Everton in the Community coaches spent five days in Kenya delivering wellbeing programmes for children and adults ahead of the Blues’ historic match against Kariobangi Sharks in Nairobi last Sunday.
The charity offered activities tailored to meet the social and psychological needs of those living in Kariobangi, helping to equip children and their families with important skills and health messages for the future.
Through delivering a series of football coaching and multi-sports sessions for the young children of Kariobangi, female-only exercise and fitness activities, as well as health and wellbeing sessions for young males, the Everton in the Community coaches worked to leave a lasting legacy in the area. The charity aimed to provide participants with the skills and knowledge to inspire their community to live more active and healthy lifestyles.
The charity’s coaches also spent time delivering educational classroom sessions to the local children, using Everton as a tool to teach basic maths and English.
The charity also took part in a variety of social action projects across the area, including spending time socialising and playing board games with elderly residents at Kariobangi Cheshire Home, meeting children at the ABC School for Orphans and planting trees at Kariobangi North Primary School, where they are rebuilding an orchard to help the students learn about agriculture and enterprise skills for selling the produce to local markets.
Everton in the Community’s work in Kariobangi was also supported by former Everton players and Club Ambassadors Leon Osman and Steven Pienaar who came along to show their support to the coaches and got involved with one of the coaching sessions for local children. The two former Blues also helped distribute boxes of kit to the local community from SportPesa’s ‘Kits For Africa’ campaign in conjunction with Everton Football Club.
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Reflecting on the visit, Everton in the Community’s Health and Wellbeing Manager, Johnnie Garside, said “We pride ourselves on the work we do locally, but when you have the chance to translate that in somewhere like Kenya, it’s a massive privilege.
“We received such a warm welcome from everyone we met in Kariobangi and I hope that we have managed to equip the local community with some basic tools and skills to help them lead a better life with increased hope and aspirations for their future. It has been a pleasure to spend the week with the wonderful people of Kenya and I look forward to returning in the future to see how the community has developed.”
Everton in the Community Chief Executive Officer, Richard Kenyon, said: “While our main focus is understandably in North Liverpool we regularly undertake work overseas so the opportunity to make a difference through our recent trip to Kenya was something our team relished. We were keen to use our knowledge to develop a week-long programme of activities for the Kariobangi community that we hope will now provide them with new life skills to help them in their futures.
“Our team of staff had a great time and we’re sure have made a positive lasting impression on the people we worked with. I’d like to thank everyone in Kariobangi for the extremely warm welcome that was extended to us and we look forward to returning to see the new friends we have made in Kenya soon.”
Stephen Otieno, Kariobangi community mobiliser, added: “I’m really thankful for this opportunity to have Everton train the community and especially our youth, which will be a good foundation in their football growth.”
To wrap up their stay in Kenya, Everton in the Community held a community celebration event in the heart of Kariobangi where local families took part in a traditional sports day with multi-sports activities, running events, sack races and a tug-of-war.