Apr 15, 2019

Our Programs Create Success for So Many

Our Chapa Dimba Tourney Champions in the News
Our Chapa Dimba Tourney Champions in the News

As the year presses forward, so do the youth and adult leaders at the Manyatta Youth Resource Center in Kisumu, Kenya. The MYRC is not a seasonal program-- its activities run year round. Since our founding it has been our goal to keep youth active in a safe and nurturing environment. The slums of Manyatta are a difficult place to grow up and youth need positive outlets and opportunities to build on their talents.

The MYRC gives youth a place to gain exposure to new ideas and new methods for approaching their challenges. We continue to host international interns and guests, and most recently ten people visited from Iceland while working on a documentary. Our general manager, Oballah, hosted them during their tour and also accompanied them to the town of Butere to assist them in their mission. While in Kisumu, they offered advice to our Performing Arts Group about film production and provided business ideas that might help boost our ability to fund projects and become more self-reliant.

The Performing Arts Group also recently had the opportunity to meet with the Kenya Film Classification Board Regional Manager at our resource center to discuss projects and explore new opportunities. The Regional Manager wants to work in partnership with the group to help make projects that promote Kenya and emphasize the positives that exist.

The Performing Arts Group continues to make new episodes of their miniseries, “Anita,” and is currently working on the tenth episode. Though the topics of this miniseries are often not cheerful, the group hopes to show some of the difficult realities many of them face everyday. They did take the Regional Manager’s advice though, and have started a project called UWEZO, which will be an informative and educational film that highlights talent in the Manyatta slum and how the community can embrace and support that talent’s growth.

Our young soccer players were excited by the recent visit of Patrick O, a former Manyatta United player, currently playing for Kenyan Premier League side Sony Sugar FC. Our former players always stop by the training ground to motivate our young players and they often suit up and practice with their former team. Patrick brought a new pair of boots with him and donated them to the captain of our junior team. As our younger teams prepare to start their season in the Kisumu Youth Football League, they were inspired to train their hardest for Patrick and show off their skills. It is motivating for our youth to see success stories and Patrick feels great to be able to give back to his community.

Our Senior Team continues to demonstrate that the Manyatta United training system helps develop strong soccer players who can compete at high levels of competition. The ManU Senior Team recently won top position in their semi-professional league. Now, this team has won first place at the Safaricom Chapa Dimba tournament and our Senior Ladies team won runner-up in their competitions. This was the largest competition either team had played and well over 1,000 people attended most matches at the Moi Stadium throughout the tournament!

Our players were also recognized for their skills and feats on the playing field. In the semi-finals, Manyatta Ladies forward, Cynthia, scored a hat-trick (three goals) and was named Player of the Match. Manyatta Ladies cruised to the finals after winning their semi-finals 6-0, but were defeated by a strong side there, taking home the second place title. After the tournament’s final, in which Manyatta United Men beat Nyamira Springs FC by 5-0, our striker Benson won the Golden Boot, an award for the top overall scorer of the tournament. Benchidi was given the award for Most Valuable Player, and Ibrahim O won the award for Best Goalkeeper of the tournament. Each player was given a trophy and a check for KSH 30,000. This was not only a huge motivating moment for our players, but it will also have a huge impact on their ability to support themselves and their families.

Chapa Dimba is a series of tournaments in which the top teams win a trip to Spain to play there. Having taken the Nyanza region championship, our Senior Team has the opportunity to participate in the next level of the tournament in Nairobi. This is a major challenge for our group. Even though we are highly successful on the pitch, funding transportation to Nairobi and costs, including meals and accommodation, is extremely difficult. We need your support to help take our teams to the next level!

When our youth are given the opportunity to show off their skills they are highly successful and favorably recognized. It is only the financial restrictions that hold back our achievements. You can be the person to help ensure that our Youth Teams finish their seasons this year without any hold-ups. You can be the reason our Senior Team gets to travel to the next level of the Chapa Dimba tournament and eventually win a trip to Spain. Your support can mean so much to our youth and their futures. We thank you now for the support you have given and ask that you continue to give so that our programs will continue to thrive.

Visiting Icelandic Video Team Met Our Coach Vicky
Visiting Icelandic Video Team Met Our Coach Vicky
Cynthia named Player of the Match after Hat Trick
Cynthia named Player of the Match after Hat Trick
Our Ladies Take Runner-Up in Chapa Dimba Tourney
Our Ladies Take Runner-Up in Chapa Dimba Tourney
This Junior Team Can Grow Up to be Champions too
This Junior Team Can Grow Up to be Champions too
Our Ladies Warm Up for Unforgettable Chapa Dimba
Our Ladies Warm Up for Unforgettable Chapa Dimba
Jan 24, 2019

Learning to be Champions

Our U-20 Champions
Our U-20 Champions

The new year brings us into Year Ten for Equip Manyatta and the Manyatta Youth Resource Centre (MYRC). The programs and activities of the MYRC and its commitment to their community has made a huge difference in the lives of many of Kisumu’s youth, who have learned to work hard, have fun, and reach for their goals.

Players brought up through MYRC’s Manyatta United teams are now playing in advanced leagues and even abroad. Six former ManU players are now playing with National Super League teams. An additional five players are with Kenyan Premier League teams, including Tusker and Sony Sugar. Another young man is playing in Dubai and a second is with Seville, on loan to Malaysia. We have also been honored to have Grace, a player with Bordeaux Ladies in France, join our ladies team for an extended period of time. Grace had seen our program and our ladies playing and she wanted to get involved. Her participation gave our girls experience and motivation. None of these outstanding young people would have had these opportunities without their training on the MYRC teams. Sports Department head Simon, Coach Carina, Coach Opiyo, and General Manager Oballah have been key leaders to these success stories.

And here is how it is done: Manyatta United acts as a soccer academy, by staying with the same players and teams year after year. As our players age out of one youth team, there is already a place for them in our next age group. This continues all the way to our adult aged team, which is playing semi-professional soccer. For example, the same team that won the Kisumu Youth Football Association (KYFA) U-12 championship three years ago has now gone on to win the U-16 championship. When these players get old enough they will then join our senior team.

Our senior team is the result of years of nurturing and building the skills of our players. Coached by Opiyo, the team members have trained hard and honed their personal and team skills. This is the reason they were recently declared champions of the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Division 1. This means they earned the right to play in FKF Division 2. Our team has finished in the top three of Division 1 for the past 3 years and now we have finally been crowned champions. Captain Ochieng has been with the team since before it registered with the county league. Manyatta United’s senior team has been playing home matches at Shauri Moyo Primary since the beginning but will now be able to move to Moi Stadium as regulations get more rigorous as they progress.

Costs are going to be the main obstacle in playing in the more advanced league, and have prevented us from advancing into higher leagues in the past. The team is planning a harambee, which is a Kenyan tradition of community self-help events, e.g. a fundraiser. Harambee literally means "all pull together" in Swahili, and is also the official motto of Kenya and appears on its coat of arms. The team presented their trophy to their parents to thank them for their support over the years. Their coaches and leaders were also honored. Though we are optimistic that we will gain some funds from this harambee, we know that we will also need additional sources of money. This is one reason that your donations are so important. Your support could ensure that our senior players continue to advance into more challenging levels of play and find more opportunities to play internationally.

Both our U-20 boys and girls have qualified for the regional level of the chapa dimba Nyanza Safaricom tournament. The girls will continue to play friendly matches as they prepare to represent Kisumu County at the regional finals in February. The MYRC fielded among the first girls teams in Kisumu, giving girls the opportunity to build skills, play hard, and gain self confidence.

Across the world, Equip Manyatta held another successful arts and crafts show fundraiser thanks to Lauren and Natalie at Lauren’s Restaurant in Boonville. Paintings by artists Nikomambo, Coster, and Vavik were displayed, and crafts such as jewelry and cards from Heshima Crafts and fabric goods from Rosemary’s Garden of Hope brought a taste of Kisumu to Mendocino County in Northern California. Photo posters showing the activities, projects, and people of the MYRC highlighted why we continue our commitment.

Your support through the years has been very appreciated and has brought a better future for so many young people in Kisumu. Please help us start off the new year on solid financial ground! Thanks!

Our new U-16 Champs
Our new U-16 Champs
Our U-16s when they were the U-12 champs
Our U-16s when they were the U-12 champs
These boys are learning to be tomorrow's champs
These boys are learning to be tomorrow's champs
Kisumu arts and crafts in Boonville
Kisumu arts and crafts in Boonville
Nikomambo's art keeps evolving
Nikomambo's art keeps evolving
Oct 29, 2018

Our Youth Are Excelling in So Many Ways

End of a Friendly Ladies' Game
End of a Friendly Ladies' Game

As the year starts to wind down, activities at the Manyatta Youth Resource Center (MYRC) continue across all departments. Welcoming guests, participating in tournaments, making films, hosting classes, making new music, and sponsoring teams in both the Kisumu County and the Kisumu Youth Football Association leagues-- our members and leaders have plenty to do and plenty to be proud of.

Our Manyatta United Senior Team made an impressive start to the 2018 Kisumu County League playing 18 straight matches without being beaten. Unfortunately, that streak came to an end on October 14 against the Ahero Rangers from Nyando sub-county. Though Manyatta United scored first, they were exposed in the back and the Rangers capitalized three times. Despite this loss, Manyatta United’s impressive start to their campaign this season still leaves them at the top of the league standings.

Our Senior Ladies’ Team and Senior Men’s Team both participated in the Oyugis Sep Tournament, both heading to the elimination rounds, but failing to move on. Still, Rodgers from the Senior Team was awarded the golden boot for the tournament after scoring six times and Sophy, our Ladies’ goalkeeper, was named the best goal keeper of the tournament. Despite not taking home the trophy, our players gained valuable experience on the field as well as recognition for their hard work.

We were honored to host players and coaches from the Kenyan premier league team, Gor Mahia, at a practice at our home field at Shaurimoyo Primary School. Gor Mahia are the favored team in the Kisumu area and have been Kenyan premier league champions a record 16 times. It was inspiring for our young players to hear from their soccer pitch heroes and get valuable advice from professionals. Participating in MYRC activities continually gives youth living in the slums of Kisumu opportunities that they wouldn’t otherwise get. Youth are not expected to pay anything for the support they get at the center. We only expect their focus, commitment and hard work.

Some of the gateways that the MYRC can open for our youth are demonstrated by our senior member Nyabogo. Nyabogo has been involved in MYRC soccer teams since age 12, playing on all our different age level teams. Nyabogo is currently pursuing a Bachelor in Criminology and Criminal Justice at Kibaba University. He is inspired to work with and engage his fellow peers as he sees connections between living in the slums and getting caught up in delinquent activities. When Nyabogo returns to Kisumu, he always visits the Resource Centre to update everybody on how he is doing and to offer advice. He still plays and practices with our senior team when he is back in Kisumu. Many of the players on the senior team have been teammates and friends with Nyabogo for 9 years. Men like Nyabogo, are examples of what can happen when youth are given opportunities to follow their dreams and are given safe places to grow and learn. Nyabogo learned a lot from the MYRC and gained many opportunities through his participation. Now with his continued dedication and hard work, he is setting himself up on a path to continue to bring change to his hometown.

In the Performing Arts Department, we are excited to announce the completion of the first season of the mini-series Anita. All of the episodes are posted on YouTube, but the show’s creators were excited to print DVD copies for sale as well. Young men and women worked together to write, film, edit and release this series. (Here’s a link to Episode 4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjgtYIvw1Xo) While producing the different episodes they gained priceless experience they will be able to take forward with them on their next project. They gained hands-on skills that will help them move towards their dreams of being part of the film industry. From start to finish, Anita was created and achieved by our youth’s vision and determination.  

The MYRC is doing all of this and more. Our recording studio continues to make music, our artists continue to take pictures and paint, and our leaders continue to search for more avenues of support. The work that the MYRC is doing does not happen without financial support. The support we get from our donors ensures that our activities continue to operate. Our array of programs is always in jeopardy of ending when we can’t find enough funding. Please help ensure that the youth at the MYRC, funded primarily by donations to Equip Manyatta, are able to continue exploring the things they love and continue having opportunities that have the potential to shape their lives in years to come.

Sophy awarded best goal keeper at Oygis tourny
Sophy awarded best goal keeper at Oygis tourny
Gor Mahia stars inspire MYRC players
Gor Mahia stars inspire MYRC players
Nyabogo, a MYRC youth for 9 years, now goes to Uni
Nyabogo, a MYRC youth for 9 years, now goes to Uni
MYRC leader Malique & Anita creator Ramsey w/DVD
MYRC leader Malique & Anita creator Ramsey w/DVD
Filming mini-series Anita engages lots of talent
Filming mini-series Anita engages lots of talent
 
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