Anita Miniseries Cast and Crew
As it has all over the world, Covid-19 has presented life changing challenges to those living in the Manyatta slums of Kisumu. The Manyatta Youth Resource Center has been there throughout to help young people and their families cope. Among the very first actions taken by the MYRC after the onset of Covid-19 was setting up a rudimentary hand washing station at the MYRC office, which functions as a de facto community center. This consisted of a water tank and soap along with instructions on how to effectively wash hands. In a community where running water is scarce, this was a vital step and it involved not only the youth already associated with the MYRC, but family members and the community around the office. The local YWCA, which has been partnering with the MYRC on health, women’s, and gender issues for a number of years, recognized the importance of hand washing and was able to provide a larger water holding tank, which was set up at the office for community use.
As they became available, the MYRC distributed masks along with directions on how to properly use them and on the importance of maintaining distance among people. By regularly wearing masks, the leaders were able to demonstrate their importance.
One of the first actions taken by the Kenyan government was to put in place a curfew, which was strictly enforced for a time, closing many small businesses and the local marketplaces. This left some without the ability to procure food. The MYRC was able to get permission to step in and drop food bundles to the most needy and infirm in the neighborhood. The curfew was later modified to run overnight from 9 PM to 4 AM.
The academic year in Kenya runs from January to November and primary and secondary schools were completely shut in March due to Covid. Without school, the Manyatta youth are turning to the MYRC for guidance and safe activities and the MYRC leadership has been working hard to provide them. Soccer continues to provide an outlet for both girls and boys from primary aged into young adult. Although players on the field do not wear masks, when off the field they do. Not only is soccer a worthwhile activity in itself, the team building and cooperative skill learning continue to be a crucial aspect of the program.
The recognition received by the MYRC soccer program and particularly its National Championship win at last year’s Chapa Dimba Na Safaricom tournament has yielded many benefits both on and off field. For instance, in late September, the Safaricom Foundation provided food and provisions for more than 500 Manyatta households with special needs or elders, which the MYRC distributed.
More recently, soccer balls and food were donated to the MYRC for distribution by The Honorable Ms. Rozaah Buyu, who represents Kisumu in the National Assembly.
Meanwhile, our program graduates Sidney and Benson both signed with club Gor Mahia, also known as K’Ogalo, a pro club based in Nairobi that has won the Kenyan Premier League a record 18 times. Both Sidney and Benson started as youngsters with the MYRC and have seized the opportunities the MYRC provided to create better lives for themselves and their families.
In MYRC art programs, the Naweza Films miniseries Anita about life in Manyatta continues to film episodes, which are available on YouTube. Graphic Arts are also being explored with the creation of posters honoring MYRC graduates.
Even, and especially, in these trying times the funds provided to the MYRC by Equip Manyatta thanks to YOU keep the Manyatta community engaged in vital programs in Football/Soccer, HIV/AIDS education, Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention, Health Education, Prevention of Gender Based Violence, and Peace and Conflict Resolution. Many lives have been changed thanks to you.
Please remember Equip Manyatta as this year closes, and Thank You for all you have done in the past. May the year 2021 be remembered as a time of peace and new beginnings!
Food donation by Hon. Ms. Rozaah Buyu
Senior Girls Team
U-17 Boys Win Friendly Games
Event Poster by Graphic Arts Trainees
Screen Grab from Anita Miniseries