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Week 2 – ‘Taking Football to Africa and Beyond’ – Sue’s blog


Click here to see Sue’s blog for her first week.

Day Eight

After waking up with spectacular views of Lake Elementaita in the Great Rift Valley, we headed off to GYSDA in Gilgil and also visited a local football team and school before making our way to a charity called Loving Hands. This amazing organisation takes in and looks after orphans, the majority of whom are HIV positive. We met one gorgeous little girl who has had a very difficult start in life. At the age of 2.5 years, she has just learned to walk, but has not yet started talking. Unfortunately, stories as sad as this are found many times over in the homes and centres we have visited.

Our next stop was Saidia Children’s Home, where the children were delighted to receive some of the toy cars and skipping ropes bought through donations from Osprey colleagues. We all had a great time playing skipping games in the small garden area. The last visit of the day before the drive back to Nairobi was to the Sanchat Restart Centre. This amazing school started as a small shed, but through the dedication of the staff and support of ‘Restart’ has thrived and grown. A short football match ended in defeat 1-0 for the visitors, but I was pleased to provide the school with lots of pencils and some new footballs.

Day Nine

After an early start to try to beat Nairobi traffic (which failed as it took over 2 hours for what should have been a 45 minute journey), we headed to Kibera, Nairobi’s largest and poorest slum area. Housing 250,000 people, Kibera is the biggest slum not only in Nairobi, but in Africa too, and one of the largest in the world.  We visited the offices of Slumsoka, an organisation that seeks to deliver aid through football and supports several schools in the slum. We were taken to one of those schools, Kibera Rotary School, where I was pleased to provide the younger children with the rest of the skipping ropes and toy cars, whilst the older children in the upstairs classroom received pens, pencils and a large Alive and Kicking football.

We also delivered football kit to the Kibera Oloo School and STARA School, where we were treated to some singing, dancing and poems. After helping serve lunch to the nursery children, we departed for Vision Africa. This organisation seeks to provide vocational skills for those in need, so they can either set up their own business, or become more readily employable. They do this through 3 elements; vocational skill (car mechanics, catering, textiles, etc), business skills (including Maths and English), and personal skills (such as building self-confidence and respect).  We also met with numerous other organisations along the way to hand over boxes of football kit in the hope it might make at least a small difference.

Day Ten

Our final day of deliveries started with the challenge of finding Jawawa Academy, a new venue for visiting for the ‘Taking Football to Africa and Beyond’ team. After finally finding the school, we were told that their sign at the end of the track had been stolen for scrap! No wonder we couldn’t find it!  The school was small, but extremely welcoming and everyone was delighted to see us; as they are in a village outlying Nairobi they don’t get many visitors. It was heartening to hear of the success of their football team and their academic achievements.

Our final visit was to a small orphanage, which was originally set up by a compassionate lady known as Mamma Rose, herself an orphan, to help one or two children of the community, but had grown to 60 children. Conditions were very cramped, with the girls’ room barely the size of a cupboard, but containing 12 beds in bunks, with children sharing 2 to a bed. Nevertheless, the children here are loved, looked after and happy.



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