Sport for Health
Helping girls claim their sexual and reproductive rights through sport.
Where sports coaching and sexual health counselling meet
One third of adolescent girls living in Nairobi's informal settlements have experienced emotional, physical, or sexual violence. As it stands, only 7% of facilities in the Dagoretti and Mukuru settlements provide youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) counselling and STI (sexually transmitted infection) testing services (NCAPD, 2010). Limited access to SRHR education and services places the health and wellbeing of Nairobi’s young people at risk.
Between 2020 and 2021, Amref Health Africa is delivering the Sport for Health project to empower girls and young women living in Dagoretti and Mukuru to learn more about their sexual and reproductive health and rights through sport.
Using a combined peer-led SRHR and sports education model, young women are trained as peer educators and sports coaches in order to mentor, deliver SRHR education and run sports clubs for adolescent girls in the community.
Using sport as a platform for learning, the project aims to improve the sexual and reproductive knowledge of 3,000 adolescent girls, helping them take control of their sexual and reproductive health, stay in education for longer, marry on their own terms, and improve their prospects for further education and training.
So far, 3,000 girls aged 10 to 19 and some 9,079 community members have been reached through the project. Outside of regular training sessions, sports bonanzas, tournaments and community dialogues have brought girls and their communities together, improving their knowledge and facilitating inter-generational discussions on SRHR issues.
The project has trained frontline workers, including teachers and community health volunteers on SRHR. As a result, teachers have promoted change within schools by setting up health clubs and counselling departments to strengthen school SRHR and child protection services. Community health volunteers have also been working with communities to increase awareness of, and access to, SRHR services.
The project is being delivered in collaboration with The Postcode Global Trust, The SOL Foundation and The Clifford Chance Foundation, whose generous support has made this work possible.
Images © Khadija Farah, 2020.