The Mathare Youth Sports Association (MYSA) works with around 24’000 young people per year, integrating a work-readiness curriculum into weekly football leagues spanning the city – from teaching their beneficiaries FIFA-certified skills such as coaching and refereeing, to targeting youth in the slums and training them to fill vacancies in the construction sector, to foundational entrepreneurship skills so that young people are well prepared should they want to start their own businesses.
The project also offers a self-help project that uses innovative methods such as the slum clean-up programme in which teams clear the rubbish and ditches around their homes every weekend. For every completed clean-up project a team earns extra points in the league standings.
Problem to be tackled
Unemployment in Kenya stands at 40%, with 70% of those unemployed between 15-35. This high level of unemployment contributes to escalating incidents of crime and insecurity in the country. Among the urban poor, the majority of young people has little or no workplace skills and is therefore largely excluded from productive economic and social life. In Mathare many female youth turn to prostitution as a means of livelihood, with male youth resorting to joining gangs and engaging in criminal activities.