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Changing Kayole’s face one child at a time

It all started after a fellow basketball teammate was killed by a mob in 2009 after robbing a house in Savanna Estate in Donholm.

Following the loss, the youthful team members decided to form an association that would keep children and youths out of trouble, especially in Kayole which is known for its high crime rate.

The Far East Basketball Association (Feba) was founded in 2010 as a team and later registered as a community based organisation with a variety of positive, purpose driven activities and basketball as the main resource for development.

Feba has its headquarters at the Divine Worship Catholic Parish in Kayole. The association has 15 coaches-cum-players who partner with like-minded people, organisations and institutions to deliver on a safe community.

Development resource

They use sports as a platform to inspire, empower and train young people.

Over the years, Feba has tried to give back to the community. The association has initiated programmes for children, youths and adults based on the pillars of basketball, education and life skills under the mentorship programme headed by Nathaniel Kombo.

The out-of-school programme involves the Feba team going into the community to offer their services away from the day-to-day academic structures. The group holds basketball camps and study groups for childrenwho learn life skills such as responsibility and effective communication.

“Tournaments are held three times a year involving schools competing against each other. They include Carmelvale, Apostolic and Donholm Catholic schools, Divine Worship and Kayole One primary schools,” said Feba chairman Moses Musosi.

Feba involves schools from Eastleigh, Lang’ata and Shauri Moyo. The community programme has helped curb crime; drug and substance abuse and early pregnancies. Use of role models has helped influence behaviour and attitude change. The association has given hope to young people who had give up in life.

Feba devised unique ways of reaching out to the community. First, they set aside money raised from events such as concerts for an education kitty to sponsor youths from poor families who are talented in sports.

“We sign agreements with youths and their parents over their performance. If their results are poor, the students remain in school for sanctioned detentions during the holidays. We conduct study groups and give them exams to improve their performance. They must prove they deserve scholarships so we accept nothing less than a C plain grade,” Kombo said.

Their key partner in funding the Education Kitty is the All One Basketball Academy that also trains the coaches and helps pay for players’ education.

One beneficiary of the Education Kitty, Brian Wakho is on a basketball scholarship in Uganda. He is in Form Two at Lubiri Secondary School and is also enrolled in the long-term athlete programme run by Feba.

“We also have two teenage girls in Form Two Naomi Bosibori and Connie Anyango that we sponsor at Kayole South Secondary School,” said Feba Head of Sports Department Shem Otieno.

Feba also recognises that community service is not only about the youth but adults and parents as well. “We’ll launch a Feba Sacco next year. We already have 60 parents and guardians on board. Members will access loans to meet their financial needs and pay school fees for their children,” said Feba finance manager Zedekiah Otieno.

Far East Basketball Association also works with Divine Worship in Kayole, Zuku Connections, and Centre for Victims of Torture, CISP (an Italian organisation), the Sports ministry, Plan International and Zinduka Africa.

Behaviour change

Feba has reached out to 1,500 children across Kayole and helped change behaviours and attitudes. The association also does regular environmental clean ups.

“We run a Capacity Building Training programme for adults. We train them on effective communication with children and youth, HIV and Aids and their rights and responsibilities. We do this civic education free of charge,” said Otieno.

Feba will host a concert to raise funds to sponsor more students next year. The 7th Edition of the Big Dreams, Big Stars Tournament for Children and Girls will be held from November 30 to December 7.

“We want to change the perception about Kayole. We love our community and we’ll do everything to help for as long as we are able.  We want better life for youths. Above all, prayer is key in our lives,” said Musosi.