sustainability in Africa so that we can feed the rest of the world with great ball players.

For PBSF, step one is to build a baseball complex with advanced training facilities and fields for games. An article will be out soon about this project, but you can email me at pbsfoundation@hotmail.com if you would like to support this project.

For more details on donations, and how you can get involved check our site http://www.pbsfuganda.org. All donations both money and equipment go directly towards supporting the foundations programs and scholarship scheme. To donate contact me on email: pbsfoundation@hotmail.com or call via WhatsApp: +254782613257. Consider being among those who help Africa raise the baseball and softball flag over the horizons. God bless you all.

Looking forward to partnering with you all.

God bless!

Gingo


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Baseball Beyond Africa

Article by Samuel Gingo

Founder & CEO Pearl Baseball and Softball

http://www.pbsfuganda.org

+254 782 613 257 WhatsApp

What’s Baseball Beyond Africa (BBA)?

It’s Pearl Baseball and Softball Foundation’s trademark. On top of our official company logo, we thought it wise to have a trademark that globalizes our vision.

With early developments of our nonprofit back in 2012, we have always been driven by the desire to impact youths in vulnerable communities and empower them through baseball. We introduced baseball in a number of communities ranging from slums to city areas and institutions.

Prior to becoming a registered nonprofit organization in Uganda, we always operated baseball and softball activities in one township. This way, we were able to train over 400 players through our program. However, this mode had a lot of challenges to it. We were not able to sustain players through various levels of play and growth because it was difficult raising resources without a registered company with the government. We had few activities and our players never had enough games to play in periods ranging to 6 months of no games.

What has changed now?

We have been able to register Pearl Baseball and Softball with government as a nonprofit company. Registration No: 80020002579838

With this company we are legal and can operate anyway without barriers of geographical location! We are going to have a lot of games, clinics, conferences, new places to take baseball to according to our 2 year work plan 2021 and 2022. We hope to be able to do more developments in Uganda but as well as give support to other coaches running baseball and softball programs allover Africa. When we look at the development of baseball in other African states, we are definitely looking at making baseball a pastime in Africa. Beyond this, there are many people allover the world who would like to identify themselves with baseball and softball that aims at community development. “Before we look at having African ball players in the MLB, we have to first develop them in Africa and build a facility around them” a great statement from Vernon L. Finley, Ballistic Athletic Wear.

He also says in an email to me: “Training…pushing the brand…and willing investors will grow the sports in Africa.” With our trademark and other brands all over the world willing to come down to Africa to invest in the development of sports is a great shot.

The success of our nations is in the strength of the young ones! All developments must directly be looking at empowering young people because they are the hope of the future. Baseball Beyond Africa looks at growing relationships with the global village. Through advocates, ambassadors, sponsors, well wishers, supporters and all stakeholders we are going to #GrowTheGame in Africa and beyond.

This is a vision that God has impressed upon my heart! To build social communities that revere God and are compassionate about the needs of their neighbors.

As Pearl Baseball Foundation our two year work plan looks at this:

The project is based on the 5 attributes of Pearl Baseball & Softball Foundation; resilience, hope, self-confidence, teamwork, and moral uprightness. To achieve this project as planned, our work plan gives a number of objectives that we aim at. Once we follow through with all activities, we believe we shall be on top with visible impact on the communities we have worked with. Our project consists of four main objectives.

  1. To train 50 baseball and softball coaches, who will aid in training of the teams across Uganda (30 baseball & 10 softball), and 10 umpires who can ump games nationally and internationally.
  2. To introduce baseball in communities which are highly affected by drug consumption.
  3. To develop a foundation league that can be played countrywide annually.
  4. To modify the training ground/field so that they are suitable for baseball & softball training. For example, construction of dug outs, backdrop, grading and leveling of the ground, demarcation of the field and planting of the grass.

The details on each of those objectives, including our plans for timeline of completion and which staff member will be responsible for ensuring their completion, are in our work plan which will be featured in an article. More importantly, we would like to share with you the why our mission is so important to our community.

According to the New Vision nationwide paper, it is evident that drug abuse among the youths and domestic violence against children in schools and communities have been escalating in the country and few measures have been adopted by government to protect these children. According to the Daily Monitor a nationwide newspaper, In the last one month, police in Kampala have recorded more than 1,000 cases of drug-related offences, particularly involving teenagers and youth aged between 13 and 24 years. According to the New Vision, on the 28th July 2020, writes, About 60.4% school children reported routinely being beaten and humiliated for reasons such as coming late or making noise in class. Our goal is to reach children in these communities and introduce them to baseball and softball as a tool for evangelism. We want to help curtail this wave of abuse and drug-related offenses in the community through our project.

Teens smoking Marijuana. We want them to be transformed by God, we have got to use the tools at our disposal to attract them.

I believe there are many communities all over the world that are facing similar problems. With Baseball Beyond Africa, we want to be a beacon of change and hope. This young man smoking Marijuana would be a great ball player living a healthy inspiring life.

What is the root of all these challenges?

In my 8 years experience working with teenagers and children in over 5 African nations, I have found that being idle is the major cause of these social problems. There are many other causes but this is what I see is major. Once this is sorted, by engaging young people in activities like sports, there is 100% chances of effective transformation.

This is why we want to use baseball to bring about this community development by solving problems at hand in relation to young people. And a sport like baseball is one of the greatest tools or means I have found are able to attract them. Our programs are currently in 2 communities and schools and we want to reach out to more communities with similar struggles with an ultimate purpose of developing MLB African players from the unsearched rural areas. And we are going to achieve this. We are dedicated to our vision and working diligently to see it accomplished. Our greatest need right now is a baseball complex. Once we have a centralized location where we can have activities, we are going to impact thousands of young people and develop rural communities.

Beautiful Sunset in the African Wild

Africa is a great and beautiful continent where we have thousands of tourists come each year to go on life changing safaris. However, we want to also showcase to the world beyond Africa the great strength of African athletes! And this is what our trademark is here for! We are building the walls of Africa, not in a way of keeping us separate from the world, but we are building a baseball and softball domain in Africa that will stand for centuries to come! Our rich culture is a great homerun into making this great sport an African heritage.

Like someone said, “Do it they will come!” I wish this was possible for me to set up all the facilities Pearl Baseball needs and eventually would attract more people willing to sponsor! As a 24 year old Founder of Pearl Baseball, coming from a very humble background, with no parents to run to, to give me the acres of land in need for the facility, how do I do it without you all? In Africa we have a word UBUNTU which joins not only Africa but the entire globe!

I am trusting God for the provision of all resources we need to see this growth in Africa. Pearl baseball needs you all! We can’t do it without you! We are who we are right now because of who you’ll are! This is why I call upon your support! Whatever you can do to see Baseball Beyond Africa grow would be appreciated. The vision is big, that I can’t sleep! Every single moment, my mind is itching with ideas. But I know this is our time to make this growth a reality in Africa! We are ready for it! But are you ready?

We need equipment, training resources, funds, expertise, we need ideas, prayers, ambassadors, to mention but a few. Please I call upon you all to give whatever you can give. An African proverb says “Kamu, kamu gwe muuganda” meaning “one by one makes a bundle!” You can support our cause with new or used equipment, training materials, apparel, funds, ideas, your time and so on.

If you would like to make a donation:

1. Of equipment and apparel, you can ship it directly to my associate in Michigan Jesalynn Otte at 1716 Johnston St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506

We have received some equipment at that address and Jesalynn will plan to travel to Uganda and bring all donated equipment as soon as international travel ban in lifted.

Or you can directly ship to Uganda. Email me at pbsfoundation@hotmail.com and will get you a box address to ship to.

2. If you would like to make a money donation there are a number of ways you can do it. You can donate through my associate’s PayPal: lindsaybdehoff@gmail.com, you remember to note Pearl baseball when you make a donation.

You can also directly send a donation via Western Union email me at pbsfoundation@hotmail.com and I can give you the detail

World Remit: (MTN Uganda) +256770809136, Gingo Samuel

Gingo Samuel, Founder Pearl Baseball. Theologian pursuing a Bachelors Degree of Arts Theology at Alpha-Omega Seminary Jinja, Uganda, also a student of Global University, Springfield, Missouri 3rd Year Student.

Let’s build a baseball domain in Africa together!

Links to Follow:

http://www.pbsfuganda.org

Facebook: @PBSFUganda

Twitter: @GingoSamuel

LinkedIn: Gingo Samuel

The Pearl Baseball Complex Construction Plan.

A noble task!

Coach Derrick demonstrating to players covering bases by drawing a pitch in dirt. This day the field couldn’t be used because soccer players had taken it over. But we can play baseball off the pitch at a 1 meter square dirt field. We never let a day pass by! We adapt, Improvise, and Overcome. This is what makes us Pearl! We are resilient.

Pearl Baseball & Softball Foundation Ltd®

pbsfoundation@hotmail.com

www.pbsfuganda.org

“Given an opportunity and the resources needed, African ball players are next for MLB to watch out for! They have all it takes to shine.” Gingo Samuel

CONSTRUCTION OF A BASEBALL COMPLEX

Over the years since 2012 training baseball in many communities across Uganda, I have seen baseball transform lives of children and coaches. Baseball has not only been a sport we love to play, but a sport that has changed our mindsets. It has taught us the value of teamwork because you can be a catcher at the same time pitch! We need support of a team in order to become successful and champions in life. Baseball sharpens the minds through its stratagem. I want to begin by giving you 2 facets to the reality of baseball everywhere.

To begin with, as a coach, I want my players to reach their desired goals and aspirations. This is not unique! Every coach would like to see his players in the big league some day! A coach however can’t make this happen by himself, there is a lot more that comes with making this dream a reality. Facilities in most cases play the biggest role. By facilities I mean fields, batting cages, pitching machines, weight rooms, and bullpen and lost more. On top of these, connections to clubs and scouts for prospects are also important.

On the second frontline, as a former baseball player on the Uganda national team, I dreamt of playing in the MLB one day. This was a dream worth fighting for to see it happen. Now there are a lot of barriers more so on this side of the globe. The lack of equipment, apparel, insufficient games, and low exposure that you don’t have a team in the MLB you can name 5 of their players! You dream but don’t have support you need to achieve the dream. Africa has got untapped talent but our associations have not done a great to find them and nurture them, and find opportunities for them. Those that have been trained are left at levels in life where there is no answer to their “what next”. The what next is a step that Africa has not done much to build. Players dropout at 13 years simply because no one helped to find that next level for them, this brings in other stresses too. This what next is life changing, and the answer to their dream of stepping on those MLB fields someday. Developing talent with the least of gears and apparel is very challenging. The last strike is always the lack of training facilities.

Because I understand the various facets of baseball from the stakeholders from an African perspective, I decided to team up with visionary individuals so that we start a nonprofit that will help develop players from the grassroots and find professional opportunities for them in high schools, colleges, academies and clubs all over the world.

Now to be able to help players there are a number of preliminaries to handle. One is the training and certifying of coaches both for baseball and softball. In the same line, training and certifying umpires is important then finally the managers.

The life and success of a team inclines so much on the strength of a coach. This is why our coaches and other officials are a priority in the development. The next step after this is to put structures with better training facilities in place. This is why Pearl Baseball wants to have a complex constructed. This complex would have a baseball and softball field, indoor sports arena, guest house for officials, dormitories for players, national headquarters of Pearl Baseball and Softball Foundation, kitchen and dining hall for players to have meals, media room, worship center, bullpens, batting halls, a public library and computer center and many more facilities. This complex will have great impact not only to athletes and coaches but to the entire community. It would be giving skills to community populations and other services like medical care. This facility will help in the development of MLB quality players because of the availability of good training facilities. This would also serve as a recreation ground for many social activities. The strength of our communities lies on the infrastructures developed and the social services rendered. The baseball complex would help centralize activity and ensure multiple tournaments and leagues development so that players can reduce on redundancy.

I believe that once our players are given an opportunity, they will shine! We need to invest in baseball to take root in Africa. A base would be a great way to get baseball and softball established. With establishment of training facilities in Africa, it will be a continent the rest of the world should watch out for. We have got natural talent laying low in Africa. We need to raise them up and grow the game.

The minimum space I see for this project is 10 acres of land. I know and am fully persuaded that for baseball to develop in Africa and other parts of the world, facilities need to be established. So the vision to develop communities through baseball comes with a great need of building a complex. With it, coaches will be trained, umpires will be trained, players will be prepared for MLP opportunities, lots of games will be played, our social and economic status of communities will improve, and above all, the impact will last forever.

To be able to reach this level of success, we need all your support! We can’t do it on our own! Africa needs as much support as the world can give! But what does Africa offer? Africa has got Pearl Baseball with an incredible team of selfless directors ready to work! Ready to bring inspiration of the sport to this beautiful continent; to serve in communities, and create a lasting impact with the love of God. We have a great cause, we have a story to tell, and we want the world to listen and see the greatness that comes from Africa. It would be great to have each one of you as a partner in this noble task!

The investment surely is big for a project like this however, once we come together to build a baseball domain in Africa, there is no amount of funding we can fail to raise. All resources we need for this project are out there and I believe we shall get them! As the investment looks big, the task is noble and it’s a heavenly cause to transform lives and develop communities with a gift of baseball! We use what God has blessed us with to bless others! I believe that 3 years from now, we shall be looking at these facilities and the impact and shout out with joy for the global support we got from all well-wishers. Above all every good and perfect gift is from above! God bless you. And please consider being part of this noble task!

Sincerely,

Gingo Samuel

Founder

PBSF

An idea of what we want our complex to look like.

Know Your Purpose

Get to Know Why You Are Where You Are!

There are many times when we have asked ourselves very genuine questions and one of the most important questions to ask is “What is my purpose in life?” If you have never asked yourself this question I would challenge you to take a moment and let this question echo in your heart and mind. Before you can impact any life, you have got to know your purpose in life!

What is purpose?

Purpose is the reason for the existence of something.

There is a reason why you exist in the world today. This purpose is both divine and human. Our purpose has two facets; to serve God and humanity. Purpose can never be about you. And when you find out why God created you and got to be born in that specific place and not another, why you live where you live now and not in another place, why you are connected to the people you are connected to and not others and so on all directly identify you purpose.

For many years I always thought that maybe if I had been born in another country, or in another family, or in another continent my life should have been better than it was. At this point I would never find the purpose for my life because everything was just about myself. I wanted life to be good for me and that was all. But something changed in my life, when God changed my life from a life of selfishness to a life that looks after the needs of other people before mine. This changed my entire view of life. I started to appreciate my country, culture, family, community, and struggles. On top of this the light of God shone in my heart and I got to see the great purpose that I had to live for.

The first of these if to worship God because it’s the first purpose why man was created by God. You may say well but I don’t believe in God, and I think that genuine too, but know this one fact, that apart from God, there would have been nothing that is today! God created it all. The world is the Lord’s and all that is in it! The universe is today because God made it. Man was the crown of all that God created and the purpose was that man should worship God.

the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise” Isaiah 43:21

God created man to proclaim praise unto His name. And this is a purpose we have to live up to every single day. Praise is meant to be a lifestyle and not just routine. It’s meant to bring glory to God. Doxology has to come forth from each of us in declaration of the wonders of His name. God is create and He inhabits our praise. There is power is praise! So it’s now clear that we are created to praise God. And why we live in the world is to bring praise to God. Now I want us to look at the second level of purpose.

“For we are God’s handwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10 NIV

We have been created by God to do good works. These are quite a lot and they directly relate to our relations with fellow man. We are to serve one another. We are to meet the needs of others. This does not mean you don’t look after yourself. It means you put the needs of others first before yours. Getting back to my story a little bit, I used to think myself and myself only. This was selfish of me and I would not that way fulfill the purpose of serving others and doing good works. I had to learn that true success is when I help others achieve their goals. This shifted my attitude and my mindset about prosperity. A prosperous person is the most generous person! You get much more when you give than when you receive. Now I am talking about giving cheerfully without compulsion to give.

I started devoting most of my time to help others achieve their dreams and goals in life. But as I do this, I cast the purpose and vision in the people that I get to train or share life with. The purpose to serve with the driving force the desire to serve. We can only achieve much by others achieving! This again doesn’t mean you have neglected yourself. In serving others, there has to be a vision! Your vision! A vision is always what your ultimate aspiration is even when you serve others or work for others.

In my experience serving all over East Africa for over 3 years, I have found that because my vision has always been to impact youths with the abilities God has given me, I have always gotten opportunities to go serve in many communities across cultures. Now the purpose to do good works must be embedded within your vision. You will selflessly give what you have for the good of other because you not only care about their wellbeing, but because it is one way you accomplish the purpose to serve others.

To accomplish this, God gives us resources and abilities. Each one of us has got gifts God has given them to act as means to do good works. When God gives you a task, he gives you the resources you need. This is one great reason why we are unique. We are different in abilities because we have strengths that are different. We must then use our areas of strength and influence to impact others. Never do something you know it’s not your area of gifting because you will not give your very best. You can only give 100% in your areas of gifting. You can only be relevant and touch lives not with millions of money, but with your gifts and the smallest acts of kindness. Sometimes your gift is giving. And the magnitude is never in the amount given, it’s in the heart to give.

I came to find out that baseball is my only shot to impact lives both in Uganda and all over the world. Because it’s my gift, I have to excel in it 100%. I have to devote my time and resources to it. And like I said, because purpose in bellied deep within a vision, as I do these little things to serve others, I am achieving my vision, meaning I am becoming successful.

You are where you are because God has purposed you to be there for great service. To impact every life that gets into contact with you with the goodness and love of God. God has pitched greatness in each one of us, and it’s up to you to make the swing! And when you do swing, swing big! Sometimes a swing and a strike is better than no swing at all. This is one reason I never liked to be walked on a base. I had to always be intentional about my swings.

I challenge you today to ask yourself is you are doing your best every day to achieve the purpose God has for your life. Sometimes, we can never know how much impact we can cause by just the smallest acts of kindness. God is pleased by us when we submit ourselves to His will, because it’s perfect and sure.

As you live in life, know that you are not here to serve yourself but others. That’s what makes up great leaders. If the world knew this, we would have no wars.

I want to thank everyone who has supported Pearl Baseball and Softball Uganda. This is only the beginning of great things. I pray our nonprofit will be a channel through which we can forever change the lives of many people all over the globe. God bless you richly in the name of our Lord Jesus. Amen

Last year I had the opportunity to serve in BidiBidi refugee settlement, Yumbe District, in North West Uganda. It has always brought great joy in my heart to be able to serve others.

http://www.pbsfuganda.org

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