Our Story starts with one visionary man

This is an inspiring true story of a charismatic and generous man passionately committed to sharing his love of football for sustainable social change in Tanzania. From a life of poverty and hardship, Emanuel Saakai is now honouring his culture, creating opportunities for disadvantaged youth and giving back to his local community from charitable support. Dedicated to youth reaching their full potential, Lengo Football Academy takes them on a powerful journey from scoring goals to realising life goals where individuals, families and communities thrive.

Emanuel founded Lengo Football Academy in 2012, a not-for-profit which seeks to harness the power of football to bring about positive social change and nurture talent. He established the academy with a passionate commitment and vision to address an important need in Tanzania. 

Lengo Football Academy in Tanzania offers opportunities for disadvantaged youth, street kids and orphans to better their lives through football. We provide coaching and training six days a week and assist our young players to gain valuable life skills, an education and provide vocational support as well as provide a professional route for talented new players.

Emanuel has been travelling to Australia since 2012 to gather support for Lengo. He completed his football coaching qualifications in Australia and has trained many of Lengo’s senior players in Tanzania on his coaching philosophy so that they can continue running the academy when he’s abroad. In 2016 Emanuel moved to Australia more permanently with the aim of running quality football programs in Australia to support the academy in Tanzania.  In July 2016 Lengo Football Academy Australia was born and we are now a registered charity with the Australian Charities and Not-For-Profit Commission (ACNC) and have deductible gift recipient (DGR) status in Australia. All profits raised from the football programs in Australia are used to support the academy in Tanzania, along with 95% of donations received are used for youth programs to enable our youth to reach their potential.

Our purpose is to run high quality football programs in Australia to support disadvantaged Tanzanian youth to score goals both on and off the football field.

Our values are at the centre of what we do and these include:


We find that by designing both our Tanzanian and Australian programs in line with our values it installs a sense of teamwork, respect and passion within them and this is an added bonus of being part of our academy.

We have a team of volunteers working hard in Tanzania and Australia to bring to life our dream of all Tanzanian youth reaching their potential in life by scoring goals on and off the football field.

Lengo is Swahili for goal and our purpose is to provide high quality training programs in Australia to create pathways for disadvantaged Tanzanian youth to score goals on and off the football field”
— Emanuel Saakai