KESOFO is presently implementing a flagship program titled the Sport for Social Transformation (SST), whose goal is to promote the use of sport as the entry point into local communities to address the underlying causes of poverty and as a vehicle to achieve lasting social change. The SST targets youth and young adult populations (including girls) through local sporting organisations by using sports as an entry point into communities. Involvement in organized sports not only allows boys and girls from all backgrounds to break down social barriers and come together on the playing field, but also creates an enabling environment in which they can feel more comfortable exploring serious and sensitive issues.
Western Kenya League
KESOFO has formed the Magharibi (western Kenya) Street Soccer League (WKSSL) which brings together over 50 clubs. The league has been established to raise awareness of the role that football can play in changing the lives of young people. Football is used as a means of involving adults and children from poor neighborhoods and those from the streets by involving them in positive activities that will assist them in moving off the streets to better lives. We believe that sport can foster healthy individual development, teaching positive values and life skills, strengthening education, preventing disease through education (particularly HIV/AIDS) and improving health and well-being.
Our objectives are:
- To use football as a means of actively reaching and involving homeless people in their own rehabilitation and reunification processes;
- To organize, administer and build street football as an integral element of the rehabilitation and reunification of homeless people;
- To establish the League into a sustainable and focused entity that meets the broader objectives of other participating organizations in relation to the work they do around homeless people;
Youth Reproductive Health Program
The sexual developmental stage of the youth makes them vulnerable especially in the area of reproductive health. Indeed, the HIV/AIDs pandemic remains one of our toughest challenges facing young people between the ages of 14 and 24. They are particularly vulnerable because they often don’t know what to do to protect themselves
Accordingly, KESOFO runs the sport-based HIV/AIDs and sexual health awareness programmes to educate youth and enable them to protect themselves as well as their friends and family members. They hold sessions on responsible parenting and healthy relationships, including teen pregnancy and abortion.
Also KESOFO regularly organizes youth groups to undertake reproductive health activities, with the goal of enabling them to gain from the HIV/ AIDS prevention and counseling services. They also focus on providing general counseling for youth development in different aspects of life from family, school/college, workplace etc.
Youth With Disabilities
This program targets mentally-challenged children and youth by giving them equal opportunities to gain from the benefits of sports. Other than giving balls and other sports equipment, KESOFO provides sports and recreation activities, education, training, and arts and culture programmes for all young people as well as raise awareness on disability issues, promoting inclusion, and address prejudice against young people with disabilities
Let The Girls Play
KESOFO has designed the “LET THE GIRLS PLAY” program whose aim is to support the vulnerable girl child through educational sponsorship, supply of sanitary towels and encourage them to participate in sport and recreation for fun and excellence. This program entails scaling up the girls’ sports program by netting over 5,000 girls into the sports program. A few parents have allowed their girls to participate in all our sporting programs. During the consultations with the parents, it turned out that prevailing gender roles weighed heavily against the process of integrating girls into our sporting program.
To date, KESOFO has observed the following challenges that confront the girls;
- General increase in school drops out rate and early pregnancies
- General unease among girls to express themselves assertively
- Low school retention and poor performance of girls in schools
- Vulnerability to sexual harassment and rape
- Lack of role models for other girls to emulate
- Early marriage.
To address the above, KESOFO teams conduct weekly group meetings with girls’ teams covering topics such as decision making, sexuality, peer pressure, etc. During these sessions, the mentors identify specific cases in the groups in need of personal attention and offer guidance and counselling services to them as most of them have the skill.
Additionally, KESOFO hosts weekly girls’ league football matches and an annual nationwide girls’ tournament, which serve as platforms for motivational speakers and themed drama, poem and essay competitions.
Kids Games Program
KESOFO affirms its belief in the United Nations’ Declaration of the Rights of the Child, which in Article 7 states, “The child shall have full opportunity to play and recreation, which should be directed to the same purposes as education; society and the public authorities shall endeavor to promote the enjoyment of this right;“
Consistent with this statement, KESOFO runs the Kids Games Program for children between the ages of 10 to 15 by offering them an opportunity to learn, play, and compete in many sports disciplines. They play various fun games after school, on weekends and during the school holidays. During such sessions, the children are taught KESOFO’s approach of having fun while learning valuable social skills.
The sports program is a step-by-step approach that builds confidence and self-esteem, and makes sports fun. This is in line with KESOFO’s approach which promotes sport as a medium of child development, peace and health, achievable through encouraging the children and youth, to form into organized clubs and groups where various forms of physical activities that contributes to physical fitness, mental well-being and social interaction. These fun games include play, recreation, organized, casual or competitive sports and indigenous sports or games.
Peace Education Program
KESOFO strives to contribute towards a just and sustainable peace in Kenya by promoting constructive, creative and co-operating approaches to the resolution of conflict, reduction of violence and suffering of victims of violence. The project engages in mediation, facilitation and peace education with an emphasis on capacity building as well as training, research and consultation, all undertaken through the medium of sport.
The Peace Education Programme is a long-term peace building engagement among the youth in and out of school with the goal of building capacity of the youth and the teachers to promote peace education and constructive conflict resolution among young people.
This is based on KESOFO’s belief that transmission of conflict resolution and transformational skills to children and youth at an early stage will help them to handle conflicts constructively rather than destructively. Furthermore, we are convinced that conflict resolution and problem solving skills are essential elements of the school curriculum which are necessary to increase and enhance students interaction, while improving on their relationships.
Community Entrepreneurial Assistance Program (CEAP)
KESOFO works on the premise that sustainable progress and peace can only be achieved through parallel development of the underlying social, economic and ecological conditions in Kenya.
Consistent with the foregoing, the Community Entrepreneurial Assistance Programme forms a key element of KESOFO’s work. One of its targets is to provide assistance to 5,000 young people starting their own business by 2030 (year set to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)). The number of Entrepreneurs who will have benefited from this scheme will remain linked to the program and will be involved in efforts of mobilizing savings but also in encouraging and maintaining new and old recruits and beneficiaries of the program.
Accordingly KESOFO will, in conjunction with donor partner’s support programs designed to teach vocational skills or help young people set up their own businesses. Creating jobs by founding new start-ups as an effective means of advancing social and economic development.
The Kenya Community Sports Foundation (KESOFO), is a non-governmental sporting organization that uses the medium of sport to effect social change with a special emphasis on youth transformation