January 4, 2011
Report from the Field – Festus Juma of Society Empowerment Project in Oyugis, Kenya
In the month of December 2010, SEP held a Female Empowerment workshop for three days, with 20 members in attendance. After the workshop, SEP proceeded with the programme to the next level, football. The power of football to communicate, for social integration and building of relationship was overtly proved. Football brings together the old age, middle and the young. Below is Charltone F. Juma, 3 years old, demonstrating the joy in football, as he too celebrates SEP Victory in the December event, Female Empowerment through Football.
SEP Girls and young boys in a group discussion and plenary session during a workshop on Female Empowerment. The two days work shop was organized by SEP through the support of Kampala 2 Cape Town, USA and GTZ/YDF. The workshop addressed different issues affecting girl child, ranging from early pregnancy, early marriage, early sexual debut, HIV/AIDS, school dropout, lack of independent decision making among others. The workshop therefore aimed at empowering the girls with appropriate skills about their rights, role in the community and as peer educators and coaches.
The workshop was full of fun moment as a way of holding participants’ concentration throughout the training session. One on one group discussion proved to be an effective way through which the youth shared their experiences, as they sought common ground on way forward to their challenges.
Some of the factors leading to school dropout as was identified by the girls include; premarital sexual relationship, unwanted / early pregnancy, early marriage, poverty, lack of information, and lack of meaningful leisure activities among others. During the workshop, possible ways to combat the vice were suggested, ranging from active involvement of girls in soccer sessions, saying “NO” to premarital sexual relations, respect of girls voice especially when they say ‘NO’ to early sexual debut, (for boys), identifying personal goals and vision, conducting regular trainings on thematic areas and making follow ups on the same, being responsible at personal level among others. Involving girls at various levels, right from Agriculture, football and 3 leadership positions was also identified as a strategy of curbing down the vice. Increasing girl child enrolment in school, and taking long time in studies / school life was also seen as one of the areas through which girls can be empowered to attain bright and independent future. Self body development among girls was also a topic exhaustively discussed, including reproductive health such as contraceptives etc.
SEP Girls’ team on arrival in Kisumu at the Lutheran Special School where they were accommodated, gather to fetch water for their use in the hostels as they prepared for a match the following day in Kisumu. The tournament was organized to give girls’ the opportunity to network with other girls from different districts, as well as to share their achievements/experiences and challenges.
SEP Girls during half time during their match with Suba Lakers in Mbita, listening to instructions from a visiting coach who is SEP friend. The match ended at 1-1, with SEP scoring in the 15th minute of the second half, and Suba Lakers equalizes 4 minutes before the final whistle! SEP members celebrated the game nd below ot is a joint photo between SEP and Suba Lakers, a sign of fair play demonstrated throughout the match.