Equip Manyatta

Equip Manyatta is a charity organization created to assist a community-based organization in Western Kenya, the Manyatta Youth Resource Center (MYRC). The officers of Equip Manyatta were instrumental in assisting community members in Kisumu to establish the MYRC. The mission of the MYRC is to increase opportunities for youth living in the slums of Manyatta, Kisumu to participate in sporting activities and the performing arts, to provide health education, support school attendance, and to build the organization into a self sustaining enterprise. Manyatta is the largest slum in Western Kenya and is home to over 60,000 people living in an area of five square miles with little in the way of u...
Feb 6, 2017

Breakthroughs For Our Youth in the New Year

Sidney, middle front, played for our first team
Sidney, middle front, played for our first team

2017 is already looking like a year of breakthroughs. In the past few months, three youth who have played all the way from our youth soccer teams to our adult team, have been selected and honored to play at the highest levels of soccer competition in Kenya. First, we are proud to announce that one of those youth players, Abubu, has been asked to represent Kenya on the Under-21 national team. Abubu has been playing for Manyatta United since the teams were created in 2009. This team will give Abubu international playing experience and also get him more exposure and chances of getting signed by professional teams.

Another young player we would like to honor is Tobias. Tobias was asked to play for the Kenyan Premier League team Sony Sugar FC. Tobias always carries a smile on and off the field, and it is his pure love for playing soccer that has driven him to never stop working and on to success.

Finally, we are so proud of our player Sidney O, who was signed by Kenya Premier League defending champions, Tusker FC. Sydney has played for every level of team we offer, from U-14, through to our adult semi-professional team before he was brought up to play in the Kenya Super League and finally the Premier league. Sidney was one of the driving forces behind creating a youth soccer team back in 2009. Equip Manyatta Co-Chair Meghan identified Sidney and his younger brother, Austin, as having considerable talent and, if developed, having potential to be great players. Meghan understood that great players are not made overnight. These youths needed consistent training and opportunities to compete at high levels and this training had to start young and last into their early adulthood. Meghan formed the Manyatta United’s first team, an under-14 team that had kids as young as 9 years old playing. A large percentage of these founding players continue to play for MYRC teams or have been asked to play at higher-level teams.

Our aim is to be able to provide a consistent program that nurtures talent. We look forward to seeing more and more of our youth grow beyond our own organization and do great things on their own. We are proud that these players have been able to use our organization as a stepping-stone to finding opportunities at the highest levels of competition offered in Kenya. Playing at these levels opens doors for youth to be discovered by international teams as well. These successes are just the beginning for these players.

We are also excited to welcome six interns who have traveled all the way from Norway to do internships at our youth center through an organization called Cardiff Kenya. They will be conducting research and working with our management board and youth until April. This is a great opportunity for our members and interns to benefit through this cultural exchange.

As the new year begins, the pressure that families face finding school fees persists. This year we have several youth who are gaining sponsorship financially from donors or through scholarships related to athletics, but more youth are constantly searching for fees. Please help these students stay in school. As much as we want to provide consistent support within our programs, keeping our youth in school consistently is equally important.

We thank you, our supporters, for making these successes possible. With your help, the lives of young people in the Manyatta slums of Kisumu, are greatly enhanced!

Sidney, 2nd from right back, now on Tusker Premier
Sidney, 2nd from right back, now on Tusker Premier
Abubu, now on U-21 Kenya National team
Abubu, now on U-21 Kenya National team
Tobias on Sony Sugar and Sports Director Simon
Tobias on Sony Sugar and Sports Director Simon
Norwegian interns at our youth centre
Norwegian interns at our youth centre
Sidney in 2012
Sidney in 2012
Nov 10, 2016

The Talent of Kisumu's Youth on Display

Study in Pencil by Nikomambo
Study in Pencil by Nikomambo

The creative talents of young people associated with the Manyatta Youth Resource Centre (MYRC) in Kisumu, Kenya, on the shores of Lake Victoria, are currently on display on two continents. Along with a vibrant soccer program for all ages of girls and boys, from the beginning the MYRC has had an emphasis on helping young people develop their artistic and creative talents. The MYRC, with strong support from Equip Manyatta, provides youth with the opportunity and tools to perform and record original music and videos; write and perform plays that highlight life in Kisumu; draw, paint, and take photos, and display their work for the world to see. Right now a show in California and a new video release by the singer Nahna in Kisumu are featuring these talents.

Art, accessories, and fabric goods are now on display at one of the largest exhibit spaces in Boonville, CA, hometown of Equip Manyatta’s Co-Chair. This is the second show hosted by the restaurant Lauren’s to benefit the US non-profit that provides support for the MYRC in Kisumu. Organizer Keevan Labowitz is excited to be presenting photos depicting both Kisumu and Lake Nakuru National Park by GMan; drawings, water colors, and oil paintings of the people and places around Kisumu by Nikomambo, Coster, Vavick and Paul; an assortment of purses made from recycled plastic sacks, water hyacinth cards, and jewelry by Heshima Crafts; and colorful fabric pillowcases and market bags by Garden of Hope. All are locally produced in Kisumu. Titled Life in Nyanza: Youth, Society, Nature the drawings, paintings, and photos show local life, people, and the countryside around Kisumu as recorded and interpreted by its young people. If you are in Northern California, come see the show all November and December and do your holiday shopping while you’re there. You can be assured your purchases will be unique, and the proceeds help support opportunities for these creative young women and men.

Meanwhile across the globe in Kisumu, local singer Elizabeth Nahna, who got her start recording at the MYRC studio, has released her new video Paro. Her talent and confidence have grown over the last few years and her voice is pure crystal. She recently was a featured performer at the November 5 Luo Festival Kisumu at the Tom Mboya Labour College. Check out her video Paro at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzV1ftM0vyI&feature=youtu.be. (The preacher in the video may also be a familiar face for you.) Nahna is a prime example of a local young person who was encouraged to pursue her talent and is now establishing a successful career as a singer. Besides regularly performing in Kisumu, the third largest city in Kenya, she also has appeared several times as a featured performer in Nairobi and has even traveled to Sweden to take part in a cultural festival there.    

While the MYRC fosters creative talent, it is also a key part of many local improvement programs. It regularly sponsors clean-ups near the office and the soccer pitches at Shaurimoyo Primary School, where the Manyatta United teams got their start. On November 4, MYRC youth participated in a large Kisumu Clean-up Day, sponsored by Kisumu Fashion and other local businesses. It is events like these that help build cohesion among the various ethnic groups and political parties in the local community, and the MYRC is proud to be part of the effort.

You can’t think about the MYRC without talking about soccer, of course. With KYFA-sanctioned boys teams U-12, U-14, U-16, U-18, and a U-16 and Free Age team for Ladies, the MYRC provides anyone with an interest in developing their athletic skills the option to get out on the field and play competitively. Our teams are regularly at the top of their division. The Senior Men’s team, comprised of young men who have come up through the MYRC soccer program, is a powerhouse in the Provincial League.

As we enter the final months of 2016, we are grateful for the opportunity to bring together so many talented, creative, and energetic young people. The adults who help, encourage and mentor them for only a tiny stipend to cover expenses are contributing so much of themselves for the good of their entire community.

It is only with your help that these many young people are able to learn new skills, express their talents, enjoy being part of a team, and grow up with a better future. Please help us continue to build on this success.  THANK YOU!

Flood 2016 by Nikomambo
Flood 2016 by Nikomambo
Bags by Heshima Crafts
Bags by Heshima Crafts
Market Bags by Garden of Hope
Market Bags by Garden of Hope
Nahna Performing at Luo Festival 2016
Nahna Performing at Luo Festival 2016
Having a Blast, Photo by GMan
Having a Blast, Photo by GMan
Aug 9, 2016

Our Youth Are Successful in So Many Ways!

Our Senior Team wins friendly v powerhouse Ramogi
Our Senior Team wins friendly v powerhouse Ramogi

Greetings Global Giving friends and supporters! We want to first start by thanking everyone who has helped keep our programs running since we met our fundraising challenge on Global Giving in December 2012. The support Equip Manyatta receives from people like you has been crucial in helping us meet our monthly monetary goals to fund the Manyatta Youth Resource Centre (MYRC) in Kisumu. It is never a simple task finding enough money to sustain our programs, which support close to 200 youth in sports, performing arts, education, health, and environmental awareness.

Unfortunately, we were not able to raise enough funds to send our team to Sweden to participate in the Sodertalje International Football Cup in July. Our fundraising efforts fell far short of that goal, but with the funds we did raise we were able to send our team to Tororo, Uganda to participate in the 2016 Hope for Kids International Tournament. For many of our players, this trip was their first outside of Kenya, and they were able to play with teams representing countries such as Uganda, Tanzania Burundi, Lesotho, The Congo, Ghana, Rwanda and Sudan. Though our team lost in the semi-finals, our goalkeeper, Silas, was recognized as the best goalkeeper in the tournament and our striker, Brownie, came away as top-scorer. This was our first international trip as Manyatta United, and though we didn’t travel as far as Sweden this time, we continue to believe that getting our youth international exposure will help them grow not only on the soccer pitch but also through life experiences and cultural sharing.

The MYRC is also proud to have two players, Ian Samwel and Shem Hazard, representing the Nyanza province in the Kenya National Secondary School Football Games. They will be playing for Barding Secondary School and first face Bukembe Secondary School at Moi Stadium in Kisumu. Ian has been recognized as a powerful force in youth football and has also represented Kenya in the Copa Coca-Cola Under-15 tournament in South Africa.  

In performing arts news, we are excited about the release this month of Nahna’s newest video, Paro. The video was filmed by Crizo Mzeyah. Nahna has been working hard year after year. We are also proud that she was selected to join a new singing group, She’s Dada, which is sponsored by the Doris Kwaka Foundation. Together with two other Kisumu locals, Lucky and Dena, Nahna is recording tracks in Nairobi at top-tier studios, and she will be traveling with a tour sponsored by both the Doris Kwaka Foundation and the United Nations. It seems like a tremendous opportunity and we wish all three ladies the best of luck.

In another indicator of how well established the MYRC has become in its seven years, the Standard Kenya, a prominent national newspaper, recently ran a feature article about the MYRC and its General Manager Antony Oballa. We appreciate the recognition and hope that the publicity will lead to additional support.

The MYRC continues to maintain its support for education in Manyatta. Along with primary and secondary school support, we dream of being able to help the youth who have been with our organization since its beginning and have already finished secondary school to go on with higher education. One of our players, Frank, was recently accepted into the Kenya Medical Training School. He performed well in secondary school and has shown himself to be a disciplined player over the last seven years playing for Manyatta United. The cost of attending this school will be about $800 for the next three years.   Frank is working while playing soccer for our provincial team but the costs are more than he can afford. His family is unable to help as he has siblings who are still in secondary school and need fees paid to complete their education there. We support so many youth in primary and secondary school that it is extremely difficult to help make Frank’s wish of attending a university come true. Imagine the difficulty of earning such an opportunity but not being able to take advantage of it because you don’t have enough money! We continue to look for a supporter who can help Frank and we are strategizing about ways that we can help our senior youth continue their education past secondary school.

We are grateful that so many young people have been able to participate in the wide-ranging MYRC programs, which provide opportunities to develop all sorts of talents. Through their participation, these youth will also have learned perhaps the most valuable lesson of all—working together can help make a better world.

 

Manyatta United at Tororo Uganda tourney
Manyatta United at Tororo Uganda tourney
Traveling to Uganda, a first for many ManU players
Traveling to Uganda, a first for many ManU players
Nahna in her new Paro video
Nahna in her new Paro video
MYRC and GM Obala featured in Standard Kenya
MYRC and GM Obala featured in Standard Kenya
Frank, accepted for medical training, needs fees
Frank, accepted for medical training, needs fees
 
   

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