Thursday, April 18, 2013

THE GOOD, THE HOPEFUL AND THE WISH LIST


The Good?
5 players from Sadili qualified to represent East Africa in the Africa Junior Tennis Championships this month! Olivier Kigotho (Kenya), Josephat Garo (Kenya), Chizi Mutsumi (Kenya), Shabani Kabura (Burundi) and Sada Nahimana (Burundi). That puts us in equal footing with the ITF team and ahead of the country teams! We were staidfied that, between studies and tennis, our young players performed very well, and will continue to grow their game.

The results of the Kenya National Examinations in both primary in secondary school was fair, and all the students have been absorbed back into our academy school, Malezi or in other good high schools. 78% of those who completed the high school made the pass mark to seek local training and or get into a college (if they are successful in getting a sponsor for the nest level).

We have found our first Learning Partner – Legacy Youth Tennis and Education Foundation of Philadelphia, and we have launched an exchange tennis, cultural exchange and lifeskills project for 30 junior tennis players from each organization.








So much to be thankful for:
Malezi School, our academy school, made District Basketball Champs after beating giant Sunshine Secondary 51 -26. We then moved on to the County, losing in the finals to Upperhill Secondary, but still qualified for the Regionals, which we play from the 28th April. A great achievement with only 7 boys on the team! Thanks to Amoko and volunteer coach Nicaro Goldman.












After tearing down the rat-infested, dilapidated Banda kitchen and eating area, we have built in its place, the Banda Gardens, complete with kitchens, shops and office space for hire, all this done with materials scavenged from the rubble, and from other building sites around the city.  The design, building and painting was carried out by our own staff, athletes, friends and parents from the Kibera community. Talk about successful re-cycling! We are grateful to Karen Country Club members who donated towards the leveling of our space for tennis in Kibera slums.  The Tennis Committee ran a successful tennis event at their prestigious club, and inviting our own Kibera juniors to play. Next step? Improving the stony surface.  Members also donated old racquets and some used balls.

We also give back! One of our students, Olivier Kigotho built a cardboard boat, his team mates Amadi and Henry competed on it to raise funds for America Women’s Association to deliver food for the needy. Of course we won the race! Thanks too to all the girls and boys to helped coach and run demonstrations in tennis, soccer and basketball that day.



Kenya is now ranked number 5 in the world in 7s Rugby, and will most likely, qualify to play in the next Olympics. We have not been left behind, and, with the French Embassy’s support, we now have new changing rooms, a rugby pitch and a watering system for the inauguration of a Junior Rugby Academy, the first dedicated program in the city.



With support from Evolve9 directors, Ronald Pothuizen and Mike Barrell, and their friends, we have excavated, built a drainage system, and prepared the foundation for four mini-tennis courts for a Tennis 10s program. We are now fundraising jointly for the final artificial surface, fencing and equipment. When complete, it will be the East African region’s first dedicated courts in what will be a Kids Heaven, a little safe corner of Sadili, to include seating and a life skills play and learning shelter.

Hopeful?
Sadly our two Ugandans, Henry Ayesiga and John Lutaya, though amongst the top in Africa, were not allowed to play the Africa Junior Championships, as their country has been suspended from the ITF.  We are convinced that, given the chance, Henry would have won the tournament. We still hope that they get a chance to play other major tournaments, should a sponsor be available.

Its been a tough beginning of year. With 56 boys needing to board in order to perform better in school, we are trying to improve the shacks in the bush behind Sadili and organize a basic (very basic) boarding facility. So, boys are working hard under coaches Rehema, Florence, Benard and Nic, to clear bush, protect the old tin buildings every day from wild dogs (of both the animal and human kind). The circumstances are not flattering, trying to survive next to an open sewer (a result of poor management by the Nairobi City Council). However, the boys have hope for a great future: they get to live in a safer environment, eat two square meals a day, and have two hours of extra study at night (there is no opportunity to read in the slums and rural areas, where electricity is rare and people use small home-made lamps fuelled by kerosene), and a chance to take a (cold) shower every day. Already, in one month since we opened, we can see the improvement in personal hygiene, attitude, health and attention span.
 
Our newly selected soccer and rugby teams are very youthful and extremely hopeful for the best. Working with part-time college students who are former beneficiaries of our programs, these boys and girls are already showing great promise, winning a number of matches, and with more technical support, they will reach great heights.

Thanks to Women Win and their partners, we will be able to continue to mentor 600 high school girls in Nairobi this year, in sport and lifeskills through the Goal Project!

The girls are back! Yes, we are re-building the girls team, for Malezi. Only problem? They will be teaching each other, with help from the boys team, as we look for volunteer coaches. Girls are very excited and keen to prove themselves next year.

OUR WISH LIST?
1. Zack Okong’o (Basketball Captain), Amadi Kagoma (Tennis Captain) and Jamin Luvembe are graduating from high school soon and intend to play college sports. They need help in getting into college
2. In tennis, we have run out of basic supplies of shoes, balls, strings, grips, and general kitting. As a team that tops in the region, we hope that we can gain some interest from an international brand.
3. We need serious sponsorship for basketball: the court is dilapidated, the rims are barely holding on. We wish to have one and court and four practice courts. This would cater for a development program of 300 boys and girls a week, including wheelchair basketball.
4.  Basketball continues to suffer from lack of kitting, balls, and nets, inspite of being on of the two best teams in Nairobi County.
5. Food is not enough: it’s a struggle. We believe in working to achieve a sustainable system by growing much of what we eat: building a Green House will help achieve this.
6. Our three tennis courts need to be re-surfaced, and we need a partner to build three more to cater for the almost 600 children that we train every week.
7. We need volunteers who can lend their expertise to Sadili Oval, through staff training, marketing, online advertising, sports coaching (tennis, basketball, soccer, swimming and rugby), teaching (English, Math, Sciences, music, computer, Art and reading), preparing our talented for SAT and college, fundraising, telling our stories through video and blogs, and organizing successful events.
8. We continue to dream of a computer lab, complete with internet facilities, to improve learning for the children, and also give them a chance to feel that they are part of a bigger world. Any exchange program will not happen successfully without this.
9. We are seeking a partner to help us build a greenhouse to cater for our needs, but also sell some vegetables to pay for fuel and staff who will maintain our kitchen.
10. Education is a very important part of our lives, and sponsoring some of our talented but poor kids continues to be a challenge, we need to make their dreams come true by sponsoring every child on our program to school, by expanding on the Africa Sport and Education Fund (for which we welcome a Board).

Thank You!

www.sadili.com ; +254-722-729038; eodera@sadili.com

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