Girls rescued from Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and child marriage in Samburu County have been introduced to basketball after Giants of Africa foundation constructed a state-of-the-art basketball court at the Samburu Girls Foundation in Loosuk village.
While officially launching the court, Toronto Raptors President and founder of Giants of Africa Foundation Masai Ujiri said that the foundation’s obligation is to use sports to break the barriers facing girls and women of Samburu county.
“There is a problem facing young women in Samburu County such as FGM, child marriage and we need to evolve as human beings and the respect for women has to be seen in the forefront of what we want to do in this continent,” he said.
Ujiri called on the Samburu community to create more opportunities for girls and women since the world has become a global village.
“The world has become a village and we have to create a path for these girls, as elders, as older youths we have to and I want everybody to take that seriously,” he added.
Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) State Department for Gender Linah Jebii Kilimo assured the girls that their rights are enshrined in the constitution which overrides negative cultural practices.
“The constitution is your shield and you are not breaking any laws being in this rescue centre you are actually telling the people in your community to obey the laws of Kenya that outlaw FGM,” Kilimo said.
Later on the girls were taught how to play basketball by Toronto Raptors head coach Jama Mahlalela who noted that the institution will soon become a centre for excellence in basketball.
The centre also received gym equipment, books and dignity kits from UNICEF through the Department of Children Services in Samburu County.
By Robert Githu