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Celebrating International Day of Sport for Development and Peace - Part Two

For our second story we visit Kenya...

Moving The Goalposts

Working with its delivery partner, Pathways is a project that uses football to target girls and young women between the ages of 15 – 24 years who are not in school. These girls are especially vulnerable due to poverty, lack of economic opportunities, limited knowledge of their human rights and poor access to reproductive health information. Pathways also targets additional stakeholders including community members, local and national government officials, partner NGOs in Kenya as well as other organisations working internationally.

Case Study – Millicent

Millicent joined MTG in 2010 when she was “out-of-school”. She was 21 year old, married and mother of one child. Millicent started playing football and was soon trained as a referee. Being in MTG and having discussions with her peers about her future opened her eyes. She felt that she could never grow into the woman she wanted to be for herself, her child and her husband. She wanted to go back to school. Living with her husband and the family-in-law meant that Millicent couldn’t make decisions for herself. If Millicent was invited to be a referee in a tournament, permission had to be asked from her husband or her mother-in-law.

When the Pathways project started Millicent got her chance.

Pathways could pay a part of her school fees, but Millicent and her family also had to contribute. Millicent’s family-in-law was not happy with Millicent’s wish to go back to school. They were afraid that when Millicent would be educated, she would leave her husband and her child. Her own family was also not ready to support her, since Millicent was part of her husband’s family.

Millicent asked MTG staff to talk to her husband. The husband, himself a secondary school, graduate, who was jobless was afraid that he would lose his wife is she got back to school. But when Millicent and MTG staff continued talking to him he changed his mind and the family-in-law agreed to contribute to Millicent’s school fees. Millicent is now in form four. The husband, empowered by his wife, decided also to go back to school. Recently he joined a college to be trained in electronic wiring.

Avoiding the tackle