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Saul Hull Under 13 Kicks Off!

Posted: 21st October 2012 6:49pm
Saul Hull Under 13 Kicks Off!

The 2012 edition of GAFFER’s competition for the youngest lads kicked off this weekend in Kasigau! Played in memory of one of GAFFER’s greatest supporters, Saul Hull, this year promises to be the best ever!

Featuring sixteen village teams from every corner of the region the tournament plays off in a Champions League style format with the best teams making it through the group stages and into the finals! Hot favourites this year hailed from deepest Kasigau zone where the rough rural football pitches hone skills as well as strength. The teams had been training daily after class in preparation for the Sunday games. As the group stages are fought, GAFFER scouts are on hand to spot the best of the young talent who will make up the GAFFER Under 13 Youngstars and represent their region throughout Kenya!

Good luck lads…lets make this the best Saul Hull Under 13 tournament ever!

GAFFER Youngstars rule the Coast!

Posted: 15th September 2012 9:13am
GAFFER Youngstars rule the Coast!

In September the cream of GAFFER’s Youngstars were brought together again to show the big city boys how to play football!

After the success of the Under 16 Tournament, GAFFER carefully selected sixteen of the most promising young footballers from every corner of the region! The players were brought together at Marasi Primary School in Maungu for a week long training session under the supervision of coaches Mr Mo and Titus. The young men ate, played, relaxed and slept together to ensure that from sixteen individuals a team was built that could challenge the toughest in the Coast! James Ruwa provides the updates…

Our first match was played at Shanzu teachers against Coach Wenger’s young boys. Coach Wenger is one of the experienced coaches in coast province and he was an integral person in ensuring that St. John’s girls did what they did. He went to Burundi with them and he was the technical manager. After just ten minutes of play, GAFFER young stars were 2-0 behind the hosts and we had to do some changes including the defensive changes where David was introduced as well as Emmanuel in the striking force. It was difficult to believe but at half time, GAFFER was leading 3-2. The game ended at 3-3 and all teams were satisfied with the hard fought draw.

The coming day was a match against the famous Mombasa sports club. It was early in the morning and we knew that our project director and friends would be watching the afternoon match at Magongo. We had to rest our important players for the match. Emmanuel, David and Gibran were all rested for the afternoon match. GAFFER was a goal up by half time thanks to the speedy winger Bajila Bashora. In the second half, we were two goals up and they had to substitute few stronger players. The battle went on and we were 2-2 at the end of the match. Mombasa sports were not satisfied with the result considering how they were outmuscled by a village team.

The afternoon match was the long awaited one. Each one knew that the project director would be coming to see the match and boys prepared themselves very well. Magongo team looked packed with strong boys but GAFFER was technically fit and in just two minutes, Emmanuel had found the back of the net. The game went on and after good footwork with Gybran, Emmanuel added the second for himself. Bajila was at the top after two fine goal before the end of the first half. We were leading by 4 goals at half time. After the restart, they fought hard and grabbed one goal for themselves. Emmanuel was quick and ran for the counter and finally got his first ever hat-trick for the match. Gybran added the sixth and boys were really happy and went back with the following slogan: “Jamaa eeeh jamaa eeeh! Wamekula ngapi?...moja mbili tatu nne tano sita magongooooo”. It was such a crazy outing for the boys and they are looking forward to get another one in future.

GAFFER Health Sanitary Towel Project

Posted: 16th August 2012 9:09am
Sanitary Towel Project

With continuing support from two Swedish nurses, GAFFER Health has been able to visit every school in the region and support the young ladies who study there!

Rural primary schools have students from five to twenty years old. As the girls grow up a common complaint is that the lack of sanitary towels prevents girls attending school during their periods. Reusable sanitary towels are cheap and easy to make and with the correct training can be as hygienic as disposable towels without the cost. The following report is by James Ruwa.

Our two experienced ladies led by Esmily Chari have been moving to schools, selecting a minimum number of 50 girls and then starting the real work. Firstly there is an education session during which girls are made aware of their monthly cycles as well as their body changes. They are taught about different issues concerning their bodies and how to avoid different challenges affecting them.

Asha Kibwana is experienced in cutting samples. As Esmily continues to talk to the young ladies, she cuts the samples ready for the day’s job. She tries her best to make sure that her samples are of the required standard. The samples are then presented to all girls and each girl is able to start work at this point. We normally distribute needles, thread, buttons and scissors for them to use. We also give them pieces of clothes so that each one can cut and make her their own. After introductions and cutting of samples, the two ladies have responsibilities of giving out materials and the young girls starts to make their own. Esmily and Asha make sure that at least each kid has one sample of her own.

It’s our hopes that all kids across kasigau schools have benefited I this project. We shall send our ladies to schools to see how their performance fairs. The following schools benefited from this project:
Mbele, Miasenyi, Marasi, Marungu, Kale, Itinyi, Sasenyi, Buguta, Kisimenyi, Rukanga, Kiteghe, Jora, Bungule, Makwasinyi and Mkamenyi primary schools. We have hence received support from teachers in various school administrations, ensuring that all kids are available when needed. The girls themselves have been happy and supportive in the same process. We are hoping for more beneficial projects in future to the kasigau and Marungu communities.

This initiative has been supported by Eva Karin-Gotting and Maria Mjobo for the second year running. Thank you ladies!

Andrew Murch Under 16 Finals!

Posted: 2nd August 2012 9:23am
Andrew Murch Under 16 Finals!

After months of tough battles on the football pitches of rural Kenya, sixteen teams have been whittled down to four for the Andrew Murch finals!!

GAFFER’s young footballers have improved at an incredible rate over the past couple of years and this has clearly been demonstrated in the latest edition of the Under 16 tournament. After hard fought group stages the teams that booked themselves for a place in the semi-finals hailed from every corner that GAFFER covers. Bungule from a village in the shadow of Mount Kasigau. Kale boast the youngest team with many of their successful under 13 players stepping up to the big league. The local boys from Maungu were strong favourites throughout the tournament and benefited from plenty of ball time with GAFFER head coach Titus. Finally Buguta is the largest village that GAFFER works in and have a huge pool of talent to choose from!

The finals took place at Marasi Primary school grounds in Maungu Village. Hundreds of supporters turned out to watch the games and soak up the electric atmosphere! GAFFER Health was on hand to provide free HIV testing and counseling with the support of St Josephs health professionals. The third place playoff saw the young stars of Kale dominate a tough Buguta team and come away with a 3-1 victory and a third place trophy! The big final went all the way to penalties with the tourists from Bungule taking the win from the penalty spot with a 4-2 victory!

In addition to the football, a sterling effort from St Josephs behind the scenes ensured 110 more people now know their HIV status in Kenya. This is crucial in the on going fight against HIV and AIDS.

GAFFER would like to thank the usual suspects for making another final such a success! Mr Mo, Jimmy, Tito, St Josephs, Wildlife Works and all the supporters who made it such a great day! Well done guys!

Meet the GAFFER Health guys and girls!

Posted: 5th July 2012 6:51pm
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Meet the GAFFER Health guys and girls!

GAFFER Health now has five trained employees and would like you to take a moment to meet them all! With daily education lessons in Primary and Secondary schools, as well as government run Health Centres, GAFFER Health is working hard to spread vital education to people who often have no access to it otherwise.

Introductions by Jimmy Ruwa…

Esmilly Chari works in both health centers and community groups. Having grown up locally she understands the challenges that people have and enjoys giving back to her community. She is now full of energy especially after giving birth to her second born baby- Mwakio. She is shown in the photo training at Marungu Health Centre.

Asha Kibwana has been working in primary schools around Maungu, Marungu and Makina areas. The Sexual Health education lessons are especially vital in the truck stops of Maungu and Makina where prostitution and associated sexually transmitted diseases are so prevalent.

Leonard Maxwell Mhindi is our youngest boy we have in our Health project. He is a part time teacher at Buguta primary school and has been working with us since last year. He has been working as well in Buguta health center and some few groups around it. He has been teaching in Buguta, Sasenyi, Kisimenyi and Kiteghe primary schools.

Zephaniah Nyiro is working in Rukanga area. Rukanga, Jora, Bungule, Makwasinyi and Rukanga dispensary. He has been working with us in the past few months. We are looking forward to working with him for longer. This is the first week for schools and we have already started going to the schools. I got a chance to visit Kisimenyi primary school where leonard works.

Andrew Murch Under 16 Tournament kicks off!

Posted: 6th June 2012 6:43pm
Andrew Murch Under 16 Tournament kicks off!

This weekend saw the start of GAFFER’s Under 16 tournament in the villages surrounding Mount Kasigau, Kenya! Sixteen teams have been training hard in preparation for what promises to be the toughest edition yet!

With many young stars fresh from successes in the Saul Hull Under 13 tournament now graduating to play alongside their older counterparts, the level of football can only improve! The tournament begins with teams facing off in four groups and battling it out in a Champions League style format with the top two teams from each group progressing to the final stages! Last years champions, Jora FC, were back to try and reclaim their crown but tough challenges lie ahead for all the teams!

The tournament is played in memory of Andrew Murch, an avid football fan from the UK who’s family have supported GAFFER through Alive & Kicking Kenya.

GAFFER Youngstars go Nationwide!

Posted: 25th March 2012 6:56pm
The Youngstars go Nationwide!

The annual Coca-Cola Football Tournament is one of the most prestigious events in Kenya’s footballing calendar. GAFFER Youngstars made the long journey to the border town of Taveta to show their skills against teams from all of the Coast Province.

After an overnight journey that took the players through the heart of Tsavo, Kenya’s largest National Park, the boys finally arrived in the dusty, bustling town and donned their boots in preparation for a fantastic weekend of football! Two days of relentless football ensued with GAFFER Youngstars showing everyone that the time on the training ground was time well spent! With victories against Taveta and Mwatate and a draw with Voi, the Youngstars were without doubt the strongest team on show! Brilliant performances by all the GAFFER stars including a brace of goals for young Kelvin Kuite saw off the opposition and Myanyasi’s David Seaman-esque goalkeeping heroics ensured the ball remained the right side of the net! At the end of the weekend no less than six players were selected from the GAFFER boys to represent the Coast Provincial team in the national tournament!

A brilliant effort from all involved especially Mr Mohamed, Jimmy Ruwa and Tito Eluid who coached and supported the boys throughout the build up and tournament! Thank you guys…the Youngstars are a force to be reckoned with!

GAFFER Youngstars Bootcamp!

Posted: 20th February 2012 6:13pm
GAFFER Youngstars bootcamp!

Success comes at a price. For the recent footballing success of the GAFFER Youngstars all over Kenya’s Coast that price is paid on the field! GAFFER’s first training camp for both Under-16 and Under-13 youth players took place this week in the grounds of Marasi Primary school, Kenya.

Both age groups have been outstanding with victories at the most prestigious tournaments in Mombasa. With nationwide tournaments looming it was time to ensure that the young men were the best they could possibly be when they face Kenya’s finest talent! With Head Coach Titus running the show under the watchful eye of GAFFER’s most experienced football consultant, Mr Mohamed, it was time for some serious football. The boys trained, ate, slept and relaxed together to build teamwork and friendships as well as footballing prowess. Friendly matches were played at the end of each day with adult teams from around the area. The GAFFER boys held their own and by the end of the week were easily dispatching some shocked looking locals! Let’s hope the lads can make 2012 as successful as 2011!

KCL 7 Kicks off in Kenya!

Posted: 4th February 2012 6:03pm
KCL 7 kicks off!

The seventh edition of GAFFER’s annual mens league kicked off in the Coast Province this weekend! With sixteen villages ready for battle to see who will be crowned the 2012 champions!

The games are played in a Champions League style group format with four teams in four groups playing off and the top two from each group advancing towards the final stages! The competition is intense and big rivalries between villages are played out in front of enthusiastic supporters! Group A saw new challengers from Wildlife Works take on the most successful ever mens team the Samba Boiz! In an action packed match the experience of Samba shone through with a decisive 1-0 victory! The second game featured the youngsters of Tsavo Lions facing off against the big boys from Black Lions in a Simba classic! Expecting to sweep the smaller lads off the park Black Lions were shocked by the decisive passing and fluid team work that months of training for the Under 13 and Under 16 leagues have instilled in the Tsavo squad. A crunching 3-0 victory split the group wide open and the path to the final is looking uncertain for all! In Group B Itinyi beat Marungu 1-0 and Mkamenyi stormed the Kale lads with a 4-1 victory!

This year promises to be the most competitive yet as the hours spent on the training ground pays off and GAFFER looks forward to the big final in April!

GAFFER Health looks forward to 2012

Posted: 1st January 2012 7:32pm
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With five trained peer educators working in fifteen primary schools, two secondary schools and four health centers around Kasigau it has been a busy year for GAFFER Health! James Ruwa looks forward to 2012 and rounds up 2011 for your reading pleasure!

As the major aim of GAFFER health, there has been different life skills lessons conducted within the schools of Kasigau. A team of five employees led by Esmilly Chari regularly teach Students within the community alongside the school teachers who have given GAFFER Health such sterling support! Kids who were in class five last year are now our new clients. GAFFER health provides lessons to kids from classes 6-8 only. 2011 class eights’ have gone but we have new class eight, new class seven and new class six. Classes six are going to start with the introduction and then proceed to the next level.

To make the kids understand our lessons better, GAFFER Health have worked with the youngsters to prepare and perform dramas and poems about poignant issues within the community such as HIV/AIDS and sexual health. Kids have really enjoyed this in their schools because the poems and dramas contain important messages that must be understood by the kids and community. GAFFER Health also extends its reach within community groups and health centers. There are 4 health centers in Kasigau and GAFFER Health has been working alongside the professionals to facilitate education to those who need it most. With the doctor’s advice, GAFFER employees teaches the most touching issues in the community and it is at this level where family planning and use of condoms are demonstrated.

GAFFER Health has been very much involved in making sure that community members get Voluntary Counseling and Testing for HIV/AIDS in their villages during GAFFER events such as football finals, one day tournaments, World AIDS day and other events. In this regard, GAFFER health have collaborated with St. Josephs shelter of hope to provide testing equipments and trained doctors and counsellers. Our recent Under 13s football finals had 60 people tested. Along with testing and advice, St Josephs provides support for those who are living positively with the illness.

Girls have benefited a lot this year. With support from two Swedish ladies, we were able to visit all 15 primary schools teaching girls how to make locally available sanitary pads which are both hygienic and washable so that no young lady has to miss school due to her natural cycles.

In December 2011, GAFFER worked with local Peace Corps volunteers to organize a week long camp for the girls at Kiteghe village. GAFFER Health facilitated health education through football demonstration. Furthermore, Esmilly Chari and Asha Kibwana; our female GAFFER health employees represented GAFFER in this event. The main aim was to make girls aware that they are very important in the community and how to avoid early pregnancies, diseases and others. The theme of the event was “YES GIRLS CAN”.

It has been a busy year and with such great support from all the places that GAFFER Health works we are sure we can make 2012 even more successful!

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