Marsabit County in Northern Kenya, which is afflicted by tribal conflicts and in the recent past we have seen the conflict escalate further and further. The clashes have left a trail of destruction which includes human death, destruction of properties, human displacement, trauma and psychological disturbance Children have not been spared either some lost their dear life; schools were destroyed and learning came to a halt. As HODI we use football as a tool for social change under our program of Shoot to Score not to Kill we engage the youths not to take up guns and kill each other. Ours is a proactive engagement of the children to help break away from the cycle of violence. We play home and away football games and experience the ‘enemy tribe’ first hand and help the children form an independent decision. Our children are trained as peace ambassadors equipped with skills of conflict transformation and how to deal with violence at personal level. They learn about fair play and the reward for it both as individual and as a team and that violence has no benefit to them. The project continues to benefit over 1000 children armed with guns and hatred for other tribes as a neutral safe space where Football replaces the gun, battle field is replaced by Peace Field, while the Peace Ambassadors replace fierce warriors. Also a safe space for young girls rescued from marriages, early pregnancies and drop outs from school. The initiative has seen girls break the silence on other issues among them FGM, Early Marriage and Early pregnancies.
One young boy reckoned ‘ohhh I don’t have to be scared of the motorbikes crossing the field of play it is safe now and I can just play’.
The Children in HODI are overjoyed as they set foot on the HODI Peace Field, the joy cannot be hidden and most were grateful we now have a space to call our own.
It is a new dawn, we are over joyed with the new developments and each of you helped us take this step. In October 2014 we acquired the Title Deed for the land on which HODI Peace Center will STAND. You have not only given us the space for children to play but also a safe space where they can transform to be non-violent and learn about resolving conflict and peaceful coexistence. We owe the HODI Peace Field to each of you for your individual contributions, for inviting your family and friends to contribute. Our gratitude also goes out to The Pam Dahlgren Hope through Education Award for education by FAWCO and Stuttgart Peace Award.
While we have the Peace field and a safe space for children to play, our DREAM is to build an even safer and bigger house that will be the HODI Peace Center. It will be big enough to house the girls saved from early forced marriages; big enough to train peace ambassadors. As HODI we will definately keep you posted on the progress of this project, with each step of the way.
In the meantime, time to go and clear the bushes in the Peace Field!
In the recent past we struggled with communication and keeping you up to date on our progress. As the connection went from bad to worse the number of girls increased immensely day in day out. This is greatly due to your generous contribution as HODI we have covered more ground and reached more girls. One such girls is Ntarisa who struggled in her life and education with no father and a sick mother. The only choice she had was marriage but she defied the odds and is now a role model to many more younger girls and she travelled to share her experience in Brazil during the World Cup, thanks to your donations!
This August for the first time ever we are holding the 1st ever Horn of Africa Cup to help break silence on violence against girls and the boys will shoot to score not to kill and we look forward to generous donations.
The Horn Of Africa Development Initiative (HODI), the organization behind the HODI Peace Center for 1000 children, has recently moved to a better office. This was done to accomodate more staff and increase privacy for community members who visit our offices. We have some fantastic memories of our old offices but change is always needed in life to motivate people. We hope to continue doing great work with the commnuity within which we work.
The Peace Center has so far received over $6000 in contributions from numerous donors who have kept the dream alive. But this still leaves the project requiring about $30,000 to be completed. Thus, we still need you to continue supporting this project and bring us closer to our goal. Over 1000 innocent children in northern Kenya need you to ask your friends, relatives and colleagues to contribute to the project in order to have a shelter over their heads. Let us keep the dream alive!
North Kenyan football project presented at Geneva Peace Talks 2013
20 September 2013
Fatuma Abdulkadir Adan, Founder of horn presenting at the Geneva Peace Talks.
Geneva, (UNOSP) - On the eve of the 2013 Geneva Peace talks (19th September), it was the UNOSDP’s pleasure to welcome and exchange experiences with one of the guest speakers, Ms Fatuma Abdulkadir Adan. She overcame the barriers and prejudices in her country to implement her very own sports project, HODI (Horn of Africa Development Initiative).
Having spent most of her life in northern Kenya, she grew up with her mother and local high school teacher father. Fatuma is one of the few north Kenyan girls who went on to further education completing a Bachelor of Laws at Moi University in Eldoret, Kenya. Fatuma was raised in a considerably unique family, her mother and father originated from two warring tribes, that are currently still at war in northern Kenya. From this unique relationship, Fatuma gained valuable experience, and a deep sensitivity to the variety of social issues affecting her region. For several years now, northern Kenya has been facing perpetual conflicts raised by the coexistence of different tribes, the lack of food, the presence of armed rebels, and the silence of the political powers. In response to that, Fatuma decided to focus on childhood development and provide them with programs that use football as a tool for development and peace. Despite social clashes and ongoing conflicts, she has devoted her life to HODI, promoting the ideals of development and peace, leading to positive and sustainable social change. HODI started in 2003 in Marsabit, Fatuma’s hometown. She implemented a reflective program called “Shoot to score, not to kill”, where boys and girls from different tribes take part in football training. The objective is to get boys and girls off the streets and away from their unavoidable destiny and participate in sport. To prevent violence, a very common behavior amongst these boys, Fatuma and her team created a set of fair play and peace cards, a green card representing fair play for each player, and white highlighting peaceful team play. This innovative method has been met with positive reactions from players who encourage team mates to play fairly and peacefully. “In my village the children are so used to celebrating violence, that through the introduction of the green and white card, finally fair and peaceful play can be rejoiced.” explains HODI founder Fatuma Adan. Another characteristic of her football programme, is that at least three different tribes must be represented in each team (Teams of 7). This is an essential feature of this programme to encourage the cooperation and the teamwork between tribes. So far, the programme has been successful in gathering 248 teams, with 36 girl teams in different villages. Fatuma Adan’s peace building programme is a big step in educating the youth to foster harmony and cohesion in northern Kenya. This is what Fatuma calls “breaking silence using football”. She wants these kids to have a voice, and the choices she had. They are the future, and they are even “teaching the parents about peaceful social coexistence”. Fatuma closed her speech at the 2013 Geneva Peace talks with the following words: “Peace is like an egg, if you don’t nurture it, it can easily break”.
You can find Fatumas presentation from the 5th minute onwards on the link below.
The Award Winning Initiative Shoot To score not to kill has been recognised in many arenas nationally and internationally. The key impact is the sharing of the organisation profile with different institutions world wide among them Cambodia, Israel Palestine, Germany among other countries.
You invested in this initiative and believed in it before we even won awards and now we are sharing our impact beyong our regional borders to other nations. The initiative is being used as one of the successful means of using non violence means to resolve violent conflict. Over the years we have reached over 3,000 youths and we intend to reach more youths with your support.
We are sharing a link to our award winning initiative video. You will share in our challenges and successes as you watch the video. Tell us what you think of our intervention and the video shared below. We look forward to get more support to help reach more villages and reduce violent conflict and help the girls find a voice and have hope for the future.
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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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