June 15, 2010

Female Empowerment Through Football

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:23 am by kampala2capetown


As most of you may know, the official World Cup games began this past Friday June 11th beginning with South Africa vs. Mexico.

Preparing for this event came with a number of challenges. Beginning with the hiring of a “self-proclaimed faulty” technician, which became the going joke for the rest of the day. However, by Saturday evening we were broadcasting the game on our open air cinema at Kotieno Primary School.

It’s incredible how much the community has taken ownership over the project. Their commitment to get the screen up and running was remarkable. From Friday morning until Saturday evening they were working hard to get the screen going. So many complicated pieces had to be placed in exact order from connecting the satellite dish and specific wires to ensuring that our DSTV subscriber had enabled our subscription from Kisumu, which is 2 hours away.

You should have seen the crowd on Saturday night. The screen was finally working just in time for the England vs. USA match. I was standing there as they were reciting the Star Spangled Banner, observing a crowd of 200 children and adults cheering from the rural village of Oyugis, Kenya. It is moments like this when you see the fruits of community-based work that make international development such an inspiring profession. Of course there are daily challenges to the project; but ones that when overcome, allow for sustainability.  The community has jointly been working through the process, which has given them ownership over their work.

On Sunday morning Juma Festus (the director) and I traveled to Kisi, a nearby town, to purchase a tarp to cover the screen from the rain and lights to light up the field (for safety purposes) during the evening games. It is rainy season in Kenya, which has posed a number of challenges to the project. But our technical team from the community is committed to improving the project as the days carry on.

The local chief from the community has been appointed to oversee the site during the 30 days. He is a proud man of 40 with 6 beautiful children. He has taught me a lot about the Luo tribe that inhabits this area of Western Kenya.

We have a DVD recorder for recording the day games, which can then be viewed on the screen at nightfall just before we play the night game, live.

Of course there are great frustrations at times and the lack of food choices, the bugs, the dirt and extreme poverty really makes life back home seem so luxurious and tedious. People’s problems are so different.

I will be running a female empowerment session for the girl’s soccer league this week. The mission of Kampala 2 Cape Town Kenya is: “Female Empowerment Through Football,” with a vision of improving the lives of the girls in Oyugis through the post-world cup network in Africa.

Lala Salaama



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