• Street Football with the street children in Kisumu.

    May 23rd, 2010.

    During one of our sessions with Kisumu Youth Football Association (KYFA), Nick took half an hour at the beginning of day 2 to play with some of the street children who were at the field. There are more than 8,000 children living on the streets of Kisumu and many are substance abusers, particularly using glue.

    On the field, Nick decided that he wanted to play football with two young boys aged 11 and 13. Both had a glue bottle in their mouths and were playing 1 v 1 with rolled up plastic bags as a ball and sticks in the ground for goals.

    Over the course of the next 30 minutes he introduced a real football and soon had 8 street kids playing. Coaches across Continents learned about life on the street, about daily beatings from older boys and about the skills for street survival………….and we learned that street children know about Wayne Rooney, John Terry and other top players, that they think that Ivory Coast will win the World Cup and that they think that Nick is a terrible penalty taker!

    One of the many great things about the Kisumu Youth Football Association is that they have more than 80 street children as part of their program playing on teams in their league.

    “It was a truly unique half an hour for me on the football field. For the first few minutes the street kids thought that I was going to hit them and throw them off the field because they suffer so much daily abuse from adults. But pretty soon they were playing and talking and laughing. What was absolutely amazing was that they played with the glue bottles stuck in their mouths all the time…only taking them out to say something to me or to laugh at me if they saved my penalties.” Nick Gates, Coaches across Continents.

    KYFA has previously made a big investment in coach education for football with the Dutch national program but this is their first initiative for using football for social development. Over the first four days the local Kisumu coaches have worked for 20 hours on the field and already are demonstrating a very high level for using these new coaching techniques.


  1. Patty Schmelzer says: February 22, 2012 at 5:33 pmReply

    Just curious where the stats came from “there are more than 8,000 children living in the streets of Kisumu…” Please share how that number was found. Thanks