Game On! Youth Sports in Kenya

by Vijana Amani Pamoja (VAP)
Game On! Youth Sports in Kenya
Game On! Youth Sports in Kenya
Game On! Youth Sports in Kenya
Game On! Youth Sports in Kenya
Game On! Youth Sports in Kenya
Game On! Youth Sports in Kenya
Game On! Youth Sports in Kenya
Game On! Youth Sports in Kenya
Game On! Youth Sports in Kenya
Game On! Youth Sports in Kenya
Game On! Youth Sports in Kenya
Game On! Youth Sports in Kenya
Game On! Youth Sports in Kenya
Game On! Youth Sports in Kenya
Game On! Youth Sports in Kenya
Game On! Youth Sports in Kenya

On 18th-19th July VAP coaches conducted a training of trainers’ course for its networking organizations. The 15 coaches who attended the life skills training were from VAP’s networking programs. Their organizations have been participating in VAP’s Skillz Kenya HIV/AIDS awareness program and all of their program participants have graduated through the Skillz Kenya HIV/AIDS awareness program. The purpose of the training was to train and equip the coaches with new techniques and information on life skills. DAY ONE. On the first day in the morning hours coaches were taken through theoretical information on how sports and soccer in particular can be used for social change and instil important life skills to the participants. In the afternoon coaches were taken through various soccer drills that convey important life messages in regards to HIV/AIDS. The sessions were followed by group discussion where coaches had to: communicate, think critically and share ideas about HIV/AIDS. DAY TWO Day two of the training was mainly focusing on monitoring and evaluation, how coaches would really measure the impact of their respective programs. Coaches were given data that contained sections of participant’s names, gender, age, school; team etc.The idea of the data was for the coach to use during their program.”It’s very important to know how soccer can really change the life of a human being, especially the kids that we serve.”Said Tom Onyango, youth coach from Majengo club who attended the training.

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Dream Goal 2010- An initiative that was started in June 2010 in line with Africa’s first ever FIFA world cup kick off in South Africa implemented by SONY with an aim of instilling extensive social contribution program that harness football’s extraordinary power through its four projects: Public Viewing in Africa: Many people in Africa were unable to watch FIFA world cup games on TV and this made Sony to organize live match broadcasts on large screens in Cameroon and Ghana.HIV/AIDS education and counselling were also on offer at the viewing venues. Sony’s original Ball “Join the Team”: Sony developed a soccer ball from highly durable materials that can last a long time even in Africa’s rough terrain. The material is also environmentally conscious utilizing vegetable based plastics. The ball’s design expresses the idea all of us coming together with the children of Africa in a single team to turn dreams into reality. Ticket Fund: Sony teamed up with local NGO’s to invite 1,500 South African children to FIFA world cup. By taking part in HIV/IDS awareness programs, the children got to experience the tournament at the stadium.Siyakhona (We can do it) through this initiative sony is donating its products to NGO’s around the world and equips the children with the skills to capture their everyday life and environment through photography, and to communicate to the world at large. This project is on course even after the tournament


  Game on! Youth sports in conjunction with Sony conducted a successful under 12 soccer game for both boys and girls. The tournament was held at pumwani sports ground and it involved 16 teams drawn from different areas within Nairobi. The aim of the tournament was to harness the power of football to realize the hopes and the dreams of children. It’s virtual football club that anyone can join, any time. It doesn’t matter where you are, who you are or whether you can play. All that matters is your passion for the game and your desire to help us achieve our goal of supporting children live their dreams through football.


The final match between Masa FC and Kinyago FC was stretched to the penalty shoot- out that ended 4-5 in favour of Masa. The winners were awarded with trophy, medals, soccer ball and a camera from Sony. The other teams: runners up and 3rd place team were also awarded with Sony camera. The tournament was graced by VAP’s director who also thanked all the donors and supporters who have been donating towards Game On! Youth sports programs.

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Twenty coaches from 20 community clubs had an opportunity to attend youth soccer and life skills training course held at the Bahati centre on 3rd-4th of November 2010 that was conducted by 3 coaches from VAP.The training course focused mostly on soccer techniques and tactical for youth aged 6-15 years as well as life skills.


During the first day in the morning hours coaches were taken through theoretical soccer drills that included: dribbling, passes, shooting ball control among others. In the afternoon each and every coach was given a ball and had to do every exercise practically as per the theory lessons. The main purpose of the lessons was to build up the entire tactical skills of the coaches.


Day two of the training was mainly focusing on life skills and how sports and soccer in particular can be used as a tool for social change. The advantage of soccer being a universal language and the most liked sport puts it ahead of all the sports and it can easily be taken advantage of to address life skills messages regarding: HIV/AIDS, alcohol and drug abuse, malaria, TB etc.Coaches were taken through a couple life skills activities that uses soccer in the fight against HIV/AIDS, TB, alcohol and drug abuse that they would absorb and use during their trainings with their respective community youth clubs. In addition they were given some manuals that contained soccer related activities that address life skills that would help them to use.”This training is an eye opener to me, my club and the community that I come from.”Said Hussein Juma, youth coach from Maringo club who attended the training.


As always, we appreciate and thank all the donors who have been donating towards this project and we would urge them to keep on supporting us so that we could reach out to others and improve our society.”Nancy Waweru, Director VAP.

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Through the invitation of Vijana Amani Pamoja, VAP, a total of 4 under 14 teams gathered together for one day soccer friendly match come an opportunity for networking and learning from each other. The four teams were: Sadili oval, moving the goalpost, Christic and Mrembo .The most significant factor in these teams was that they all use football for social change despite giving sports opportunity for girl child.

Before the kick off, both teams demonstrated how they do use the game of football for social change.”Am so much excited to travel all the way from coast to Nairobi about 2500KM to Nairobi to come and play friendly match as well as learning and networking from the like-minded teams. This truly shows how huge and of great impact the game of football can change our lives.”Said 13 year old, Mwanaidi Asha, from Moving the goal post. The other teams: Sadili Oval had to travel 42km, Christi, 100km and Mrembo being the host.

It was a great opportunity for all teams as they played and interacted with one another all in the name of networking and learning from each other.”We feel so much honoured to have hosted this opportunity where we have learnt a lot from our colleagues from various parts of this country. We look forward to learning more from other groups as well who use football for social change. Said 13 year old,Caroline Mwende from Mrembo.

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HIV and TB prevention through sport: On a Saturday afternoon in the Kamukunji area of Nairobi, dozens of kids are running around on a wide swath of bare earth. Cinderblock slum castles line the sides of the field on three sides, the fourth a wall of trash, plastic bags, excrement, rotting vegetables, and flies that people must stumble through to reach the open space. Just outside the rotting fence, merchants are carving sandals from used tires, Matatus zoom by, hawkers sell goods on foot, and a flock of goats descend upon the nutritious refuse. This scene is typical for many Nairobi slums, but this field is special because kids are playing supervised soccer. Seventeen volunteer coaches instruct, encourage, and inspire. Play is organized so that kids as young as seven are safe here. Throughout the afternoon, coaches break the action so they can talk to the kids about HIV/AIDS. Today is special to them as well, because it is first day that they will expand lessons about how to avoid tuberculosis (TB). An instructor (Omu) invites 30 kids to gather around. “You have all heard about TB before,” he begins, “but I want to show you just how difficult it is to know if someone is carrying.” Omu lines them up in two tight groups, shoulder to shoulder, so that no one can see through the gaps between. Each group faces the other, and he holds up two tennis balls. “You see this? This ball is HIV, the other one, TB.” Clearly each ball is labelled with a marker. Omu gives one boy a ball in each line and instructs them to secretly pass the diseases behind their backs, so that those in the other line cannot see it. Eventually, Omu calls “stop” and someone from the opposing team tries to guess who on the other side is carrying the “disease.” A boy calls out a name and the other boy reveals his empty hands. Most fail. They are just guessing. Slowly, after weeks of playing soccer, it sinks in that no one can predict who is has AIDS or TB, and that it is wiser to avoid promiscuity. Most of these boys are years away from even thinking about girls, and yet this is the age when they can be reached. Later, their friends will have more influence than soccer instructors.

ABOUT ENOUCE NDECHE: My interest in this story is less about what organizations like Vijani Amoni Pamoja (VAP, meaning “Peace Together”) do; but why they ever came to exist in the first place. VAP was founded six years ago by Enouce Ndeche. As Enouce explains it, “we were just trying when CARE found us and supported us. Now we have support from many sports for social change organzations around the world.” Enouce is shy and modest by nature. He avoids boasting about the role he has played. But many of his friends grew up exposed to the same community problems, and saw the same needs, and none of them started an organization. But he did, and now 17 of Enouce’s neighborhood friends work alongside him at VAP as coaches and mentors. Something happened that caused one person to step up and start making a difference. As best as I can tell, VAP began after Enouce was exposed to a series of new ideas and opportunities. He had the opportunity to go to school, where he met kids outside the slum and made friends easily. He lived among mentally handicapped people and struggled to understand what it is about their brains that might be different. Those questions compelled him to seek out a volunteer opportunity with Special Olympics. There he met an American who listened to Enouce, learned about his passion for playing soccer on the dirt field in front of his house, and planted an idea. This American told Enouce about a project he had heard about volunteering elsewhere, that combined sports with HIV awareness. “That sounds wonderful,” Enouce said, wishing someone like that was in his own neighborhood. He was ready to volunteer at that moment, but no organization existed. There the idea lay dormant for a few years. Enouce was waiting for someone to come along with money and expertise and tell him what to do. But over the hundreds of daily soccer games with friends that ensued on this field, the issue of HIV would come up occasionally during water breaks, and they would talk about it. Enouce carried on the conversation longer with the younger kids, until he was almost a big brother to them. Soon he was organizing practice for the team and talking about HIV more often. They had no office, no budget, and no staff – but here was an individual making a difference. He told everyone who had inspired him along the way about his dreams for that neighborhood, and his friends joined him. Some of the people at organizations Enouce had served previously as a volunteer passed word on to others. They told others, and eventually organizations with resources took notice.

Cautiously optimistic, CARE sent some people to see this tiny organization’s work. They saw a strong network of volunteers on the ground in a neighborhood served by few other organizations. Tons of kids were involved, and the community new about Enouce’s organization and supported it. But if Enouce hadn’t gotten involved volunteering for another organization as a youth, he wouldn’t have had a chance meeting that changed the community.

In my travels talking to GlobalGiving’s project leaders across Kenya, I’ve noticed that getting noticed is to some a miracle, and to others a recognition of their own effort. Few connect the dots of person to person, how planting an idea today will blossom into the social change led by tomorrow’s organization. But I believe change starts with the spread of good ideas and stronger social connections, both locally and abroad. We (GlobalGiving) have started a storytelling project to facilitate this, and we’ve build a SMS-powered community message board for Kamukunji. It is still just a prototype, but it might become something more. I’ve also left my personal mark here. Since I’m an ultimate frisbee enthusiast, I held a clinic four Saturdays later to teach the game and leave behind some discs.

I kept coming back here because I believe VAP is an excellent organization serving the community, and I want to see it grow.

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Organization Information

Vijana Amani Pamoja (VAP)

Location: Nairobi, Kenya - Kenya
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @Vap_Kenya
Project Leader:
Nancy Waweru
Nairobi, Kenya

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Thanks to 8 donors like you, a total of $430 was raised for this project on GlobalGiving. Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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