• My Return to Kenya

    July 11th, 2017. Community Impact Coach, Salim Blanden, writes about his experience working in Migori with Youth Empowerment through Sport, also known as YES Kenya.

    24th June 2017, on a sunny Saturday, my journey from Kampala to Kenya began. On the bus along with me was my colleague and first time ever Community Impact Coach, Nicholus Achimpota from Tanzania. I was so excited to learn I was going to spend the next five weeks on field with Nico. This would be my return to Kenya after running the first program in 2015 in Mbita, Homa Bay with Boychild Agenda.

    On the bus however, we missed our team leader from the USA, Mark Gabriel because of weakness due to a sickness. Mark stayed in Kampala and would travel the following day.

    Our on-field training with Youth Empowerment through Sports (YES) in Migori started immediately on Monday morning with about 30 participants from Migori, and some others from neighboring areas around Migori County.

    Due to Mark’s absence on-field, it was very clear myself and Nico would run the program on our own. This was therefore the first ever Community Impact Coach ran program. A participant said, “I enjoyed this program so much because I really see myself in you.” This showed the value and power of having a CIC led program. The experience was great because we managed to take charge and everyone believed in us. Mark also motivated and encouraged us throughout the whole week.

    This was an example that local coaches (Community Impact Coaches) can make an impact and run programs in different areas, independently and bring about positive social change in communities where they work.

    It was evident there was an impact created because of the cooperation of the participants. Especially with games reflecting gender equity, communication and fun, there was a message that CAC games and participants would continue bringing about positive change even when CAC has left the local area.

    The excitement I got from slaughtering chickens for our lunch on two separate occasions and the confidence I gained from running the program as only a CIC, made me forget the cold night we spent in Kisumu Town Roads before we traveled to Migori one early morning. This taught me a lesson in life, to never stop moving despite the different challenges on the road!


  1. Hamisi Daudi says: July 11, 2017 at 10:30 amReply

    Thanks for the good work you and your team did , i was very happy to meet with you and your team i got a lot from your training and i would like to share it with my fellow coaches in Migori.
    As per my statement during the closing day, i would work very hard to replace you when the time comes. I like being social with the community.I promise in two year time if you came back you will get a strong girls football team in Migori.
    May God help you all in your good work.
    Hamisi Daudi

  2. Seamus malin says: July 11, 2017 at 1:32 pmReply

    Intriguing report, Salem. And here I am at an education conference in Cleveland Ohio complaining about the lousy coffee I was offered. Slaughtering chickens ??????? Yikes……Nick did not make me do that when we ran the program in Zanzibar…….must speak to him about that. Seriously…..loved your report from top to bottom. Well done, Seamus

    • Salim says: July 15, 2017 at 1:18 pmReply

      Thank you Seamus!
      I’ll teach you how to slaughter chicken don’t worry.
      Great experience!!!


  3. Markus says: July 12, 2017 at 9:02 amReply

    Great story Salim! Thank you for sharing and I am so happy that you and Nico are the first CIC coaches in CAC’s history to run a whole program by themselves! Brilliant achievement. I am proud of you!

    • Salim says: July 15, 2017 at 1:20 pmReply

      Yeah!!! We did it Markus!

      We want to do more than this.

      Thank you!

  4. Ken opande says: July 12, 2017 at 4:37 pmReply

    Confirmed Salem but mention hard working coaches like me

  5. Earl Strassberger says: July 16, 2017 at 12:29 pmReply

    Great story. Hi to Nico. He could run the program blindfolded!

  6. Samwel Ondiek says: July 19, 2017 at 1:37 pmReply

    It was quite impressive Salim. The team was well composed you delivered so well and the team was impressed. I wish you all the best