The Mathare Youth Sports Association (MYSA) is a community development organisation that uses sports to engender broad socio-economic development, while also effecting positive social change. MYSA uses sport to empower young people to help them fulfill their potential and achieve their dreams. MYSA is based in Mathare, just outside Nairobi. Mathare is one of the largest and poorest slums in Africa. 900’000 people call these slums their home, living in mud huts with no clean water or sanitation. For the people there it can be hard to stay optimistic about their future. MYSA offers the young people of Mathare hope and the opportunity for a better life.
MYSA was registered as a self-help youth sports and community development project in 1987. It uses sport which combine with community outreach and development activities, to give young people the confidence and skills to aim higher, achieve more in order to improve their lives. Altogether there are 25’364 young people on 1’731 teams (17’770 Boys and 7’594 Girls), MYSA works across 16 zones with 180 ‘clubs’ and makes 14’000 matches possible each year.
The Mathare Youth Sports Association is not only about football; other activities are slum cleanup, AIDS prevention, leadership training, jailed kids, photography, music and other community development activities. Another 10’000 youth from eight countries participate in a similar sport and development project initiated by MYSA in 1999 in the Kakuma refugee camp in northwest Kenya.