Project #9027

Empower Kibera Youth Through Jump Rope

by Carolina for Kibera, Inc.

CFK’s jump rope team, The CFK Sprinters, will represent CFK and the country of Kenya in this year's World Jump Rope Competition, hosted by CFK partner organization One World One Rope, which will be hosted in Orlando, Florida, from June 30 to July 10, 2014.  The team had an intense recruitment process, through which the best of the best were selected.

After months of intense weekly training sessions, the selection of individual jumpers was based on performance, commitment, dedication to jump rope, and discipline within the team. It took quite some time for the coaches to select individuals to go on the trip, since all performed well.

After deciding who would go, the next step in the process was to secure their traveling documents and visas.  While it’s a hectic task, through a good relationship between Carolina for Kibera, One World One Rope, and the US embassy, the team was able to secure their visas after an arduous interview process. 

Two girls and two boys will be making the trip, along with one coach and a female teacher representative from one of the jumpers’ schools, as is required by the Kenya Ministry of Education.  Wish them luck—we’ll be rooting for them!


David and Abdul with the new certificate
David and Abdul with the new certificate

It’s official—the Jump Rope Association of Kenya has been registered with the Kenyan government and now the work to build a national network of jump ropers has begun! In typical registration fashion, the registration took several months to process. When CFK got the call that the association had been registered, Program Officer Abdul Hussein and Jump Rope Instructor David Okoth immediately went to the city center of Nairobi to proudly collect the certificate.

With the association now official, the CFK Sports Association is thinking through the next steps of building the network and developing jump rope as an income-generating activity for youth. Because the CFK Sprinters (the name of the CFK jump rope team that performs) have been requested for many events due to the enthusiasm audiences have for the jumpers’ talents, the association will support the team as they expand to new audiences while also making money to support their educations and the jump rope program. The registration of the Jump Rope Association of Kenya is a big step in making jump rope the next big sport for all of Kenya! CFK is proud to be part of the movement and looking forward to seeing how the program expands.

On Friday, 13 December 2013, Carolina for Kibera (CFK) and One World One Rope co-hosted the Fourth Annual East Africa Jump Rope Competition (EAJRC) in Nairobi, Kenya!

The competition brought together over 60 youth from Kenya and Tanzania to compete in individual and team jump rope events.  Many of the jumpers had also competed in the World Championships that were held in the US as well as made performances around the world.  CFK's team, The CFK Sprinters, has performed locally at the Safari Sevens, Carnivore and Kenya Premier League football matches.  The team has also represented Kenya in South Africa, France and the US at various competitions and performances.  Special guests from Japan, the US and Canada joined parents and other jump rope enthusiasts to cheer on the participants.

The competition was a great success!  Several members of the CFK team earned medals in their respective categories, adding to their impressive collection.  Going to competitions like the EAJRC helps young athletes not only earn trophies, but also provides unique learning opportunities by bringing jumpers together from different locations around the world.  With diversity comes the chance to master new skills and talents, establish friendships, and build a strong sense of teamwork.  Needless to say, The CFK Sprinters are looking forward to their next tournament.

So much is happening with the jump rope program at Carolina for Kibera (CFK)!

To begin with, the number of performances they give has increased from twice a week to four times a week.  Participants in the jump rope program get to show their talents as they perform during community outreach events for other CFK programs (sports, girls’ empowerment, health, education, etc), including at a World Peace Day event.

Secondly, the team has been getting more attention outside the community as well as they have been invited to perform at the Nairobi City Stadium by the Coalition for Peace in Africa (COPA) and Coca-Cola.

Also, Innocent Nyangori, one of the jump rope team’s coaches, was invited to attend a meeting called by the South Africa Gymnastic Federation (SAGF) where many African countries were represented. “The meeting was to forge the way for jump rope in Africa,” shared Innocent. And, in line with that mission, in December, CFK will be co-hosting a five-day East Africa Jump Rope Junior Championship.

All of these opportunities demonstrate the power of peace, and how sports can help improve understanding of each other and our differences.

I have to admit that I had my doubts that they'd be able to pull it off, but when I got the text late on Monday that CFK’s jump rope team, the CFK Sprinters, had been approved for visas and would be heading to the U.S., I was amazed and excited.   Even though this trip was, in fact, a year in the making, it all ended up coming together in a span of 48 hours.  Before we get into that, though, let's back up a bit.

Every year, the World Jump Rope Championship & Camp is held.  This year, the competition was hosted at the University of Central Florida in Orlando where jumpers from all over the world competed in individual and team competitions.  This year, participating countries included France, the U.S., Canada, South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Japan, Brazil, and the U.K.  In 2012, several CFK participants in the jump rope program were organizing to go to compete in this event (a trip supported by CFK partner One World One Rope); however, complications arose with paper work, visas, working with two governments with different requirements, traveling with minors—all legitimate issues that required sorting out.  Due to all the difficulties, the team wasn't able to make it.  This year the team started earlier, in March, to get the necessary paperwork, Kenyan government approvals, and of course visas to travel to the U.S.  Though it was hectic, the team got all the necessary documentation and left for the U.S. on July 2.

At the airport, we took pictures and shared high-fives, laughs, tears, and hugs as jumpers Ida, Cathrine Agnes, Diana, and Jackline began their journey to the World Championship Tournament.  They were joined by David, their coach, and Margaret, the Deputy Head Mistress of the Old Kibera Primary School.

For more information and to see the results of the competition, check out!


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Organization Information

Carolina for Kibera, Inc.

Location: Chapel Hill, North Carolina - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Leann Bankoski
Program Coordinator
Chapel Hill, NC United States

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