Timbers collaborate with African Road to build soccer field in Rwanda

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Timbers contingent travels to Rwanda to dedicate field, the club’s first international Fields For All project

KIGALI, Rwanda – In collaboration with Portland-based nonprofit African Road, the Portland Timbers expanded their Fields For All partnership globally in 2020, awarding $50,000 in funding to Togetherness Youth Cooperative to build its first international field in Kigali, Rwanda. The funding supported the construction of a Phase I FIFA junior regulation-sized, graded soccer field with 400 stadium seats.

The team’s mascot, Timber Joey, and Vice President of Community and Social Impact, Dr. Robin Beavers, represented the club at the field dedication ceremony in Rwanda on Sunday, Jan. 7. Previously announced in 2020, the dedication ceremony was postponed due to the pandemic.

“Similar to our Stand Together mission, the Togetherness Cooperative, as well as the entire country of Rwanda, uses sports to uplift their community giving youth and their families hope for its future,” shared Dr. Beavers. “Having the opportunity to see the vision of Pastor Steven Turikunkiko, founder of Togetherness, come to life along with hundreds of people – come together in the name of soccer for the betterment of their community inspires me even more – to continue to do the work under the Stand Together platform to uplift our communities at home in Portland! Timber Joey and I are both truly humbled by this experience and honored to be able to come out and dedicate the field on behalf of the club and those who helped raise and provide funding for this project.”

Togetherness Youth Cooperative was created after a group of orphaned survivors of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda gathered on borrowed, unused land to spend their time playing soccer in the aftermath. In 2011, African Road purchased land for Togetherness to transform into resources for the community including farming, a bakery, a pre-school, buildings for use, and at the core, a football pitch, hand dug by the youth themselves.

“The power of the Portland Timbers Stand Together investment in a special soccer pitch in Rwanda is bringing hope and strength to hundreds of young people in rural Rwanda,” African Road Executive Director and Cofounder Kelly Bean said. “African Road and Portland Timbers, Stand Together share the belief that community-led action has the best outcomes. African Road is committed to equipping people to lift up themselves and others. Thank you Portland Timbers for your part in a growing story of lasting change.”

Stand Together and Togetherness Youth Cooperative in Rwanda

Fields For All is a field building collaborative between corporate and community partners and the Stand Together community platform. With the help of sponsors adidas and Providence Health and Services, they build youth soccer fields and futsal courts each year following a collective mission to provide youth with safe and organized outlets for play. As part of the partnership with African Road and Togetherness, the Timbers sold ‘Stand Together Rwanda’ scarves to raise funds for economic empowerment of girls’ who are breaking cultural barriers as they learn to play soccer at the Togetherness Football Field.

With a focus on communities underserved by recreational activities for kids, Fields For All aims to fill them with safe, healthy and high-quality playing surfaces. Overall, the Timbers have contributed to 18 soccer fields and futsal courts to the greater Portland area since 2011, providing organized outlets to play soccer.

Through their community outreach platform, Stand Together, the Timbers are committed to furthering their community mission to harness the power of sport to improve the lives of children and families in the region through targeted programs, deep partnerships and philanthropic giving. For more information on the Timbers community outreach programs and partners, visit