North Kenyan football project presented at Geneva Peace Talks 2013
20 September 2013
Fatuma Abdulkadir Adan, Founder of horn presenting at the Geneva Peace Talks.
Geneva, (UNOSP) - On the eve of the 2013 Geneva Peace talks (19th September), it was the UNOSDP’s pleasure to welcome and exchange experiences with one of the guest speakers, Ms Fatuma Abdulkadir Adan. She overcame the barriers and prejudices in her country to implement her very own sports project, HODI (Horn of Africa Development Initiative).
Having spent most of her life in northern Kenya, she grew up with her mother and local high school teacher father. Fatuma is one of the few north Kenyan girls who went on to further education completing a Bachelor of Laws at Moi University in Eldoret, Kenya. Fatuma was raised in a considerably unique family, her mother and father originated from two warring tribes, that are currently still at war in northern Kenya. From this unique relationship, Fatuma gained valuable experience, and a deep sensitivity to the variety of social issues affecting her region. For several years now, northern Kenya has been facing perpetual conflicts raised by the coexistence of different tribes, the lack of food, the presence of armed rebels, and the silence of the political powers. In response to that, Fatuma decided to focus on childhood development and provide them with programs that use football as a tool for development and peace. Despite social clashes and ongoing conflicts, she has devoted her life to HODI, promoting the ideals of development and peace, leading to positive and sustainable social change. HODI started in 2003 in Marsabit, Fatuma’s hometown. She implemented a reflective program called “Shoot to score, not to kill”, where boys and girls from different tribes take part in football training. The objective is to get boys and girls off the streets and away from their unavoidable destiny and participate in sport. To prevent violence, a very common behavior amongst these boys, Fatuma and her team created a set of fair play and peace cards, a green card representing fair play for each player, and white highlighting peaceful team play. This innovative method has been met with positive reactions from players who encourage team mates to play fairly and peacefully. “In my village the children are so used to celebrating violence, that through the introduction of the green and white card, finally fair and peaceful play can be rejoiced.” explains HODI founder Fatuma Adan. Another characteristic of her football programme, is that at least three different tribes must be represented in each team (Teams of 7). This is an essential feature of this programme to encourage the cooperation and the teamwork between tribes. So far, the programme has been successful in gathering 248 teams, with 36 girl teams in different villages. Fatuma Adan’s peace building programme is a big step in educating the youth to foster harmony and cohesion in northern Kenya. This is what Fatuma calls “breaking silence using football”. She wants these kids to have a voice, and the choices she had. They are the future, and they are even “teaching the parents about peaceful social coexistence”. Fatuma closed her speech at the 2013 Geneva Peace talks with the following words: “Peace is like an egg, if you don’t nurture it, it can easily break”.
You can find Fatumas presentation from the 5th minute onwards on the link below.
The Award Winning Initiative Shoot To score not to kill has been recognised in many arenas nationally and internationally. The key impact is the sharing of the organisation profile with different institutions world wide among them Cambodia, Israel Palestine, Germany among other countries.
You invested in this initiative and believed in it before we even won awards and now we are sharing our impact beyong our regional borders to other nations. The initiative is being used as one of the successful means of using non violence means to resolve violent conflict. Over the years we have reached over 3,000 youths and we intend to reach more youths with your support.
We are sharing a link to our award winning initiative video. You will share in our challenges and successes as you watch the video. Tell us what you think of our intervention and the video shared below. We look forward to get more support to help reach more villages and reduce violent conflict and help the girls find a voice and have hope for the future.
HODI has been trying to engage girls for a long time and this year 2012is the greatest of them all. Over 2,000 girls have been engaged through theHODI Girls Champion Initiative and the local community including the mothers ofthe girls are accepting that girls too can play football.
Over 10 schools have been involved in the school training program with20 HODI coaches offering training in football and life skills. We made historyby engaging the girls and female teachers in the trainings and slowly thingschanged with more girls coming on board each day.
In order to select a team to represent HODI in East Africa tournament,30 girls were selected and 15 boys. The teams will be traveling to MoshiTanzania to participate in a tournament and what is important is the fact thatthe HODI teams are led by girl’s coaches and team leaders for the first timeever. Girls are coaching fellow girls and taking up leadership responsibilitieswithin the organization. We want to take this opportunity to thank you for yourcontinued support as we continue championing the rights of girls and women totake up leadership.
“What I have learn in HODI are life lessons and I want to impart thaton other girls in the teams I coach” Dirre one of the girls coaches.
There were times it was almost illegal to have girls being seen outside home or school. The place of girls is in the kitchen immediately after completing primary school. Through the balls purchased through your generous contribution; girls in Marsabit can not only be seen outside but they are able to kick the ball and play football with a passion. January 14 - 15 was a life changing event, as one girl put it....."I never expected to be able to play outside in the main Marsabit Stadium; today is a great experience for me and other girls in future".
HODI Girls Championship was one of its kind, the first ever to be held for girls only. More than 16 teams had initially registered with 2 of them pulling out at the last minute due to threats and fear. 12 of the teams went on to play the football which was accompanied by football skills and also life skills. They learnt from basics of ball shooting; passing; dribbling among other skills. While in life skills it was surely a moment that many will miss as it came so close to the heart of many participating girls ranging from teen pregnancies; Forced Child Marriages; performance in schools; personal hygiene; sexual matters; menstruation among many more. The girls were shy in the beginning but slowly they opened up, asking so many questions and giving even answers to their peers.
The day ended with a game between the coaches for the girls and HODI organising team; where they saw even as adults we are not perfect in our game of football but in whatever we do we have to give our best. We hope to hold another similar tournament with more teams participating the issue of teams transportation; meals and accommodation being the only hinderance. But with all your support i know we can reach more girls and break more barriers and together we will help break silence on issues affecting girls on Marsabit.
Fatuma Abdulkadir Adan of the Horn of Africa Development Initiative (HODI) wins the 2011 Stuttgart Peace Award for her work in conflict resolution. In conflict-torn Marsabit, North Kenya hundreds of lives have been claimed the past few years. Politicians in the distant capital of Nairobi take no notice of this conflict. This propelled Fatuma Abdulkadir Adan (33) to take matters into her own hands by founding an NGO called Horn of Africa Development Initiative (HODI). Since 2003, HODI works with youth and women as major stakeholders in ending the violence in Marsabit. The Stuttgart Peace Award is being granted for one of HODI's programmes, which uses sport to attain social cohesion. Football games bring together youth (both female and male) and encourages them to interact peacefully - also off the field. "Shoot to score, not to kill", thus HODI's motto in this programme, reflects its aim. The award comes with a 5000 Euro prize and will be presented in Stuttgart on 17 November, 2011. This is the second award for HODI, having won the Hope through Education Award in February 2011.
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