Football season has returned to Kisumu, and the Manyatta Youth Resource Centre (MYRC) is sponsoring six Under-18 teams, both girls and boys, and a male adult semi-professional district level team. The MYRC makes it possible for close to 200 youth living in Kisumu, Kenya to grow through healthy competition organized in a safe environment and sanctioned by the Kisumu Youth Football Association (KYFA).
A huge step forward for the MYRC Sports department this season is fielding an adult men's team in the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Kisumu Sub-County District League. This team is made up of young men who came up through our youth soccer program and who have grown beyond KYFA’s age eligibility. It is energizing to realize the MYRC has been operating this long—more than 4 years. Though our team, Manyatta United, lost their first game last weekend, we are confident that they will play competitively within this league and will grow tremendously with the opportunity to face professional competition. The MYRC still faces the problem of funding for this team though. The MYRC has only been able to raise one-quarter of the funds necessary to see our team complete the season. Most of these funds have already been spent on registering the team and getting the proper paperwork taken care of with the FKF. We need your help to raise funds for transportation to away matches, lunches, and equipment maintenance.
The MYRC Sports department was so proud of our MYRC girls under-14 footballers, when they won the under-15 division of the 2014 KYFA Ladies Nationwide Football tournament at the beginning of May. The MYRC team beat the Soccer Queens from Nairobi in the final match 2-1. They were awarded a small cash prize, uniforms, medals and a trophy!
The MYRC is happy to welcome a new intern from the Kenya Institute of Professional Counseling at our center. She has been sent with a focus on health and social issues and will be offering guidance and counseling to MYRC youth for the next two months. We hope that she can help us get a new program started that will be dedicated to helping our youth make healthy life choices.
The MYRC also welcomes new partnerships with the YMCA Kisumu and the Youth Network for Community Revitalization. Both programs will offer our youth opportunities to participate in their skills training programs. The YMCA Kisumu is well known for helping train youth so that they can work in the auto repair and metal works industries, which are among the largest sources of employment in Kisumu town. We hope that through these partnerships our youth will gain greater access to opportunities that will promote their talents and lift up their outlook on the future.
The MYRC Performing Arts department is eagerly awaiting the end of registration for the Kisumu Vybez Awards. All of Kisumu’s top performing artists compete to be nominated for an award and the chance to participate in the award’s show later this year. The MYRC produced the best music group, best female solo artist and song of the year at last year’s Vybez Awards. We anticipate that the MYRC will have many nominations again this year and we are confident that we will take away a few more trophies.
Time moves quickly at the MYRC and we are constantly under the pressure of chasing funds to keep programs operating. We must succeed or we will be forced to make cuts. We are determined not to have these young people miss out on opportunities they are only just beginning to have. The MYRC has become a center of positive activity in Kisumu and is making such a difference in young lives. Thanks for whatever help you can provide to keep the programs moving forward!
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