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About the Author

Jana Cavojska
photojournalist and writing reporter (Bratislava, Slovakia)

Lawyer by education, photojournalist and writing reporter now. Working for the best sold Slovak weekly magazine Plus7dni and occasionaly also for another weekly and monthly magazines in Slovakia (including streetpaper Nota bene distributed by homeless people). Member of board of trustees of Slovak non - profit organisation Človek v ohrození - People in Peril Association providing developing and humanitarian aid in 25 countries all over the world. Usually I report about people and their stories in different parts of the world. In my blog I would like to speak about the virtue of the "common" people in difficult life situations and about developing help which is really help and not just giving. You can see my photos on my website www.yanica.sk or in my facebook profile.

Post

Champions

Published 28th May 2010 - 4 comments - 2793 views -

Patrick Oboya was a common boy from Mukuru slum in South B, one of the poorest district of Nairobi. He´d lived in a simply hut made from corrugated plate with his parents, brothers, sister and cousin. There was no electricity or running water, toilet, a hole in the ground, they share with twenty other families. Mother had no job, father worked only sometimes. Patrick and his siblings were barefoot, slept on the floor and ate once a day.

But Parick has loved football. He played every day untill dark with his friends. When he was thirteen and played somewhere in Mukuru, Robert Muthomi was walking around. Robert works  for MUSA project in which talented boys and girls from difficult background train and play football. They offer free trainings to poor kids from slum, streetchildren, junkies or teenage prostitutes, and food, clothes, shoes to it. Robert saw Patrick playing football and invited him to join MUSA team.

„Once there was a big fire in slum and we lost everything,“ told Patrick Oboya. „People from MUSA gave me clothes and schoolbooks. Robert invited me to his house because my family was living in a large Red Cross tent with other victims of fire.“

They don´t play football for fun in MUSA. The aim is to place young people in profesional teams. „It´s good future,“ thinks Gilbert Mutawa, director of MUSA. „Kenyan government pays quality food, the best hospitals and money for each day of training to players in national competition.“

MUSA teams are successful in regional competitons and now you can find boys from slums not only in football teams in Kenya but also in Europe.

Patrick Oboya is one of them now. It wasn´t easy but he got a contract in the biggest Kenyan team, Tusker Nairobi, and from there he tavelled to Most in Czech Republic. „I´ve got two-room flat. I sleep in the bed and eat three times a day! Really luxury,“ smiles Patrick. He has rented a flat also in Nairobi, for his family. But, paradoxical, his mother miss slum now because there are all her friends and relatives...

Each afternoon train boys and girls from MUSA next to the supermarket in South B. The first think they have to do is to get used to football boots – they had played without shoes before. And, of course, stop taking drugs or sniffing glue and put on weight. Second-hand boots and football kits send former co-player from MUSA, playing in European teams now.

From time to time also Hasan kick the ball. He doesn´t know his age and his parents, immigrants from Ethiopia, died long time ago. Hasan wears dirty ragged clothes and gets tired very quickly. He is still on glue. He sleeps under the bush next to the car repair shop in South B. He helps in the vegetable shop every morning and gets some tomatoes or several shillings as a payment. Glue for one day costs him five shillings, approximately 0,06 Euro.

MUSA had a house in South B before where drug users could wean away from drugs. But there are no money for it now. It´s up to Hasan, to quit his poisonous habit. Gilbert and Robert speak with him every day. But Hasan isn´t strong enough to manage it himselves.

MUSA project isn´t only about football. They motivate children to finish their education, to return to their families, if it is possible. For non-sportsmen they have artistic workshops with small gallery, theatre or music band.

But the best future is - football.


Category: Poverty | Tags:


Comments

  • Andrea Arzaba on 29th May 2010:

    Ahhhh very difficult life indeed, I am glad to know that MUSA project is helping people in this inspiring way smile


  • Radka Lankašová on 29th May 2010:

    Jana, great story, indeed.

    Best of luck to all MUSA footballers!


  • Iris Cecilia Gonzales on 30th May 2010:

    Jana,

    Interesting story. Very human.

    Iris


  • Sylwia Presley on 25th July 2010:

    I worked in a Montessori gymnasium once in Budapest - for talented kids - and I must say: there is nothing more motivating than the prospect of cultivating your passion!


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