Back2Kenya: Back2School Tournaments

Hello Everyone! Welcome to my blog! For those who have been reading for years, welcome back to my blog! Yes, I know it has been a looooooong time since I last posted here (almost three years ago!) however with our plans to return to Kenya in the near future and the awesome stuff that is still happening in Kongowea, I thought it was about time to revive the blog! Please bear with me as I work on updating all the info in the pages, change the layout, etc. For now, feel free to catch up on some old posts, comment, add to Bloglovin’, and enjoy reading!
Kelvin has been busy organizing the Back2School Tournaments for January 2016!
Last year, during our trip to Kenya, we held a large tournament for youth on our old stomping grounds, uwanja wa mbuzi. It was a huge success! Over a hundred up-and-coming soccer players were able to participate. Because of your generosity, we were able to really shower these precious young people with soccer balls, trophies, jerseys, socks, cleats, gift certificates, and even school sponsorships. We also worked with some awesome and dedicated local leaders to rally teams and coaches together in a soccer mentorship program.
This year, Kelvin is planning TWO tournaments for over 200 youth in the community.
The purpose of the tournaments is:
  • To encourage local youth to stay focused on soccer keeping them away from destructive behaviours
  • To build up local leaders and encourage them to be mentors for the youth
  • To continue to show our support and investment in the community since we are planning to return permanently in the near future

If you would like to contribute to this awesome event, could you shoot me a quick message on Facebook or via email (nikoleopiyo@gmail.com). Currently, we have been able to raise half our budget. Thanks to both the Nelson and Castlegar Minor Soccer leagues who have generously donated jerseys, cleats, balls, socks, and shorts!

In the meantime, check out some photos from last year’s tournament.

It is customary that the guests of honour (which included Mercy) shake hands of all the players in the final game.
Look at all those game faces! They were ready to rumble!
Time out!
Just a few of the many participants
Sweet Rachael had the honour of handing out gift certificates to the local supermarket. We ended up raising more money than we had needed so we decided to give each kid a gift certificate to spend on food, school supplies, house hold items, etc. It was perfect timing as it was Christmas day and kids were able to bring home something to their families!
Some more awesome prizes (check out the NELSON jersey). Kelvin’s mom (in the orange) was also a beloved guest of honour. We are so grateful for the support of our families!
The man in the middle is Selah, a leader in the community who has a big heart for the youth. We are so grateful he works with us!
Mercy checking out all the swag!
Selah speaking to the youth. He is always impressed that we never do these tournaments for our own personal gain (as many local politicians do). Selah never fails to mention that Kelvin loves his community and his God – that is the reason we do these tournaments.
All lined up for the big final!
Mercy – a local celeb
She got her first tooth in Kenya!
Of course there must be drummers!! A soccer game is not the same with out the local noise makers!

If you would like to read more about The Rehma Project that we started in 2010, you can click the link above or the tags in the sidebar. We love the youth and can’t wait to get back to them! More on that to come…

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