Mrembo football club being an off shoot of VAP originated from the ribs of Mrembo program (a program that addresses sexual health reproductive issues amongst girls).The team comprises of 40 girls aged between 10-15 years old who train at Kiambio grounds under master coach Everlyn Anyango.Despite training for various tournaments and leagues within Nairobi, the team also serves as an avenue for safe spaces where players and coaches can talk candidly,think,and make decision about issues affecting girl child. Due to the initial success of Mrembo FC and the urge of empowering girls participation in sports, VAP has emerged with four more Mrembo football chapters namely: Undugu, Crescent, Goodwill and Golden Bridge where the same opportunity is provided. All the chapters have been assigned with one Mrembo coach who doubles up as lifeskills/football coach
Coach of the Month
Having the DNA of a sports family background, 25 year old coach Evelyn has been very instrumental in her responsibilities both as a life skill coach and a football coach. She has a vast coaching experience coaching various institutions and community centres. Evelyn who is in charge of Mrembo FC, Kiambio chapter, spends her morning hours of the day in VAP’s ground office, serving the community members who stream in either for counseling or referral advice. In the evenings she leads her Mrembo team in football practices and winds up with group discussions talking about critical issues engulfing the girl child.
Women Win Visits VAP
On 24th July 2014 VAP was privileged to welcome Yvonne from Women Win who had paid a courtesy call to VAP offices. Yvonne was in Kenya visiting various Women Win supported projects .She had an opportunity to meet with VAP’s Mrembo coaches during their monthly monitoring and evaluation meeting, and was taken through the monitoring and evaluation systems by Boniface, VAP’s M&E mogul. Women Win has been a great partner to VAP and it has been supporting VAP’s programs specifically Mrembo program and Salon vocational trainings.
Through Kenya Sports for Development Partnership (KSDP) under the initiative of “Women empowerment through sports” VAP was engaged as a mentor organization to Society Empowerment Project (SEP) in Homa-Bay county. This was a follow up of the women empowerment workshop organized by KSDP where VAP was one of the organizations that attended. The two days exchange program event that took place on 26th and 27th of July was conducted by VAP’s experienced master coach Anne who covered a myriad of topics including: leadership and mentorship, sports for development, adolescent, sexual and reproductive health, HIV/AIDS etc.Anne also mentored and built the capacity of Joan, a young leader from SEP who would as well trickle down the ripple effect.
With the world cup 2014 dust having settled down and the crowning of Germany as the world champions, VAP on the other side was very busy taking advantage of the one month high voltage world cup football fever by fully utilizing the popularity and the power of the game by delivering its football related programs in new schools. The football for hope logos on the t-shirts of VAP coaches and balls used on these programs created a lot of attention to these set of new participants as the same logos were on every team player of the world cup participating teams. At some point VAP were in a position to explain to the participants and the teachers about football for hope being a unique and global movement programme that uses the power of football to achieve sustainable social development of which VAP is part of the ambassadors. This explanation was characterized by the mentioning of the 20th anniversary of the late Pablo Escobar former Colombian national team captain who was shot due to an own goal in 1994 world cup. Pablo is the original inspiration of streetfootballworld that initially formed (Football For Hope), a strategic alliance between FIFA and streetfootballworld. The participants accepted and absorbed the concept that football carries a dynamic power to change the world for the better.”Football is a massive religion that can be easily used to change lives.”Said Mr. Shivaki a teacher at NPC high school.
After graduating from VAP’s soccer life skills programs, VAP provides vulnerable young women with an opportunity to be trained on hairdressing, beauty and financial literacy through the Mrembo (Girls) salon vocational training. Girls who complete training courses are placed for jobs in various salons and institutions and some are empowered to start their own businesses.
It’s due to this success that VAP through Mrembo program is targeting to raise $ 7000 by the end of this year to set up a Mrembo Restaurant that would provide catering training, financial literacy and employment opportunity for the Mrembo girls who graduate from life skills programs and bridge the sky rocketing gap of 67 % youth unemployment rate in Kenya. The proceeds from the restaurant would as well go towards sustaining the Mrembo program that addresses issues of sexual health reproductive amongst girls.
”Am so glad that I set up my own salon and now am independent and I can support myself.” Said Aisha. "The hairdressing, beauty, and financial trainings that I received at Mrembo vocational training, has helped me to secure a job in a salon where am getting paid.” Said Salome.
“We are calling upon well wishers from Global Giving and everywhere to support us to realize this dream where vulnerable girls would also get an opportunity to trained on, catering, financial literacy as well as creating employment opportunity for this girls to work in the restaurant or even they themselves creating their own business.”Said Nancy VAP’s Project Director.