Kick it with Kenya 2009: Dago Village

Kick it With Kenya soccer tournament 2009 held from August 9-14 in Dago Village was highly successful.  There were 24 teams participating with 360 individual participants:  12 men’s soccer teams and 12 women’s netball teams. Teams came from as far as 3 hours away to participate in the program.  The first day was an exhibition day for the teams, but the teams nonetheless played very competitively.

40 ceramic water filters, clean water wereprovided to participants, medical teams, volunteers and attendees.  Volunteers from the Youth Outreach Mentors (YOM) coordinated the distribution of water. The children seemed particularly pleased to have clean water to drink during the long, hot days of the program.

There was HIV Voluntary Counseling and Testing team at the program beginning on Monday and continuing daily through Friday.  There was high demand for this service and the number of team members could have easily been doubled to accommodate the demand.  The team tested 561 attendees throughout the week with 34 HIV-positive results.  Those that were HIV positive received additional counseling on site and were also referred to Afya II HIV awareness program (coordinated by Pamela Odoyo in partnership with USAID).

The Awendo Health Center provided general medical care to children under five.  In total, 164 children were treated, including 72 children immunized, 10 malnourished children treated, and 82 treated for other health reasons.

There were four general health professionals from Migori District Hospital providing free medical services and distributing free medicine.  The general health doctors provided treatment for various ailments to over 233 patients over a three-day period.

 In addition to the general health professionals, there was an optometrist giving free eye exams and Dr. Samwel Jmbue from Mgori Eye Clinic distributed approximately 100 pairs of free eyeglasses and performed over 200 free eye exams.  For those that were unable to get free eyeglasses, Dr. Jmbue gave them a referral to nearby eye clinics after performing eye examinations.  
A dental team from St. Joseph’s District Hospital was on site performing free dental exam and organizing follow-up treatment.  A total of 64 dental exams were performed in just one day.
The last day was also a culmination of the soccer and netball tournaments.  The top four teams battled it out in exciting semi-final and final matches.  Yago women won the netball tournament and Kokuro men won the soccer tournament.  Dago won third place in both netball and soccer.  At 51 years old, Pamela Odoyo played each day as the goal scorer for Dago and got forth best top scorer of the tournament.  That is just one of the reasons why she has been named “Super Mama” by volunteers. 
Thanks to the fundraising efforts of so many people, the winning teams received balls, uniforms and cash prizes.  An awards ceremony took place on Friday afternoon.  The awards were then given out to the winning teams.  The first place teams received 24 complete uniforms, two balls, 500 Shillings and a trophy.  The second place teams received 24 complete uniforms and one ball.  The third place soccer team received 15 shirts.  The third place netball team received two balls.  Further, the top scorer for netball and soccer received a trophy. An award went out to the most disciplined teams to encourage youths to follow rules and act in a sportsmanlike manner.  Finally, t-shirts were given to the officials and organizers who helped throughout the course of the program.
            KIWK was an overwhelming success.  In addition to the large number of patients receiving medical treatment, we estimate that there were approximately 3000 attendees each day watching the games.  The local economy in and around Ranen was boosted by the program as spectators bought drinks, food and paid for transportation to the event.  There will be additional benefits from the program as a coach training program has been organized for each of the coaches who participated in the event.  It is estimated that approximately 30 coaches will participate in the follow-up training event with a trainer coming from Nairboi.
A representative from the media was at the event on Thursday and Friday and conducted interviews on the local radio stations, Ramogo, Victoria and Lwuambe FM.  It was also on NSTV, a national TV station.  With photographs and information given to the reporter it may also be reported on another national TV station, NTV, and national newspapers, Nairobi Metro and East African Standard. 

Patrick Odoyo, program coordinator said of the event:

“Everyone at Village Volunteers should be very proud of the lives that were improved during this event.  This program would not have been possible without the support of Village Volunteers, Shana Greene and the KIWK team, donors and volunteers.  Given the success of this year’s event, I hope that we can make it a yearly event.”