Carlos Hornstein (left) aims to help African kids through sports.

A Sporting Chance

Business alumnus launches nonprofit to get children in Africa playing

Carlos Hornstein 05MBA has a passion: to bring organized sports programs and improved education to children in developing countries. In 2005—the same year he completed his degree at Goizueta Business School—Hornstein founded Global Play Foundation, a project he says was inspired by President Jimmy Carter during a class he took while at Emory.

“We aim to provide children in developing countries with access to better education through the implementation of school and sports programs,” he writes of the organization’s mission.

Hornstein, who lives in Barcelona, Spain, where he manages European sales for an American maker of lighting control systems, decided to focus his initial efforts in African countries. Last April, he and one of his three partners in the effort traveled to Mopti, Northern Mali, to launch a pilot program. There, they met with the directors, teachers, and students of three schools and surrounding community members to establish relationships and assess their needs. Key areas where Global Play will concentrate include providing school and sports equipment, reconstructing facilities, and building sports fields and libraries.

But true to the foundation’s name, the trips were not all work. While in Mali, Hornstein also organized several soccer games for the children.

“Sports are practiced universally and attract, inspire, and motivate everyone, especially children,” Hornstein writes. “They offer a healthy environment for interaction among people of all cultures and help to establish a system of social cohesion within communities. Sports demonstrate the importance of hard work and instill values such as respect, equality, discipline, and fair play.”

Some one thousand Mali children will benefit from Global Play’s early efforts to implement soccer and basketball programs, as well as provide resources to their schools. Hornstein and his team hope to expand the foundation’s work rapidly.

“To see the smiles of all those kids . . . I enjoy playing with them, drawing the world map and pointing out where I am from, showing pictures from home,” Hornstein says of the experience. “There is so much we can do. We just need to bring people and resources together. Those kids deserve the same education we do.”—P.P.P.

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 © 2006 Emory University