Empowering Minds and Breaking Barriers: A Day at the Kibera Girls’ Soccer Academy

|By Zeinab Mustafa|

In the heart of Kibera, renowned as the largest slum in Africa, stands an educational beacon that defies the odds, the Kibera Girls’ Soccer Academy (KGSA). Established in 2006 by Abdul Kassim, this institution began as a humble structure, gradually evolving into a sophisticated hub of learning. Its remarkable reputation extends beyond the slum’s confines, as evidenced by the visit of students from the IESE Business School in Spain eager to witness the transformative impact of KGSA.

The day commenced with a thoughtful briefing by Mr. Luis Borrallo, the head of the Community Service Office. Macheo, a program under this office, draws students from various slum schools in Nairobi, providing them with weekend and holiday tutorials at Strathmore University. Successful participation in Macheo significantly increases the likelihood of securing scholarships for Strathmore University, underscoring the commitment to breaking educational barriers.

Within this dynamic context, Macheo beneficiaries played a pivotal role, assisting IESE students during their visit. The purpose of these interactions was not only to familiarize everyone but also to form cohesive groups. These groups, comprising individuals from different educational levels, high school, undergraduates, and masters students, aimed to foster meaningful connections.

The journey to Kibera infused the air with solid excitement, with everyone eager to explore the transformative landscape. Upon arrival, the grade 12 students from KGSA warmly welcomed the visitors, guiding them to their designated areas. The gracious reception continued as staff members ushered everyone to the planned activities, setting the stage for a day filled with shared experiences.

Amidst the noonday sun, the School’s principal provided a brief introduction before a communal lunch. Group dynamics continued during this time, creating an atmosphere of comradeship. Post-lunch, the KGSA students, brimming with talent, enraptured everyone with their captivating dances. Their joy was infectious, as evidenced by the smiles that adorned their faces. The cultural exchange extended to IESE students showcasing their own dance moves, inviting KGSA students to join in, creating a beautiful fusion of diverse traditions.

As the day unfolded, group breakout sessions delved deeper into insightful discussions, addressing questions about university life, peer pressure, and scholarship opportunities. Engaged and curious, the students actively participated, fostering an environment of shared knowledge and experiences. Laughter echoed through the air, forging bonds that transcended socio-economic backgrounds.

The closing session brought everyone back to the hall where the day had commenced, concluding with a collective word of prayer. As the students returned to Strathmore, conversations buzzed with reflections on the day’s highlights, expressions of joy, enjoyment, and gratitude for an unforgettable experience.

In this remarkable enclave of resilience, the Kibera Girls’ Soccer Academy, these students demonstrated that residing in a slum does not define poverty. Instead, their vibrant personalities and intellectual richness stand as a testament to the transformative power of education. Each page of their journey tells a story of overcoming challenges, proving that within the confines of adversity, the seeds of prosperity and resilience can flourish.