Ayiera Initiative – Passing it Forward

From the good folks at Sport and Dev we have a story about a young man in Kenya who has used the little that he has to assist those who are living a life with which he is all too familiar, i.e. day-to-day struggle in the slums.

In this short piece there are various issues that spring up – a child’s loss of educational opportunity because the family needs him/her to help eke out any income, a larger communal issue of the prevalence of slums, and corporate misbehavior that results in further degradation of the land and health prospects for the citizenry. These are big issues and not one to be solved by one person.

Hamilton Ayiera Nyanga, a Homeless World Cup alum, is doing great work but we will need to see local and national government and other institutions do their part.

You can find the story at http://www.sportanddev.org/newsnviews/news/?898/Football-Creates-Sport-and-Development-Initiative, with an excerpt below.

Football Creates Sport and Development Initiative
by Shane Crowhen

Hamilton Ayiera Nyanga shares his story of how he used football to make changes in his community in Kenya.

Hamilton was born in Narobi, Kenya in one of the biggest slums in Kenya called Korogocho. Forced to leave school at an early age, seeking food and shelter from a site where the waste from Nairobi is dumped, Hamilton scratched out a living scavenging. Today he runs the Ayiera Initiative using football as a hook to educate children and youth living in the slum.

Hamilton’s parents worked in the slums doing any odd jobs that came up. But the family reached the point where they could no longer pay rent, buy food or cover the school fees for Hamilton. Forced from their one roomed mud house in the slums Hamilton turned to the dumping site to survive. The area is filled with hospital and factory waste, chemicals, syringes, food scraps, all the rejected materials a city no longer needs.

Hamilton, as many young people from the slums do, saw the dumping site as an opportunity for survival. Here it was possible to find food and collect copper and used plastic bags which could be sold to dealers. A turning point came for Hamilton when in 2006 he was selected for the Kenyan Homeless World Cup team to play in the tournament in Cape Town South Africa.

With this experience under his belt and armed with a $1000 USD donated by a charity organisation (Ireland based Play for Life), Hamilton set about changing not only his life but the lives of the children living in the slums. Hamilton had the belief that sport could be used to make great change.

(The story continues at http://www.sportanddev.org/newsnviews/news/?898/Football-Creates-Sport-and-Development-Initiative)