We have struggled for a while to create and maintain a girls soccer team with girls from Kibera. We have found that girls don't have the freedom to come to practice on the weekends like the boys do, as they are often busy helping with chores at home or their parents aren't as willing to let them walk freely through the slum. The girls also don't have clothes to play in and are less willing to play barefoot like the boys do without shoes.
To address these issues, we decided to recruit girls that attend Toi Primary School, the school where we rent our field to join the team so they could come and play right after school. We also created girls uniforms for them to wear every week and the girls take turns every week washing them. Our newest coach, Saidi, has taken on the task of being their coach.
We know that a lot of the kids, and likely many of the girls, come to soccer because of a lack of other fun, organized activities to participate in during their free time. We are looking forward to being able to offer a variety of activities that cater to all talents and interests once we build the community center.
There is now a team of about 15 to 20 dedicated girls that have been coming every week for the last five months. Our girls may not necessarily become the next women's professional soccer player (although you never know!), but they all have been having a great time and spend the entire practice giggling and smiling - that's what counts the most.
A photo gallery of the girls at practice has been posted on our photo page: www.uweza.org/framephoto.html.