Field Hockey Gives Hope to Young Girls in Kenya
Despite being one of the most impoverished areas in Africa, Kibera, Kenya, is the home of an all-girls hockey team at the Kisumu Dogo School. For 12-year-old Doris, and a group of her classmates, playing field hockey has given them hope for the future.
Like many of the residents living in Kibera, Doris’s family was displaced due to sewer, railway and highway development projects. When their family home was demolished, Doris, her siblings and her mother went to live with another family.
Before attending school and joining the hockey team, Doris never had food to eat throughout the day. Now, Doris and her teammates receive Rise Against Hunger meals distributed by partner Feed the Hungry UK each day.
Since receiving the meals, Doris has gained strength and skills for various activities. Joining the hockey team was exciting for Doris and she is quickly growing and developing in the sport and in school.
The school’s head teacher, Wycliffe, describes Doris, “She has a scientific mind and is highly assertive. She makes me proud because after eating the meals, the tiny girl has taken up field hockey.”
“The school supports these young girls interested in hockey by sending them to a training camp each week. Those who improve their skills end up winning sports scholarships for secondary education. The girls really hope to make it to the playoffs in four years,” adds Wycliffe.
Playing field hockey has become an outlet for Doris and other girls to feel free and forget about the unfortunate circumstances of their living conditions. With the hopes of winning a sports scholarship one day, Doris dreams of going off to school and becoming a nurse and helping children in her home country.
“I hope that I will be a better player since the food makes me stronger. There are sports scholarships. When I grow up, I wish to be a nurse.”
In addition to supporting the students’ academic success and development in sports, the meals have the potential to transform the Kibera community. The school feeding program has given these young girls nutritional value and physical strength. More importantly, they are all now hopeful for the opportunities life has to offer. Hockey is more than a sport for Doris and her teammates; it provides a path to better opportunities.