The Horn of Africa Development Initiative (HODI) was originally founded in 2003 and seeks to address the escalating severity and frequency of conflicts and general human rights violations in Northern Kenya. Since its creation, HODI has worked on a variety of cross-related issues such as provision of civic education, advocacy/ support for human rights as well as facilitation of alternative livelihood opportunities for poor/ vulnerable community members in Northern Kenya.
One of the critical tools HODI uses to address human rights is sport. HODI’s sport programme currently works with primary school aged children; however, the majority of participants are boys. There are only two girls’ teams who are engaged in sport and life skills sessions. Despite the small numbers of girls involved, in June 2012 one of the teams reached the East Africa Cup finals!
In 2012, the HODI Girls’ Championship brought together 200 adolescent girls from different tribes and villages. The tournament aimed to break the silence around girls’ rights violations and draw attention to harmful traditional practices such as child marriage and FGM that deeply impact girls and their communities. Five girls who started playing with HODI teams in 2008 are now junior coaches and captains. In 2012, girls also refereed both boys’ and girls’ games in HODI tournaments. In 2013, HODI will expand the girl sport programme to reach another 300 girls in surrounding areas.