The LionHeart Initiative is a nonprofit organization empowering African athletes by uniting the skills and passion of martial artists worldwide to build sustainable MMA projects on the continent
THE LIONHEART VISION
The LionHeart Initiative intends to help lift deserving and talented athletes from poverty by driving a long-term development of MMA in Africa with the aim creating local and international opportunities for young athletes to excel in the world’s fastest growing sport and mainstream entertainment. The nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization will maintain its ethos of free and open to all, as means to attract people of modest means and focus on underprivileged communities.
A unique strength of the LionHeart Initiative is its ability to motivate volunteers and connect experienced martial artists with talented athletes in Africa. Over the years, the MMA for Africa movement, which grew out of the LionHeart Initiative, has led to dozens of volunteer instructors worldwide traveling to Africa and offering free seminars in MMA or underlying grappling and striking arts. In return, these foreign visitors are afforded a life-changing experience in training with local martial artists and being exposed to the rich culture and traditions of African communities.
While continuing short-term projects led by foreign volunteers to grow MMA and underlying martial arts (thereafter cited as MMA) in Africa, but recognizing its limitations, the LionHeart Initiative will also fund long-term MMA travelers to live and train in African communities. Concurrently, LionHeart will promote and support pan-African exchanges for African MMA fighters to travel to neighboring countries to share their skills, which represents a cost effective and sustainable long-term concept of operation. Additionally, LionHeart will help organize competitive circuits and collaborate with local promoters to hold MMA events, which will serve promote the sport locally, motivate aspiring pro-fighters, and alter the local martial arts landscape.
“Senegal has 6000 registered professional Laamb wrestlers with very few opportunities to
succeed. BJJ and MMA will undoubtedly create opportunities for young athletes”
Moustapha M’Bengue (local community organizer)