On Saturday 10th November, 54 successful graduates of the Kick-Out Corruption program took to the pitch at VAP’s first ever anti-corruption football tournament at Mcedo Primary School in Mathare, Nairobi. The celebratory event marked the completion of the Kick-Out Corruption program which has been running at the school for the past three months. Using football-inspired activities, the program aims to teach young people aged 11 – 21 on the reality of corruption with practical advice on how to avoid and overcome this vice.
Mathare is one the largest slums in Nairobi and Mcedo Primary School relies on support from the World Food Programme to provide lunches for its’ pupils. With very little in the way of weekend entertainment and organised sport in the area, the tournament was welcomed by the children and adolescents who both played and watched.
On the day
The 54 graduates, aged between 12 and 16 years, were divided into nine six-person teams based on individuals’ career ambitions – judges, managers, engineers, lawyers and doctors clashed with teachers, politicians, chiefs and CEOs in a closely fought match.
During the football games, cones labelled with corruption drivers including cronyism, favoritism, greed, bribery, nepotism, tribalism and blackmail blocked the path of players. If a player stepped on a ‘corruption cone’ their team was forced to do a forfeit of 20 star jumps for committing an act of corruption with a point being awarded to the opposing team.
The aim of the game was to illustrate that corruption penalises the majority and stands in the way of individuals achieving their life ambitions. It is through these kinds of practical examples that VAP effectively harnesses the power of football as an education tool, conveying key messages regarding corruption in an enjoyable and memorable way.
Each team competed enthusiastically – despite many participants playing without shoes on the rocky pitch – and there was some real sporting talent on display as the local community cheered from the side lines. Whilst the emphasis was on taking part, it was the engineers team who were declared the overall winners.
After the tournament, juice and snacks were provided to the players followed by a graduation ceremony in the school grounds which was attended by VAP’s Executive Director EnouceNdeche along with several along staff members. Each Kick-Out Corruption graduate was presented with a certificate to not only congratulate them on their achievement but to also serve as a reminder of the program’s messages of leadership and integrity.
The vast majority of program graduates at Mcedo Primary School readily attended and participated in the tournament. It was not only an enjoyable event but the tournament also served as a final reminder of the anti-corruption messages which the young people have benefited from during the three-month intervention.
With over 50 local children and adolescents turning out to watch the tournament, the event was a real success in terms of community engagement and helping VAP’s anti-corruption message to ‘ripple out’ beyond simply the individuals in each intervention.