This is discussion about National network to develop girls and women football in Kenya.
Dear Cocky -
Congratulations on getting up on Changemakers! And hi to Sarah Forde when you see her. I have long marvelled at your great and important programme and hope that we will be able to get more projects for girls and sports growing in Kenya.
I would like you to share a bit more about how you evaluate your work and how the young women have been involved in that. I have heard that you have some very innovative models.
Please also take a look at our project based in Nairobi and Berlin called boxgirls roadwork (also here on changemakers) where we teach girls self defense and running to build character and safe communities. I would love it if we could do some joint training or leadership development camps in the coming years to help build the next generation of women sport leaders. Perhaps you can also say something about how you want to extend your message through East Africa and what sort of networks you are using or other methods to achieve that.
I also hope that in these times of extreme unrest and insecurity in Kenya that you and the young women take good care of yourselves and each other and realise how important it is to have community building projects.
All the best from Berlin.
Free University Berlin
Sarah here, good to hear from you. Yes, things are not great here in Kenya. Kilifi is calm after the initial burning of some stalls by the side of the road minutes after Kibaki was sworn in. People were so angry that they attacked anything that they could relate to Kibaki (the stalls belonged to people from Kibaki’s tribe – just poor Kenyans trying to earn an honest living). Of course, the flushing out of Kikuyus from Rift Province has been more systematic and a result of much more complex, unresolved land and tribal issues. We are all very saddened by the loss of lives and displacement of so many innocent Kenyans who had so peacefully gone to the polls on 27th December. The arrogance of our leaders is depressing and as you say, makes our work all the more important.
For me what it makes important is not what we do but HOW we do it. In MTG we have built an organization with a core value of girls’ participation in planning implementing and monitoring activities. They know that taking on leadership positions brings with it huge responsibility. We promote transparency and respect for all and have an open, fair and strong institutional system which is difficult to abuse. We do not tolerate impunity, corruption and disregard for the law and through this we hope we are developing leaders for today and tomorrow. Young people in Kenya are tired of the ‘wazee’ (old people) who will cling on to power at all costs.
Your message about our monitoring and evaluation reminded me that we must update our website! But yes, we think that we have been quite innovative in trying to ‘measure impact’ and we’ve done so by sticking to our core value of girls’ participation so that we are a self critical, open organisation. We do believe that sport is a powerful tool for social change but we also recognize that it cannot be the answer to all our problems and can sometimes have an impact that you never expected (positive or negative). These need to be documented. We have written two articles on our M&E which we are hoping to get published, so I will keep you updated on that but in the meantime go to http://mtgk.org/publications.html for some of the documents on our M&E.
It would be good to work together on leadership training, let’s stay in touch.
This is a fabulous idea and seems like something the nascent sport for change network in Kenya could and should get behind. I also think there are resources that you might want to tap, i.e. CARE's has a lot of knowledge in the field of advocacy albeit at the goevernment level. It would be interesting to look at the countries, particularly African that have strong natioonal football federations for women - do they exist? - as a benchmark. The changemakers discussion could be a place to post a query about this topic and qauge interest among others. The recent entry from the KNVB on the topic of building the infrastructure for girls football is a suggests they would be a supporter! It also strikes me that this could be an advocacy goal beyond Kenya. Could the Africa Cup of Nations or the Confederations Cup or the World Cup in 2010 be a place to raise awareness for the cause.....i.e. great that football is strong in Africa, but what about the girls?!
I would love for you to brainstorm how you think other stakeholders - local to Kenya and externally - could support this effort, including the private sector, etc. What are the main obstacles to the achievement of this goal, e.g. lack of interest among girls to play, lack of infrastructure, cultural resistance, fat cats in the men's federations, etc.?
Best of luck and keep up the good work!
Cocky van Dam
Dear Ziba and Heather,
Sorry for taking time to reply on your input. I like the Changemakers website, but when you depend on internet connections in cafes and when you’ve a weak memory for usernames and passwords it’s quite a challenge to respond quickly.
As for now I’m in Uganda due to the situation in Kenya. While traveling I talked to some women who are active in football for girls and women in Uganda and Rwanda. We discovered that we’re all facing the same problems: lack of money and lack of structures and the national football federations don’t seem to be that interested. So, it seems we’re sharing some issues. I talked to Felicite Rwema and together with NIKE, CARE and Women Win she already she had already some plans to establish an East African platform for Women in Sport for Change. I think the “network to develop football for girls and women” is a topic which we can share in this network. Things are moving….next week the first meeting of this East African platform will be held in Rwanda. Thanks for your input and I’ll get back to you later, Ziba, with a more detailed plan.
This is such an difficult and important time for Kenya. Football to some may seem trivial. But the kind of work that MTG is doing is what Kenya needs. I look forward to seeing MTG move forward on this.
I'll be in touch!
Center for African Studies
University of California, Berkeley
what I like about your project is how it bridges civilian initiative and the state sector. As you rightly state, an underlying assumption with many social entrepreneurship initiatives is that a market mechanism (i.e. one based in individual initiative) is better suited to solving social issues than slow and rigid government or semi-public actors. However, in my mind that ignores the real impact that these organizations have and in a larger perspective makes it too easy for them to weasle out on their responsibilities. Using individual initiative effectively to make these big players "do what they are supposed to do", as you aptly state, seems an important easpect of SE to me. Strengthening women´s rights on the way is also a plus. Great work!
All the best,
Free University Berlin
Thank you for participating in this collaborative competition. We value the time and effort you’ve put forth and we would like to offer you feedback and some thought provoking questions from our Evaluation Team.
The focus on lobbying for girls’ integration to develop essential life skills is positive, but there was some question as to whether the funding of Moving the Goalposts Kilifi could instead be invested directly into creation of the desired programming for girls. In addition, the current and future sources of the organizational budget were unclear, which contributed to some question as to the sustainability of Moving the Goalposts Kilifi’s efforts.
Please use this input as both potential insights into your innovations, as well as constructive ideas for how to improve or grow your organization.
The Changemakers Team
how will i join