To provide year-round instruction, training and conditioning in the sport of athletics to youth, especially those who are disadvantaged.
To provide resources designed at empowering the academic ability for students to graduate high school and eventually attend college. Some of these resources include but not limited to: academic tutoring, college informational session, college application and financial guidance.
To provide leadership and life skills workshops aimed to help each member understand entrepreneurial ways to become a contributing member of society.
Q & A with Our Founder – Ruben P. Sança
Can you talk about your foundation?
R.S: The Sança Foundation is a non-profit youth organization focused on integrating sports and academics as the driving forces to make a sustainable impact in Cape Verde. I went to school in the U.S. for high school and college. In the U.S. there is a student/athlete experience and an understanding that athletics can drive positive change in the community. There’s a philosophy that the student/athlete experience has real applications and benefits to you as a person and in our professional life.
I want to bring that mentality to Cape Verde. It doesn’t exist there. You go to school, find a job or if you are very smart, about 1% of students study abroad. Resources are limited. The Sança Foundation is really about fostering the whole student athlete experience and teaching them essential life skills in high school and college. I work at a university and see student runners and their growth during the four years. That’s not something you see a lot of in Africa. I want to bring that experience home.
How do you balance work with training and building the foundation?
R.S: It’s a lot of late nights and early mornings. I have some people here who help me and others in Cape Verde who are supporting me, including the running federation, the Olympic Committee and the government. Before I left my island, I had a meeting with the mayor of my hometown who’s really excited about how the foundation is going to influence to exercise. When you don’t have a lot of resources, a little bit of exercise goes a long way. Working with all these different partners is part of my effort to make sure this is something that has legs and can last. You see in Cape Verde so many different charities come in one time, then stop. Ultimately, I want to make sure it’s something that is sustainable.
I always wanted to start a foundation, but like everyone I dream about a lot of things and say, “I’ll do it, maybe later.” I realized that I was important to start this foundation while I am still an athlete, so I can advocate for it while I’m competing. Racing helps me carry the foundation and builds awareness. Running is an essential platform for mission, so if that means losing a little sleep to juggle training and fundraising, I’m ready for it.