For over 15 years, our sports programs has been teaching more than just sports. We have been helping to build peace with boys and girls from varying ethnic backgrounds as they learn how to rely on their teammates and develop healthy friendships with one another. Players also improve their self-confidence and learn valuable lessons about leadership, fairness, and gender equality.
When several ethnic groups live in close quarters, misunderstandings can lead to stereotypes and violence. Sports promote peace and tolerance by encouraging players to bridge ethnic divides and work towards a common goal. Sports are entertaining for spectators, but more importantly, they teach youth vital lessons about fairness, teamwork, and gender equity. Sports like soccer and jump rope teach both individual and team leadership, produce role models, and prepare youth for future opportunities to succeed.
Our flagship program, the Champions League, holds two yearly soccer tournaments, one for girls and one for boys. To compete, every team roster must be ethnically diverse, as Kibera itself is. By participating in community engagement activities, teams can earn additional points to help their team’s tournament standings. More than soccer, the Champions League teaches leadership, solidarity, and civic service.
Soccer is a fun way for youth to get involved—and once they are involved, they learn about CFK’s other opportunities and activities. Athletes participate in workshops on sexual and reproductive health, clean water, sanitation and hygiene.
The most important part of peace advocacy in Kibera is ensuring that peers and neighbors adopt peace as a guiding principle during potentially difficult times. Bringing that message door-to-door is precisely what our Sports for Peace and Development program has done through a series of “peace caravans.”
Through peace tournaments, weekly performances and community forums, athletes have traveled to all parts of Kibera and neighboring communities to spread messages of peace and solidarity. Sharing these messages creates a movement with the power to reach and support the entire community.