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Sports meets life skills

Copyrights: GIZ/Alex Kamweru

Sports meets life skills

A partnership between GIZ and Alive and Kicking in the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya is working with refugee and host youth to teach then stitching skills for leather ball production and repair, in order to increase their employability and livelihood skill set.

Two GIZ projects - Sport for Development in Africa (S4DA) and Support for Refugees and Host Communities (SRHC) – have partnered with Alive and Kicking (A+K), a ball manufacturing social enterprise, on a project aimed at providing stitching skills for leather ball production and repair in Kakuma Refugee Camp in Turkana West, Kenya. The project involves 30 youth (refugee and host) of whom nine are female. The skills attained by the youth will increase their employability and livelihood skill set. 

Successful participants will receive a Repair Kit and together with the gained skills, they can generate an income through provision of ball repair and other stitching services. In the longer-term, the project will build a cohort of trained stitchers that A+K can engage for leather ball production, initially on a surge basis, transitioning into a contract basis, as demand increases. This is particularly due to the ongoing education reforms in Kenya, whereby physical education and sport have become a compulsory subject in the new competency-based curriculum.

The 3-month training kicked-off on August 6th 2019 in Kalobeyei Integrated Settlement. Two stitchers from A+K trained the youth on stitching, replacement of panels and bladders, ball testing skills and on using repair kit items safely. 
During the first month, the trainees displayed remarkable progress, as noted by the trainers and the A+K quality manager: “the group is highly motivated, and they demonstrate good stitching capabilities.”  

With great determination, the trainees hand-stitched over 550 leather footballs, which were distributed after the training to schools and learning institutions in Turkana West sub-county. The quality manager also noted that this is the first time A+K has done such a program and that he is impressed with the progress. 

Currently, GIZ is working with other partners to establish a self-sustaining enterprise for the stitchers. Through this, they will be able to stitch leather balls for an income. Furthermore, increased availability of more durable leather sport balls will ensure sports activities are conducted more frequently in the region.

Co-authored by:
Frankline Olukohe – M&E Officer GIZ Sport for Development in Africa (S4DA)
Emmanuel Ekadeli – M&E Officer GIZ Support to Refugees and Host Communities in Kenya (SRHC) & Life Skills and Training for Refugees and Host Communities in Kenya (Life Skills)

Alive+Kicking is a social enterprise established in 2005 which produces quality hand-stitched leather balls aiming increasing local value chains and enabling vulnerable children to play. 
GIZ Sport for Development in Africa (S4DA) in Kakuma, Kenya, focusses on using sport to strengthen social cohesion amongst the refugee and host communities as well as preventing violence and promoting peace through various types of sports.




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Frankline Olukohe, Emmanuel Ekadeli


Wednesday, September 23, 2020 - 12:43