Rays of hope for Eric Ondicho
I was abandoned by my mother at a tender age of 5 years. Since then I have been living with my great grandmother. My mother has never returned and ours has been a difficult life-a life of struggle. My grandmother has struggled to put food on the table for us and even as I grew up going to school was out of question as I had to support her as well. I however had to juggle the two as I desired to join my friends at school.
This remains a great challenge to date but I am determined. I met TYSA as a beneficiary of its Football for Hope Program (FFH) when they entered into a partnership with our school. TYSA provided our school with sports equipment and they encouraged us to participate in sports activities. I love football so much and so this has motivated me to attend school every day. I have gained a lot from the life skills trainings we receive alongside the sports from TYSA. I am very motivated and I feel that someone cares for me-that I belong to the TYSA family. The mentorship and exposure are exceptional. when I narrate this to my great grandmother, she always lights up with a big smile and encourages me to attend school and work hard.
The early bird initiative remains my favorite. I am now more confident and proud to belong to a family-TYSA and my school. Through TYSA I have been exposed to different careers and now I know that I can also make it in life. I am energized and looks at life positively and differently from the life skills trainings. I have also realized that I can as well earn form playing football and other sports. I am also a role model in my school and am aiming to crown that by passing my final examinations.
Represented TYSA and was part of the 9th Edition of the Youth Leadership camp which was held in Berlin, Germany and brought together Youth from different Sub Saharan Africa countries for 12 days. We shared a platform with representatives from major international sports Federations; international Table Tennis Federation, World Taekwondo Dow Federation, international Paralympics committee and other large corporations like Intercampus, a corporate social responsibility program of Inter-Milan football club, Better place online fundraising organization among others- representing TYSA in such a huge international event granted me an opportunity to hone my skills in communication and leadership quips Albert Wetiatia.
TYSA in the Media
TYSA pioneered a radio program at Kenya Broadcasting Cooperation (KBC) that provided a platform for grass-root organizations using sports for development to share their experiences and how sports is impacting their respective communities. The platform has generated a countrywide discussion about the role of sports for development. TYSA endeavors to use this platform to inform, mobilize and consolidate a sports for development movement in the country.
The Tanzania Experience
In June 2014, TYSA participated and won the prestigious fair play award (under 13 boys category) for the second year running in the East Africa Cup tournament in Moshi, Tanzania; an annual event that brings together organizations from the East African countries that use sports for development to play together in a tournament and by the Norwegian through Christian Contact (CRISC), an NGO. It has different categories of participation but mainly two: Under-16 boys and girls and under-13 boys and girls. “Indeed this was indicative of the strong TYSA values of ‘Trust, Respect and Fairness’ as well the commitment to achieve”.
The tournament plays a key role in regional integration which in its nature provides cohesion, exploration and learning. It provides a key opportunity for school going children to adventure the world and visualize the practicality of the normative theoretical aspects of class work.
The TYSA delegation received additional valuable skills in coaching and life skills. The segmentation to cover topics such as child protection, contemporary issues like HIV/AIDs, First Aid and interfaith dialogue built the team’s confidence in the integration process.
A fifteen year old orphaned girl from Sinoko Village, Trans-Nzoia County who stays with her aged grandmother. It is for this reason that TYSA identified her and enrolled her as one of its beneficiaries at Sinoko Primary School. Despite being an active member in TYSA programs, Charity scored 335 marks in her final grade 8 examinations out of the maximum500 and emerged 2nd best candidate in her school-a feat that amazed many including teachers and parents who thought she was wasting her time in engaging in sports and other life skills activities at TYSA.
Charity was a WASH champion, a footballer and an active member of several clubs. Mrs. Wandera, the Deputy Head-teacher of the Sinoko primary school, describes Charity as a bright and well-mannered student who would be a future leader if well mentored. “Despite her active engagement in sports other activities outside academics, Charity kept on improving in her studies something that amazed teachers and her fellow pupils. We now appreciate the fact that one can perform even better when involved in co-curricular activities” Charity’s performance had been improving steadily since she was identified by TYSA while in grade six. At this stage, she had scored 250 marks and was at position 80. Mrs. Wandera notes that as a result of Charity’s experiences with TYSA, many students are expressing interest in being involved with the ‘play and learn’ organization”.
She requests TYSA and the society at large to continue supporting Charity if she is to achieve her future aspirations.
“May TYSA keep up with the good work and support even more children in the future”
states Mrs. Wandera.
Wambui is a fourteen year old standard 8 pupil at Kapsara Primary School. She is a beneficiary of TYSA’s Early Bird Initiative ; an engagement that seeks to guide young students on careers and career choices and prepare them for the future through career guidance and subsequent placements for exposure.
Through this Initiative, Marie gained knowledge and insights into career choices. During this program, she was able to streamline her career aspirations as per the career visits and guidance. “ I now aspire to be
a banker. Initially, I had been torn between a career in banking and a career in medicine but after the career guidance and the actual placement to the bank and the health facility, now I know what best suits me. I am glad that TYSA provided this rare opportunity to me and many others as I had never been to a bank before” She notes . “It is important to think about the future now and concentrate on realizing it”
I am a member of the Anarati family; a large and popular extended family in my village to which i constitute one of the more than 70 grandchildren. My grandfather had five wives and thirty children including my father-all of whom did not advance beyond lower primary school-this family was characterized by extreme poverty.
Likewise, many of my elder cousins did not advance beyond upper primary. As such, I and my siblings became victims of ridicule and condemnation in our formative years in school. Teachers and community members at large tagged us as indigents who could never add value to anything as our family was known to produce failures. I could no longer bear this stigma and was discouraged and at the verge of dropping out of school when I met TYSA.
At TYSA, I felt valued and honored. I became part of holistic family that encouraged me to explore my talents and abilities. At TYSA we could play football and life skill games; as part of a team, we underwent life skills training and were enrolled in a mentorship programme. I was encouraged to continue with my education, I was brought to the realization that I was unique and had the ability to be whom I desired in life….
TYSA simply gave me a new lease of life! To the amazement of my distracters, I excelled in my final
primary school examinations and joined secondary school. TYSA continued to play an instrumental role in ensuring that I remained on course to achieving my dream through the mentorship and life skills development programme that continues to mould me to date. I am now currently pursuing a course
in social work and community development and would love to come back and push the TYSA agenda of molding and transforming young lives through personal knowledge and life skill development as well as attitude change. I want to be part of TYSA’s commitment towards development of independent and responsible citizens .