SUPPORTING NAIROBI HOCKEY Atunya charity project #1
TextMartin ThomassonPhotoTobias Lundkvist
Hockey is growing in Kenya. The players are young and many come from Nairobi’s slum areas. They play their sport in the streets and on East Africa’s only iced rink, housed in the Nairobi hotel Panari. When not playing on the hotel’s ice, the hockey-loving kids gather at Aga Khan Park’s parking lot in central Nairobi. Every Sunday, Aga Khan turns into a street hockey court. It’s also an opportunity to meet friends. The players compete, hang out and hone their hockey skills.
WHAT WE DID
Hockey gear is costly. Most Kenyan players come from poor or low-income families and cannot afford new equipment. To support them, we traveled to Nairobi and gave them new jerseys and rollerblades.
The trip was an opportunity for us to learn more about the players’ lives and better understand how we can continue to help them. Some of them had dropped out of school because their parents couldn’t afford the tuition. We paid the fee to help them get their education.
Sport is absolutely essential for the players from the slums. It gives them purpose, joy and hope in an environment that offers few options for a better life. It keeps them away from drugs and crime. Moreover, when their friends see how happy hockey makes them, they also want to try the sport. That is how hockey now is growing in Kenya.
Watch the film we made about our visit here>>>