During the 2017 tour tournament, 2 of our players (one a mentor), were headhunted and offered a scholarship in a secondary school, thanks to their netball ability. The girls finished their primary school education in Bungoma and then started senior school in January this year and are thriving, The teachers tell us the girls are very happy, as are their parents, and both their educational achievements and netball ability are growing. We're very proud of you girls.
(Update from Joseph, our Kenya programme manager)
We are piloting the use of reusable sanitary pads at Kabkara Primary School, Bungoma. Working with Eco-pads Uganda, who are the suppliers of the reusable pads, NDT has run a one day induction session today to help the beneficiaries understand how to use the reusables; they are used to disposables, which are more expensive and more damaging to the environment (they are thrown down pit latrines).
Josephine Malinga from Uganda and a partner at Eco-pads led the girls through a menstrual hygiene management session and later distributed a pack of four reusable pads to the Kabkara Primary School needy pupils.
Speaking during the event, Mr Fred Wanyonyi, our NDT Kenya Patron, said that NDT is keen on ensuring that all pupils remain in school all the time so as to participate fully in classwork and also in netball as a sport. He urged the pupils to be role models to the others. The girls were clearly very excited at their new possession.
As the kids have 2 months off school for Christmas, our team are running coaching and sexual health sessions. "The kids are So excited about the program and we trust that this holiday long activity will help develop talent and nurture good behaviour among our children." We even had some street kids turn up on day 2, which makes us so proud that we're contributing to the community in Bungoma.
Kenya pilots sexual health agenda – Since September our Kenyan volunteers have been leading sexual health talks with the kids after playing netball. So far they have discussed rape, gender based violence and Cultural norms relating to gender and sexuality. The teachers are already noticing "how open the pupils have become while in the sessions. They give the team very positive feedback of how the girls are now finding it very easy to report boys and boda bodas (motorcycle taxis) who make sexual advances towards them. The pupils now know their rights and can speak out"
Having heard about the Netball Development Trust through an appeal they had for used kit, I looked them up online and after reading the blogs and watching some videos I immediately contacted them for details about joining the 2017 tour to Uganda and Kenya. I was sent information and applied to join the team. The handbook was extremely helpful and after having a meeting with Julie (-who immediately settled any worries I had), II was ready to go.
After meeting at the airport and undertaking a very long flight we arrived in Uganda and made the trip over to Bungoma in Kenya. I must say that the various accommodations we stayed in throughout the three weeks were a lot better than I thought they would be, with comfy beds, warm showers and electricity (-most of the time!)
For me one of the main highlights of the trip was meeting so many amazing people. The Kenyan team were extremely welcoming and I felt to be in safe hands the whole time. The work that they, and all those involved with NDT, are doing out there is truly inspiring and I am thrilled to have been a part of it.
The 2016 NDT tour to Kenya was without a doubt the best of experience of my life. Before going on the tour I was a little apprehensive despite being given as much information as possible from Julie and Monica I was excited but nervous about the unknown. I was really excited to be part of the amazing work NDT do because I had heard how much of a difference it makes to children‟s lives, this was all put into perspective once we arrived. It sounds silly but I felt like I was in a film when we began our journey in Africa because I vaguely knew what to expect but it was more surreal than anticipated. The "tourist" time before we started coaching gave us a chance to bond whilst seeing the sights which definitely helped us to gel as a group. The night before the first day of coaching we had a team meeting where we got to meet the local volunteers and some of the teachers, for me this was where it really sank in that we were about to coach netball to children who spoke a completely different language and knew little English but the prospect of the challenge was motivating.
"Making a difference through netball" there has never been a truer statement. Netball is more than just a sport. It is a true passion of mine and something I have been lucky enough to gain so much from. It has given me opportunities and experiences throughout my life and allowed me to make lifelong friendships with many unforgettable memories along the way.
I signed up for Netball Development Trust hoping to share not only my love for netball but also the other things netball can offer including drive, focus and friendship. At the pre tour meeting it became apparent to me that we weren't just going to Kenya to coach netball but to use netball in a much broader way and provide opportunities to children that they would never otherwise have dreamed of.
Kenya has come so far in just 2 years. A young enthusiastic volunteer uses grassroots netball to really make a difference to 300 school girls in Kenya.
Early 2013 a young, shy but very enthusiastic trainee teacher in a rural school in Bungoma, Kenya got in touch with us wanting to learn more about netball. Joseph Olita joined us on tour in Uganda that year and took what he learnt back with him to Kenya. In the 12 months after his first exposure to coaching, Joseph trained 13 fellow volunteers as netball coaches and they collectively started netball in 5 schools in their home town. We now have over 16 schools playing, and regular training taking place across the county – Joseph has worked wonders.
At the beginning of January we communicated to our volunteers and the NDT teacher representatives of our partner schools that we would be hosting a netball tournament.
We requested them to work with their class teachers, who interact with the girls on a day to day basis and know the challenges they face, to identify female students from each school who would benefit from the NDT pad programme.
On the 29th January we held a rural schools mixed tournament. We had 5 schools (Kabkara, Machakha, Khakala, Kibindoi and Khakala) taking part from the rural parts of Bungoma County, with 30 underprivileged girls from each school, totalling to 150 girls (12-17 years old). They were joined for netball games by 75 boys (11-16 years old) from the same schools.
Machakha Primary emerged the winner followed by Kaprot Primary then Kibindoi Primary in third. The kids had a lot of fun playing and were very grateful to NDT for making it possible.
Girls in Kenya are likely to miss 4 school days a month because of their periods. Without hygienic sanitary pads many are forced not to go to school, and will miss out on playing netball.
NDT is proud to announce that we will be supporting our friend, Mary, to buy sanitary pads for the girls in our programme to make their lives easier, healthier and happier. We aim to raise a minimum of £1500 so we can help 290 of our netball girls to keep playing. The money will allow Mary to give each girl a packet of pads a month for the whole of 2016.
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