New Restaurant for Economic Empowerment
Arguably one of the greatest challenges facing young Kenyans today is unemployment and low employability.62% of the population in Kenya is under 25 years of age. The youth unemployment rate hovers around 13% on average. This figure, while high, masks the gravity of the problem of under-employment, discouraged work force and lack of career opportunities.In response to this,VAP being an organization that embraces and works with young generation through football for social and economic empowerment,has opened M-food restaurant.Originating from the loins of Mrembo (Girls) program, the new M-food restaurant and catering school is intended to engage and motivate Mrembo program graduates, provide them with valuable soft skills including,catering,pastry,financial and computer literacy and prepare them for the job-market as well as helping them create their own sustainable income generating opportunities. Just like Mrembo salon vocational training where VAP works so closely with well-established hair and beauty shops for the purposes of providing internship and job placements for the graduates-food will work closely with various well established restaurants that would provide internships and job placements for the M-food graduates who will eventually join the other lot of ‘VAP Achievers’ (graduates who have been socially and economically empowered).Additionally,proceeds from the restaurant will go towards supporting Mrembo(girls) program in different ways e.g purchase of sanitary towels and other support.
Wasichana Wacheze(Girls Play) Champions League
Clinging on the same trend of unveiling the inner beauty of a girl child through football based activities via Mrembo program, a mini football league dubbed ‘Wasichana Wacheze’ composed of girls from various chapters both in schools and community centres was organized from 30th June ending on 6th August. The aim of the ‘Wasichana Wacheze’ champions league was to create a springboard for the girls to showcase their football talents and a safe space for them to discuss crucial topics crowding sexual health, reproductive and rights issues among adolescent girls. Jericho chapter emerged the first winners of Wasichana Wacheze and were awarded with a trophy and other educational supplies, including sanitary pads. The other participating teams also walked out with educational materials that would support their education with sanitary pads.
With schools on vocation, the month of August turned out to be a bee hive of many community events and activities spreading out in various parts of Nairobi. Top on the list was ‘Goal Events’ where a total of three events were conducted. The event focused on girls who had a privilege of being taught on communication, health and hygiene, rights and financial literacy coupled with football matches. Some of these events were attended by Standard chartered bank staff who had to depart their comfort zones and have program’s hands-on experience with the participants and the community. Despite the Goal events, a series of other program activities were well on track and with an additional Kick N Test football conducted at the tail end of August that saw participants getting to know their HIV status and receiving other health services which is already a culture of Kick N Test football tournaments
VAP's community Anthem
As one of Global Giving user and long-time partner, VAP was invited by Global Giving foundation to speak about its online fundraising experience on what works, what could be better and how the usage of technology could further and add value to community programs. The Yetu initiative workshop managed by Aga Khan foundation and funded by USAID invited Global Giving foundation to share their expertise on online fundraising. Yetu Initiative is a four year activity aimed at sparking more online philanthropy in East Africa as well as empowering Kenyan civil society organizations to jointly tackle the country’s most pressing challenges. ’Yetu’ which means ‘ours’ in Kiswahili, will build local ownership and support for civil society and non-governmental organizations their advocacy for the Kenyan people over a long run. Yetu will also engage communities in fundraising or awareness-raising campaigns, connect NGOs, capacity building platform and mentoring opportunities, and develop online and mobile philanthropy platforms for Kenyans to donate money, time, and skills to support Kenyan NGOs and civil society organizations.
VAP Speaks At Yetu Initiative
The word anthem is quite familiar to everyone as it relates to a solemn patriotic song officially adopted by a country as an expression of national identity or loyalty. With football or soccer being the song and the core language that VAP uses to advocate for social change, the mission statement (in red) and the vision (in black) has become its anthem which every VAP coach and volunteer has pledged allegiance to as they serve the community, and with a symbol of a football pitch being used as its flag.