Would you believe that nearly half of the population (45%) of Kenya is under the age of 15? During this pandemic we are seeing that children and youth are lost and confused. There have been rising cases of teenage pregnancies since the Corona Virus outbreak in Kenya while many other young people struggle with mental health issues. Schools are closed until january, travel was restricted for months across the country, and friends are told to keep social distance and wear masks when getting together. They are looking for hope.
We believe and can bear witness that an empowered coach using the game of football (soccer) can transform a life and even a community. A coach builds a close relationship by working with players where they love to be, often at the perfect age and repeatedly, over a long period of time – creating an ideal setting for positive influence and affecting change. During this pandemic we are seeing youth turning to their coach to meet their emotional, spritual, and physical needs.
What does this look like? Coach Fred is one of the coaches we have trained who is using this season to bring impact. Fred noticed a huge gap between parents and their children because most parents only stayed with their children during the holidays. One of Fred’s players named Jake (not his real name) lied to his parents and ran away from home to chase after his girlfriend who had moved away from town. Three days later, Jake was found. However, his parents did not know how to talk to their child. Because Jake loved being on the field, his parents involved his coach. Fred, who is passionate about mentoring and positively influencing his players, stepped in and talked to Jake. As a result of their special relationship, Jake listened to Fred and decided to come home. Fred then talked to Jake’s parents and encouraged them to listen to and connect with their son.
Fred has been doing this with many more players and parents in his area. Aside from engaging parents and players, Fred also opens up his house and a day hardly goes by without a couple of children and youth paying him a visit. He is bringing hope to his community.
This leads to our burden and passion. To raise up father figure coaches like Fred across Kenya to effectively use the game of football to transform the lives of thousands of children and youth.
"A coach will impact more coaches in a year than the average person can in a lifetime." Billy Graham.
Are you willing to go the extra mile with us? Our goal is to raise $15,000 by the end of November which will help us come alongside coaches to bring hope to their players and provide an additional 100 food bags in the coming months. Every dollar raised will go to the Kenya office to take care of our wonderful staff team and to buy food bags for coaches within our network.