On 23rd September 2012, Vijana Amani Pamoja in partnership with GOAL KENYA hosted the 1st edition of reproductive health football tournament targeting young mothers from all the walks of Korogocho. An exciting day of football, voluntary counseling, VCT testing,cervicalscreening and immunization brought together a total of 16 young mothers teams that also included 2 young fathers in each team . The tournament was organized under the theme of “Afya Leo ni Uzima Kesho”health today is live tomorrow. The teams converged at Korogocho community grounds, in readiness to participate in this unique 7-a-side football tournament.
Located in the Eastlands part of Nairobi Korogocho slum is the 3rd biggest slum in Nairobi with an average population of 150,000 slum dwellers. Majority of the people are depending on periodical manual jobs with a few being employed in informal sectors.Subsiquently,the slum is also on record with the highest numbers of a myriad of social and economical challenges ranging from :HIV/AIDS, TB, crime, lack of employment early pregnancies, rape, drug abuse etc.Despite the social and economic problems that engulf Korogocho, the area is a platinum standard as a football power house, having produced the finest youth football players who have represented Kenya in various international and national youth football tournaments. The hosting of reproductive health football tournament in Korogocho developed a great relationship with the community as far as preventing and solving out some of the social challenges and left a significant mark on how sports can be used as a catalyst for social change.
AN EXTRA BOOST OFF THE FIELD
What made this tournament special? The focus was not on which team won or lost but more on the participation of teams in the Skillz Kenya HIV/AIDS activities, VCT counseling and testing, cervical screening, family planning, and immunization services that were provided to the team members by Ministry of Health and sanitation.. A total of 472 young mothers and youth were reached out and tested on HIV,cervical screening, family planning and other services.Additionally.The community members around Korogocho also took the opportunity of the off field services and they too received similar services
During intervals and half time participants were taken through Skillz Kenya HIV/AIDS awareness activities by VAP's Skillz coaches and were given basic questionnaires regarding HIV/AIDS to gauge their knowledge and attitudes about HIV/AIDS.
62 boys and girls from Bondeni Primary School graduated from VAP’s Anti-Corruption program in July. This was the third graduation since the program’s inception, bringing the total number of participants to 250.
Over four months, the youngsters benefited from 10 anti-corruption intervention sessions.
Stephen Ndungu, Head Teacher at Bondeni Primary School, says, “I really appreciate the information that VAP has given to our kids bearing in minds that these youth are the leaders of tomorrow. Secondly these youth come from the slum making them more vulnerable to exploitation. They might end up growing up knowing that corruption is a normal way of life.”
He continues, “We all know what corruption has done to our country but with this kind of training and enlightenment we can rest assured that we are grooming future leaders with great integrity.with this kind of training and enlightenment, we can rest assured that we are grooming future leaders with great integrity.”
VAP's FIRST 2 WAY DEVELOPMENT VOLUNTEER
On 1st October, VAP welcomed its first volunteer from 2 Way Development, a UK-based organisation specialising in placing skilled volunteers with overseas charities.
28-year-old Hannah Adam from the UK has five years experience in marketing, public relations and business development and will be focusing on fundraising, communications and staff training . She will also conduct a research project to gather insight into how VAP’s programs can be further developed. Hannah will be with VAP for at least four months.
It is anticipated that 2 Way Development will provide VAP with many more volunteers over the comings years. This access to skilled, long-term volunteers will enable VAP to strengthen its internal structure, staff capacity and the delivery of its service.
Impressed with Vijana Amani Pamoja’s [VAP] Mrembo Girls Program, Clementine Klijberg, Resource Mobilization Director at Women Win, visited the organization in June to see the initiative in action.
Women Win, an international NGO based in Amsterdam, uses sport to help females exercise their rights. Clementine’s visit and encouragement paved the way for VAP to submit a three-year funding proposal to the Dutch Embassy in Nairobi, in support of the Mrembo program. If successful, the proposal would enable VAP to significantly scale up both the capacity and outreach of the scheme.
With ‘mrembo’ meaning ‘beautiful’ in Swahili, this program aims to build and restore the inner beauty of disadvantaged young women in Nairobi. In particular, it addresses reproduction, sexual health including HIV/AIDS and issues of sexuality with girls aged 12 – 18 years.
Having only been running for three years, Mrembo is VAP’s ‘new kid on the block’ program.
HELP GET MREMBO FUNDED BY GIRL EFFECT FUND
VAP’s Mrembo Girls Program is to compete in November’s Girl Effect GlobalGiving Challenge in partnership with the Nike Foundation. If successful, this could bring much-needed funds to the scheme.
The winners of the challenge will be the six projects which secure financial contributions from the most unique donors via GlobalGiving and will become members of the Girl Effect Fund for one year. An expert panel will select a further six projects, those they believe to be the most compelling and unique, to also join the fund.
Current members of the Girl Effect Fund, which supports projects targeting marginalised girls in developing countries, are on track to receive annual funding of $30,000.
If successful, VAP will use the money to expand the program to many more schools in slum areas of Nairobi, recruit more peer educators and sponsor girls to pursue vocational training in hair and beauty. In addition, VAP would be able to ensure the delivery of the Miss Mrembo Tournament 2013, an event which combines a beauty pageant with a football tournament to build the self-esteem of girls.
The Mrembo Girls Program lacks a funding partner at present and VAP urges you to show your support.
As the competition is judged on the number of unique donors, it doesn’t matter how much or how little you give. To count, donations must be made between 1st—30th November 2012.
Donations can be made by credit or debit card, Paypal, gift card, check or wire transfer. To make a donation visit: www.globalgiving.org/2221
FIRST REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH SOCCER TOURNAMENT KICKS OFF
On Saturday 16th September, girl soccer teams from Nairobi piled into a local ground in Korogocho to participate in VAP’s inaugural Reproductive Health Tournament in partnership with GOAL Kenya.
The event, part of VAP’s Mrembo Girls Program which empowers young women through sport, provided peer-led educational activities alongside HIV and cervical cancer screening. The matches were played in a seven- aside game with two boys included in each team.
88 boys and girls aged between 14 and 21 were tested for HIV with 65 females being screened for cervical cancer. The surrounding community were also able to take advantage of the field services.
A second Reproductive Health Tournament in partnership with GOAL Kenya followed on 29th September. This was VAP’s first tournament in the Mukuru area of Nairobi as the organisation strives to extend its’ message across the city. Here, 68 young people were tested for HIV and 48 girls for cervical cancer.
With many girls competing in both events, these tournaments are a key milestone in the development of the Mrembo Girls Program, VAP’s newest initiative.
VAP OPENS HAIR SALON TO GENERATE FUNDS AND EMPOWER GIRLS
Having opened its door back in May, VAP’s Mrembo Hair & Beauty Parlour in the Eastleigh area of Nairobi, is continuing to meet the beauty needs of the local community.
The decision to open the salon was an enterprising move by VAP to help generate vital funds for the organisation with all profits going towards supporting the Mrembo Girls Program. In addition, once enough money has been raised, VAP aims to use the salon to provide training opportunities and help economically empower local young women.
Managed by Bonila Sisia, an experienced hairdresser and beautician who volunteers her time free of charge, a full array of treatments are available.
For further details and to book an appointment, please email: email@example.com