When MYSA was first set up in 1987, it was a self-help organisation which pioneered the use of football as a tool to encourage co-operation, raise self esteem and promote physical and environ-mental health amongst the young people in the Mathare slums. Although the organization has grown and expanded its activities, sport is still very much at the heart of MYSA and its programming.
In order to become a member of MYSA, each young person has to be a registered member of one of the sports teams. This qualifies them for participation in the organisation’s other activities and projects.
The way that the MYSA model works is that, by participating in the organisation’s other activities such as environmental cleanups; participants can gain points for their team and boost the position of the team in its league. This provides a strong incentive for taking part in new activities and gaining skills and education that will open up new opportunities for them in later life.
Football has traditionally dominated the sports agenda. Today MYSA boasts 2,052 teams in 234 different football leagues and on average, there are over 15,000 matches played each year. Despite this strong preference for football, the organisation has also started to offer other sporting activities to broaden its membership and develop the extent of its reach.
To have the best youth leagues and tournaments in Africa and reach 28,787 members by 2017
To increase participation of girls in sports - Organize annual inter-zonal girl’s football league for 16 MYSA zones,annual International tournament for girls, promote different sports that appeal more to girls, assess the issues being tackled through MYSA’s activities and explore quality and safety of female participation.
To produce effective and efficient sports administrators and leaders- Offer sports administration and leadership training twice a year to MYSA leaders, offer coaching and referee training four times a year for MYSA leaders and recruit more female administrators and leaders.
To create partnerships with local and international schools, colleges and other institutions - Organize regular meetings at least one every 6 months with these institutions and other partners.
To create more exposure for our players through annual local and international youth exchange programmes and tournaments - Organize annual international tournaments and participate in international tournaments.
To increase participation in local tournaments and competitions - Organize annual MYSA sports league and activities for all registered MYSA members from 2010,participate in local tournaments, organize sports activities in the MYSA Children at Risk Project and annual MYSA championships.
To introduce new sports, including but not limited to volleyball, basketball and netball, in the schools and communities in the MYSA zones from 2011 - Work with schools from 2010 and partner with other organizations to train leaders in these new areas.
To develop the MYSA database system - Develop the MYSA membership database and have permanent staff managing the database.
The Mathare and neighbouring slums are densely populated and the majority of the people are so poor that they have little or nothing to eat. Most live in shacks surrounded by uncollected garbage and human waste and blocked drains are a common problem. All this contributes to the spread of chronic diseases such as malaria, cholera, tuberculosis (TB) and dysentery which are major causes of disability and even death.
In addition to playing matches every weekend, the MYSA teams undertake garbage cleanup and tree planting projects. Teams earn six league points for each completed project and an individual member earns two points.
To improve the lives of MYSA and other community members by cleaning our environment and building on MYSA’s success of linking the cleanups with team and individual performances.
To make sure that the community living in Mathare and neighbouring slums are aware of the importance of environmental conservation by creating regular awareness campaigns on environmental conservation and related health issues in the slums using film, music and dance.
To collect garbage in order to reduce disease and deaths in the slums by mobilizing and organizing weekly community service cleanups in all zones and transporting garbage from the slum to an authorized disposal site on a weekly basis.
To increase the number of young environmentalists in the community by organising regular training by Organizing regular workshops and training for community youth on environmental conservation
To improve the quality of local playing fields to reduce injuries during MYSA activities through improving the conditions of the 32 MYSA and other school and community playing fields by 2019.
To contribute toward fighting climate change due to global warming by planting trees monthly in schools, forests and community fields in Mathare and neighbouring areas.
MYSA Football for Hope Centre
Football for Hope is a movement that uses the power of the game for social development. It is led by FIFA; world football’s governing body, and streetfootballworld, a centre of expertise that supports a global network of local organizations in the field of development through football. “20 Centres for 2010” is the name of the Official Campaign of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™. The aim of the campaign is to create twenty Football for Hope Centres for public health, education and football in disadvantaged African communities as a legacy of the 2010 FIFA World Cup on the African continent.
The infrastructure of the MYSA Football for Hope Centre consist of a building with facilities dedicated to education and public health as well as of a small-size artificial turf pitch (40x20m). The MYSA Football for Hope Centre targets girls and boys offering services and programming in the areas of public health, education and football as well as a youth development initiative and secondly a place to join together around football. The centre uses football as a tool for social change and mainly serves as a place where the local communities gather and access public health and education services, thus improving basic education, preventing diseases and promoting health care as well as encouraging the social integration of minorities and disadvantaged populations.
Since its inception, Mathare Football for Hope Centre has been linking football with health and education with the sole aim of addressing the social challenges that we face both as individuals and the communities that we come from. By providing a safe space and continuously professionally managing the Centre, the project has been able to and continues to engage young people mostly between the ages of 10 to 18 years in to various activities through their interest in to football thus being able to be impacted with both football and life skills.
With our ever friendly and dedicated staff and volunteers at the Centre, we continue to offer treatment and care for HIV positive patients and organize support groups for them among other health services that we offer as well as enhance our relationship with the Ministry of Health.
Today, schools are able to access curriculum books at the Centre’s library as well as engage their pupils in different library activities.
The project works towards achieving its objectives which are;
- To recruit girls and boys, ages 10 to 18 years old, into regular Football for Hope Centre programmes through their interest in football-related activities.
- To engage boys and girls ages 10 - 18 in appropriate HIV/AIDS knowledge, encourage them to know their status, and help them to access the health services they need.
- To offer girls and boys ages 10 - 18 educational opportunities to enhance their learning and success in school.
- To demonstrate exemplary Centre management through continuously professional facility, programme, staff and volunteer management.
- To ensure consistent community involvement and with gender equal youth representation in governance structures.