The Kenyan Galactico Youth Academy Football Club was founded in 2005. The club comprises over 100 girls, aged between 12 and 23, from the Kisumu region of Western Kenya. The aim of the club is to help, and encourage, the girls (the majority of whom are from troubled backgrounds) to obtain valuable life skills through the medium of sport.
Kisumu is one of the most poverty-stricken parts of Kenya - it has a population of circa three million, of which an estimated 2.3 million people are living in poverty. The girls within the region are often forced to marry at an early age and are severely vulnerable to HIV / AIDS and physical exploitation. Many of the girls' parents, or guardians, are loathed to let their girls attend the local youth clubs - as they are predominately frequented by local boys - and the parents / guardians fear for their girls' safety. The Kenyan Galactico Youth Academy Football Club, however, provides a safe haven for the girls and encourages them to empower themselves through sport.
Since its inception in 2005, the club has changed the lives of countless local girls for the better and has made them realise that there is an alternative path to prostitution etc.
To give just a few examples of the club's successes ...
*Some of the girls have gone on to become qualified soccer referees.
*Others have become qualified First Aiders.
*Some of the girls have gone on to have a free secondary-level education.
*Others have enrolled onto peace building courses.
*The club successfully organised a nationwide girls' soccer event.
*The club won the 2009 World Vision Peace Building Trophy.
If you're reading this and would like to help the club to continue to use sport to improve the lives of the Kisumu girls, please contact Support through Sport UK.