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The Backpack
Hostelworld 2013 Hoscar winner 1st in South Africa

South Africa


The Backpack

If you live in the USA, and would like to bring soccer supplies for the project on this page contact at this link. in partnership with the U.S. Soccer Foundation and Pack for a Purpose will send the first 150 people who complete the form with the necessary information 4 free deflated Passback soccer balls with needles to "Pack for a Purpose" on your trip. (Limit one request per address.)

Our skipping ropes are specially made for use in Gymnastic skipping and can be purchased locally. It is our pleasure at The Backpack Cape Town to facilitate this for you at your request. We would have to have purchased these prior to your arrival as they have to be ordered in advance. Please contact us at this email address,, if you would like us to purchase these skipping ropes that will be donated on your behalf.


The Great Commission United Academy in Heideveld in the Cape Flats.GCU was set up in 2001 by Mario van Niekerk. Born and bred in Heideveld, Mario had witnessed many of the community's problems first hand and felt passionate about helping many of the area youth and keeping them off the streets. Hence the Soccer Academy was born.

GCU is not just a football club, it has expanded into a wider range of community activities including rope skipping, tutoring, life skills, school for dropouts, mentorships and way out of being trapped in the cycle of gangs and drugs.


General School Supplies:
Book bags, Colored pencils, Crayons, Erasers, Highlighters, Markers, Pencils, Pencil Cases/Bags, Pens, and Rulers

Art Supplies:
Craft Scissors, Watercolor Paints and Brushes, and Wool and Knitting Needles

Text/Reading Books:
(English) Age Appropriate Story Books

Bananagrams, Chess Sets, Connect Four, Puzzles, and Scrabble

Music Instruments:
Castanets, Cymbals, Guiros, Harmonicas/kazoos, Maracas, Recorders, Tambourines, Triangles, and Xylophones

Sports/Outdoor Activity:
Baseball Caps (all sizes), Jump Ropes, New or Gently Used Soccer Boots/Cleats (all sizes), Soccer Balls, Team Uniforms/Knits for Soccer, Water Bottles, and Whistles

New or Gently Used Children's Clothing and Shoes, New Underwear (ages 4 to 18), Sneakers/Trainers (sizes 4 to adult), and Socks (ages 4 to 18)

Computer Hardware/Software:
Digital Cameras

All the needs are current as of January 30, 2015
Listed on this page are the specific needs requested by the community project(s) so you can choose exactly what to pack for a purpose and express your gratitude to the local community with the supplies you bring for them.
Candy and balloons are not on the needs list as they are harmful for the children and the environment for the following reasons:
• Few of the children benefiting from these projects have access to toothpaste, toothbrushes, or a dentist. The candy promotes cavities.
• The balloons once they become deflated are a choking hazard for local wildlife.

Instead of bringing candy or balloons, use that space for additional requested supplies, as they are priceless.