February 10th 2018, Kwale and Malindi County. Founder, Executive Director Green-Kenya, writes about Community Impact program in Ukunda with Rhino Football club and Real Junior Football club in Kwale
For the past one week, I have been able to visit three communities with football as my tool of trade. I have interacted with both young and old in and off the field. The community here is hospitable and ready to learn.
The communities that we are visiting include the Mambungo Village and Rhino Football Club in Ukunda and a secondary school in Mambrui in Malindi area.
Rhino Footall Club in Ukunda.
This is the second time we’ve engaged Rhino Football Club and we are now helping the team to come up with structures to govern themselves as a self-help group and football club. The club has two categories of player, the first group is between the ages of 18 – 25 years and the junior team is between the age of 12 – 18 years.
During our visit, we had a chance to tour the coral reef with our contact person at Rhino who happened to be our chef Mr Saidi. This was the first time he had been in the reef and he was very excited to come with us in the boat.
I came to realize that all these communities have one thing in common and that is community football teams that were started by the grand-parents and parents of the current players, predominantly men. The parents of the current players are the ones guiding the players and teaching them old tactics they used to beat their neighboring communities.
Real Football Club in Mambungo Kwale County
As I was making my way in to Mambungo location where Real Junior Football Club is based, I had to penetrate a bushy area unawares of the outcome. The only thing I could remember was “Tafadhali nifuate, nitakupeleka hadi kiwanjani” Swahili translation for “Please follow me, I will lead you to the field” these words were spoken by one of Junior player, perhaps 15 year old who was leading the way. After few minutes, I could not tell where I was, the area was covered by thicket with only a narrow pathway and grass-thatched huts along the way.
After walking for about ten minutes, I saw 10 young and energetic men and lady warming up in the scorching sun. The ground was sandy and not proportional, got excited but also surprised to see the young lady playing bear footed and dedicated in the training.
“I cleared high school in 2014, and I had nothing to do and my parents were unable to take me to college, I was just idle at home. I decided to join Real Football Club because I like playing football”. Said Mwanakombo.
The last community we paid a visited was in Malindi which is in the South Eastern part of Kenya, in Mambrui community.
I was introduced to the team and the village elders by the captain and then I picked up the session. We played couple of games like circle of friends, concentrations game and lines game where everybody had to make their own decision based on the instruction of the coach, as the game went on, all the participants had to be quiet and they had to look at the signs from the coaches’ hands and decide what they thought was right. The game basically explained the importance of incorporating people who are abled differently for example those with hearing challenge.
It is my belief that the information we shared will be spread to the entire community, this wonderful experience could not have been possible without the support of Collaborative Ventures who are one of Green-Kenyas partner.