The SOL Foundation assists Kenya based Pamoja Initiative with its “Sports, Education & Leadership Programme” in Lamu, Kenya. In order to reduce the vulnerability of young girls and boys, Pamoja Initiative will primarily focus on offering sports and physical education as a year-round engagement for the youth.
Problem to be tackled
The overall problem being tackled is breaking socio-economic and cultural barriers for children and youth of Lamu County through sports, education and leadership programming. Lamu is located in the Northern Coast of Kenya bordering Somalia with extreme contrasts between poverty alongside terrorism and the luxury of the tourism sector.
With a population of approximately 150’000 – 41% are below the age of 15, that is two in five, and only 13% of the population has a secondary level education. For young girls, sexual abuse, demeaning cultural and religious beliefs, female genital mutilation, as well as early and forced marriage are key challenges. On the other hand, poor education and unemployment has not spared the youth from drugs and radicalisation, especially the male.
Pamoja Initiative runs the project in Lamu County. The main activities are to a) continue the Girls Swim4Change programmes, b) assist to construct a semi-Olympic pool in Mpeketoni Town (mainland), c) layout a physical education ground at Shamba La Shela School, d) assist to erect moving playgrounds countywide and e) kick off and maintain the LamUmoja Football League.
The targeted groups – children and youth of Lamu County – have been identified as they are the most neglected and susceptible to damaging life choices that include but are not limited to drug abuse, early pregnancies, and radicalisation; they have been selected based on maximum impact for the project including need for quality education and sports, population size and accessibility.
With a continued and further support from The SOL Foundation, Pamoja Initiative will be able to develop and implement a sustainable and comprehensive programme using swimming, football, and Physical Education to engage, equip and uplift children and youth in Lamu.
The Pamoja Initiative‘s purpose is to foster a healthy and vibrant society by investing in the young and marginalised population of Lamu, Kenya.
Pamoja Initiative achieves this purpose by engaging girls, boys, and the youth as active change agents through: Sports, Education and Leadership programming to foster holistic wellness (mental, physical, and environmental) and curb the challenges around poor education, drug abuse and radicalisation. Pamoja Initiative is the only entity in Lamu that a) offers a safe learning environment for as early as three years olds all the way to age twelve, b) delivers sports for development (swimming and football) as annual and consistent activities and c) mobilises youth as active participants in addressing the social issues around them with a focus on environment and governance.