This morning I woke up to a grant proposal written by Zenah Athman Iddi for a UK-based organization, Gurls Talk. Zenah is LCFL's recent hire and Girls Program Project Officer.
Gurls Talk Grant Application
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen of Gurls Talk,
My name is Zenah Athman Iddi, a 27 year old woman from Mombasa, Kenya. I am a former professional football player and a two-time premier league champion (2013/14, 2015/16) with Oserian Ladies FC (2014-2018) in the Kenya Women Premier League.
Currently, I work with the Likoni Community Football League, a community based organization that operates in the southern district of Mombasa City called Likoni. I am the league liasion person and also function as the Girls Programme Project Officer. I would like to nominate Likoni Community Football League CBO for this grant application of “Let's get Gurls moving”.
Founded in 2011, Likoni Community Football League is a non profit organization that exposes young people to the sport of soccer while using it's football league model to socially develop both boys and girls aged between 10-17 years-old. The LCFL is well established in the community and continuously brings together hundreds of children, teenagers, young adults and many coaches in the community.
The organization also adopts a thematic approach for community challenges and tries to address them through soccer drills, games, and tournaments all through their calendar year. Coaches Across Continents, an international NGO, and LCFL partner, visited the organization for three consecutive years and helped our Management team and coaches learn and adopt the soccer drills and games that focus on these thematic areas and general social development.
Every season, the organization sees a different social challenge as a theme. We address the topics throughout the season with events and specially designed games and drills for the youths.
Tell us more about the girls you work with. How Old are they? What's their background?
Likoni ranks as the poorest sub-county of the 6 sub-counties from Mombasa County. Early parenthood, early marriages, school dropouts, drug abuse and addiction, and now, children gangs are a big characteristics of the community around Likoni. While it changes day by day to a more cosmopolitan environment, Likoni is still predominantly an islamic community with a lot of Mijikenda(Digo) culture influence. The factors mentioned above have a huge influence on the girl child and their participation not only in sports but also extra-curriculum activities. Young girls do not have equal and full access to cultural rights, sports activities, including participation and the freedom of expression, due to lack of support, education, and platforms. Families often depend on young girls, yet they struggle to find meaningful and lasting activities, and also face gender-based violence, adolescent pregnancy, lack of access to family planning services, and sexist perceptions. Young girls from low-income backgrounds often cannot afford formal education or do not have social support, therefore sports activities are not even in the range of opportunities.
I work closely with public primary schools during the weekdays, and secondary schools during the secondary schools ball games competitions. I also invest a lot of time on the weekends to work with ladies community clubs; where we can proudly count 5 in Likoni at the moment. It is important to note that most school going children in Likoni and the larger part of the Coast province start late, according to their circumstances, in terms of joining schools for formal education. The age groups that I work with in primary schools are between 12 and 16. For secondary schools, it is more between 15-20 year olds, while the community clubs practice a more open age approach with players as old as 31 years old. The players are from different backgrounds. These include former players, players that had a small go at the game during their primary/secondary school days to those that are just there for fitness and well being.
What would you do with the Grant? How would it benefit your Girls?
The organization's goal is to finally be able to engage all these girls from different levels, in different sports activities. We want to reach and empower most, if not all of them, the juniors and the seniors, over a period of time;for them to be able to boldly and confidently rise up, come out and be the persons they want to be, either through sports or whatever other route they choose to take later in life. LCFL will innovate and strive to solve these previous challenges to improve the conditions for young girls from vulnerable groups. The target beneficiaries will serve as active participants in the design of active spaces, workshop schedules and or programmes, and tournaments. The grant would also creates a literal safe space connected to an existing community of other sports members and creatives for people from vulnerable groups to participate in and enhance intercultural dialogue.
There is a huge need of setting up an organized community girls soccer league and periodic thematic cross-cutting regional girls soccer tournaments. Embedded with other social sphere programs such as networkind-, and social clubs, health and sanitation programs, mentoring and guidance activities, career guidance, networking and introductions to life changing opportunity paths. LCFL could keep track and monitor the benefits and results from the positive outcome and continue to improve the work in Likonis neighborhoods.
Do you have an idea for a new project that gets girls under 14 into sport?
As most of the vulnerable young girls are in their primary education period, the best approaches are through their schools and best actionable in the holidays through sports camps. LCFL is planning a continuous and well organized holiday sports camp for under 14 girls. This holiday camp will include outdoor activity, soccer league and tournament.
Overall goal: To protect and strengthen cultural rights and women rights through active sports.
Our Vision is to enriching and furthering human potential through the medium of soccer and other
The organisation will create a centre of excellence that promotes the creativity and professionalism of
Kenya's young girls through training, exposure, and cross-cultural dialogue and collaborative artistic
and sportive endeavors.
GURLS TALK x MADE TO PLAY would give young vulnerable girls in Likoni, Mombasa, Kenya a chance to empower themselves and find their own personalities in growing up active. This specific grant can change the future of a lot of girls and even make them turn out to be great, active, inspirational leaders for other girls in similar situations.
Together we can create, learn, exchange and build the future. Let’s kick it off together.