An education is highly prized by all of us. It is our route out of poverty and the slums to a brighter future.
In Kenya, primary education is free but secondary school fees, shoes and uniform are expensive and there are often charges for other things. It costs 86 Euros to buy the uniform and text books to keep a child in primary school for one year. It costs 129 Euros to provide a child with a secondary education for a year, which is enough to feed a family of four for five weeks.
Only a few young people in the Mathare slums have the chance to finish school.
As MYSA members, we are all encouraged to be realistic about our future – only a few of us will make it as footballers and we need to make the most of any opportunities there are to get a good education. Through taking part in MYSA activities and gaining points, we can earn scholarships to help our families buy uniforms and pay school fees.
The Leadership Awards scheme rewards us when we take part regularly in all MYSA activities. Whenever we play a match, take part in an environmental clean up or attend an HIV/AIDs awareness talk, we get points towards the Leadership Awards. We also get points for our team.
Each year, the members with the most points receive education scholarships and their school fees are paid by MYSA directly to their school. Earning points also increases our chances of being selected to go on an international exchange programmes.
In 2010 MYSA awarded 500 leadership awards: 250 boys and 250 girls.