The female stars of Futbol Mas Kenya
Any woman who understands the problems of running a home will be nearer to understanding the problems of running a country.” Margaret Thatcher.
The women in Futbol Mas Kenya have understood the problems in their communities and are actively involved in being the solutions. They range from leadership positions, volunteers, Community Coordinators, teachers, child protectors, cooks, cleaners to youth leaders. These are just but some of them.
Easther Wanjiku is a child protector and a business woman at Mathare. Her business location gives her the perfect location to look out for children in their daily activities. She loves taking care of the children a lot that at times she closes her business to join them in Futbol Mas sessions.
Her wish was always to be a teacher but unfortunately she did not manage to go to school. Lacking the teaching skills has never held her back from guiding children whenever an opportunity arises. Besides, she has always loved and played football, making her the right instructor in sessions.
Active children are always hungry and have to eat. Nancy Anyango makes this possible. Nancy, commonly known as Mama Anyoso is the cook at Destiny Junior academy. She works so hard from dawn until dusk to provide breakfast, lunch and clean up after the children.
“The happy faces of these children when they have eaten reminds me am doing a noble thing” says the happy Nancy Anyango. The amazing thing is how she manages to create time some afternoons to go to the field for sessions.
Virginia Wanjiru is an energetic, active and strong willed woman. She is the chairperson of the Mathare Community Coordination Team. Mrs Wanjiru is not just an average woman. She has gone far and beyond for positive transformation in her community. It is as if she walks with business ideas ready to share with whoever is interested in listening.
Virginia has been of great help at incorporating Futbol Mas programme into the community. “At first it was hard convincing people to own the Futbol Mas programme. Most people thought Futbol Mas was here to take advantage of their poor state so as to get donations. Some of the residents were also not willing to participate in Futbol Mas activities as they were no financial gains in place,” she explains.
Her greatest joy is giving out a green card. She does it so happily and in a style that you would wish for each child to receive a Green Card the day she is in the field. Virginia manages her time so well to fit Futbol Mas activities, her businesses and taking care of her family.
We have a number of ladies as Youth Leaders both in Mathare and Kibera. Some came in for their love of football while others came in to help transform the community. Elizabeth Waithera, however, came in because of both the two reasons.
She was born and raised in Mathare, going through life as a child living in a disadvantaged community. Unlike many of her peers around, she managed to go to school. Her schooling was thanks to her love for football. Elizabeth loved playing football from a very young age.
She managed to participate in a number of football competitions as a young girl. Her talent during the competitions secured her a scholarship that saw her through primary and secondary education. Elizabeth has never forgotten the challenges she faced and is just glad she can help other children not to face the same troubles she underwent.
“Empowering them, making them aware of their environments and what is happening in them is key in alleviating some of the challenges. As a child, nobody gave me the chance to learn a lot the way Futbol Mas is giving these Children,” says the humble lady.
Elizabeth is actively involved in both planning and leading the sessions. She is one of the most committed Youth Leaders. Going to the field for her fits well with her purpose and passion. Purpose of positively transforming her community and passion of sports, especially football.
Being a woman has never been a limitation to the women in Futbol Mas Kenya. While some might love the game, many just take the challenge, the challenge of seeing Mathare and Kibera a better place.
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