This past July, Los Angeles Chargers head coach and two-time Super Bowl champion Anthony Lynn spent eight days of his NFL offseason in the rural Maasai region of Tanzania making quality education a reality for children in the region. Through their recently established Lynn Family Foundation, Lynn and his wife, NBC New York news anchor Stacey Bell Lynn, helped establish a new school for approximately 300 children grades K-3.
Spearheading the establishment of the school was Ravi Reddy, the Lynn’s friend and former linebacker for the University of Texas. Along with the Lynn’s foundation, Reddy’s nonprofit organization Privilege 2 Serve teamed up with Africa’s Promise Village, a philanthropic enterprise whose mission is to provide education, nutrition and healthcare for African communities.
Hotter temperatures and unpredictable rainfall due to climate change and other weather-related obstacles are creating significant challenges for the Maasai people and their centuries-old lifestyle. The new school aims to empower local communities through culturally relevant education that protects and enhances their lifestyle, with curricula focused on agriculture, nutrition and food security.
“We are not here to change their culture or anything like that,” Lynn said. “These are strong people, with a lot of qualities I wish I saw more of. They don’t take anything for granted, and they have to really work hard to get what they want out of life. If you add education to that, they have a chance to do something really special.”
Without access to schooling, children often go straight into the labor force, leading to a cycle of poverty Lynn is determined to break. During the trip, Lynn learned two critical considerations to ensure the school is accessible. First, the start time is at 10 a.m. — after feeding time for lions is over. Secondly, in coordination with local leaders, Lynn helped set up a transportation system, including donkeys and tractors pulling carts, that will allow children to commute to school.
Recently graduated from UNLV with a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies at age 49, Lynn is leading by example for his players by showing them the power they hold to make fundamental change in communities both locally and around the world.