CJ Sapong has already seen success on the pitch in the 2017 season. But his real success started on February 23, when he launched his new foundation, Sacred Seeds.
Sacred Seeds promotes and enhances the growth of underserved communities through sustenance and self-sustainability for present and future generations. Sapong chose the name Sacred Seeds because he felt it fit the vision and mission of what he wants to accomplish.
“I try to keep a little sanctity in my life,” Sapong said. “And having ‘sacred’ in front of ‘seeds’ is a testament to always remembering to bring it back to a sacred foundation. We don’t want to only think about the agriculture aspect or just focus on sustainability. If you approach communities on a holistic level, you’re not only going to grow better people, but you’re going to truly expand on what you need, which is sustenance, sustainability and education.”
Sapong’s inspiration for Sacred Seeds came from his own soccer experiences. After suffering numerous injuries through playing soccer, and being placed on different painkillers, Sapong wanted more natural ways for him to get healthy. And once he did, he wanted an outlet for others to be able to do the same.
“I had a herniated disc and a bulging disc in my neck and back, and I was taking a lot of medicines, but nothing was really working,” Sapong said. “I didn’t like that I didn’t know what was going on with my body. So, I started doing a little research and I found more natural ways to heal myself, and it’s even easier to cultivate them on my own. And after realizing the benefit, I figured that could be the way I provide even more of an impact off the field to the environment around me.”
With that holistic approach in mind, Sapong wanted to help communities become self-reliant and build positive change for generations. Sacred Seeds hopes to do so in three ways -- nourishment, education and sustainability.
Sacred Seeds identifies the needs of the youths in specific areas before constructing self-sustainable greenhouses that will produce the necessary fruits and vegetables that are essential to the health and vitality of those communities.
Highly interactive education, focusing on the importance of nutrition will be provided, as well as all skills and knowledge necessary to maintain these structures. By having access to these skills and knowledge, the youth will have the opportunity to pass them on to future generations.
By promoting self-sustainability, these communities can learn to be dependent on themselves. The youth will learn how to be self-sufficient and co-exist with their natural environment.
“The youth are the future generation,” Sapong said. “So, if they’re healed, and they have the proper skills and knowledge to really build a community at the grassroots level, that’s how you really provide change in this world.”
Sapong wants his first project to be in Philadelphia and help his current community. But he doesn’t want to just bring change to his immediate community; he also is looking to bring Sacred Seeds to his parent’s home country of Ghana. And eventually, he wants to see Sacred Seeds all over the world.
“The first mission is Philadelphia,” Sapong said. “Me, playing here, the last three years have been pivotal in my own growth and I want to give back to the area. And in the near future I hope to expand to Ghana. When you talk about third world countries, these are the ones that truly need self-sustainable communities. Ghana is a near future goal, but we want to reach any and every community that expresses need.”
Since launching Sacred Seeds in late February, Sapong has received a great amount of support and excitement for his organization. Now about a month old, he’s ready to keep working and start creating change.
“Everything I do is with light and love,” Sapong said. “I’ve found myself in situations I never could have dreamed of, and already to see Sacred Seeds and the vision take off so quickly, it’s even more motivation to put in more effort.”