It is humbling to be part of TYSA’s long journey with the youth. Earlier before TYSA inception, girls faced many challenges in the community which included school dropout, illicit brews, child abuse, early marriages, and early pregnan- cies. Formation of TYSA brought with it seminars aimed at empowering girls through sport. These seminars aimed at enlightening and bringing about the desired change in the girls being targeted. Deliberate seminars were organized targeting girls who had dropped out of school due to early pregnancies. Hope was restored in their young lives because they got an opportunity to dream again. Through a program ‘Wasichana tunaweza” they were given a chance to continue with their studies, a journey I accompanied them as a mentoring mother.
Further I was able to escort and be together with girls during visits to different places like, Nairobi, Moshi (Tanzania), Kisumu and Lodwar as the girls participated in different activities which included, girls’ football tournaments and workshops. The girls started gaining skills that were previous- ly a reserve of boys; for example becoming football coaches and a referees. These travels out of the locality for the girls opened opportunities for them to interact with others as well as expose them to new realities. In addition the girls were also trained about human rights. It is worth noting that at the beginning, the surrounding community did not trust TYSA fully and thus strict rules for the girls had to be made and followed to maintain healthy relationships. . It is inspiring to know that TYSA has always focused on the youths because they are the future leaders. TYSA holds that a good foundation is better for the youth in the different sectors of the society either in school or out of school. TYSA’s deliberate involvement of surrounding communities in its programming was an endearment to them and have always felt being part and parcel of TYSA’s success.
The spirit of volunteerism ‘kujinyima bila kuangalia’ ‘found in TYSA is commendable as it has seen TYSA cover milestones and still remain steadfast as an epic of youth leadership incuba- tion and innovations in Kenya and globally. On my part I am happy that TYSA has helped me to interact with prominent people of high profile. During the travels with girls I had the opportunity to visit Kisumu, Moshi, and Lodwar among other place and learnt a lot on safeguarding the youth especially the girls. The knowledge gained has enabled me to organize community trainings to empower young people whom I interact with during my normal household routine. Through TYSA, my son and other Thank you Mr. Gichuki for providing the land where TYSA Community Sports and Youth Resource Centre stands. This has translated to a changed society earning a mark on the map of Kenya children got a chance to visit Tanzania while others visited Brazil and France. The visits were an eye opener to them and have impacted them positively to become independent people with their own career paths. As a parent this makes me proud that my sacrifice was not in vain since the lives of those changed youths have become a testimony in the community. TYSA has continued to provide a safe space, “like an umbrella” for the young people especially girls to realize and discover themselves by developing their career pathways. This in essence means that TYSA should continue supporting children in school as well as those out of school.
Furthermore TYSA should increase the number of sporting activities at the TYSA Community Sports and Youth Resource Centre to engage more community members. Creative and performing arts should be introduced to nurture talents leading to a cultural exhibition. In conclusion, my advice to TYSA is that a firm foundation on youth development is a prerequisite to prosperous youth and communities. This calls for more youth engage- ments that provide peer to peer learning that promotes social, cultural, and knowledge exchange. Appreciation and recognition of the founders and those who have in any way contributed to shaping TYSA to what it is today should become a norm.