Friday, April 19, 2024
Home > Counties > NGOs use sports to nurture youths in Kisumu

NGOs use sports to nurture youths in Kisumu

Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) based in Kisumu County have partnered to empower adolescent girls and boys through sports activities to create a safe and supportive environment for the youths to achieve their full potential.

The Organization of African Youth Kenya (OAYouth-Kenya) uses games tournaments in the Lakeside County to engage the young girls and boys to keep off drug and substance abuse, insecurity, teenage pregnancies as well as Gender-Based Violence.

Speaking to KNA, Joseph Ojuki, an officer from OAYouth-Kenya said the talent approach programme has provided a safe avenue through football to bring teenagers together and engage them in a dialogue about the challenges they face.

“We want to involve and empower the adolescents through meaningful engagements to live determined and resilient lives in the betterment of their wellbeing,” Ojuki noted.

By bringing parents, teachers and the community on board he said they have created free space to allow for discussions on Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR).

“From the Kisumu antenatal care 2021 report, lack of comprehensive SRHR education was a 50 per cent contributor to teenage pregnancies alone, therefore, it was important to devise and create creative ways to implicate the minds of the teenagers,” he explained.

He cited that adolescents are a population that is rarely being talked to and yet they face a lot of challenges, and with no knowledge on how to express them, they rebel and fall victims to circumstances.

Ojuki disclosed that a majority of adolescents are drawn to entertainment through art and music, games and recreational activities.

“It is our responsibility as parents to identify the interests of our adolescents, involve them and use the time to have meaningful conversations that can help lower the curve on drug abuse and teenage pregnancies,” he appealed.

OAYouth-Kenya has piloted the initiative in Muhoroni Sub County where they organized a football tournament that attracted over 300 youths, parents and community members.

According to Ojuki, the teams, however, have scarce sportswear like jerseys and balls. Few have stable management and therefore find it hard to access donations, funds and sponsorship provided by donors, government and other concerned organizations.

He applauded the governments’ efforts to help the sports sector by donating some wear and equipment as a way of ensuring full harnessing of young and local talents.

He, however, called upon the community to reach out to the upcoming teams in the grassroots areas through these tournaments and competitions, support financially and also provide counselors, peer educators and mentors.

Kisumu County Gender and Youth Affairs Officer George Orude disclosed that the county government was in the process of developing sports centers, spaces and stadiums to improve sports in the region, encompassing adolescents.

“We are doing talent search and development to help our young girls and boys grow. We also promote socio-economic empowerment so that adolescents are meaningfully engaged,” he added.

He said the county government has been holding sports talent search bringing to limelight erstwhile hidden talent among young people in the county and investing in them to advance their careers.

Orude said the government has put together sufficient funds and plans to continue with projects on talent search for sportsmen and women. He encouraged the youths to get involved, as it will be carried out in all Sub Counties and villages.

By Lorine Awino and Evangeline Mola

Leave a Reply