Vijana Amani Pamoja (VAP), meaning ‘Peace Together Youth,’ was originally founded in 2000 as a football club. Based in the Eastlands area of Nairobi, VAP supports some of the most marginalised boys and girls in Kenya.
Having witnessed the multitude of social and economic challenges faced by young people in Nairobi’s slums coupled with the huge popularity of football in Kenya, an idea was born: to use the sport as a tool for social development. The organisation's mission is to integrate social and economic values through football as well as creating a proactive, healthy environment.
VAP tackles issues of HIV/AIDS, female empowerment and anti-corruption across three programmes and regular community football tournaments. The organisation reaches thousands of vulnerable young people each year and has grown into a strong, community-based operation where original beneficiaries are now VAP leaders.
VAP’s girl programme is called Mrembo, meaning “Inner Beauty.” Mrembo works with girls ages 11-20 years and addresses issues related to sexual and reproductive health. The programme aims to create a platform where young women can discuss social issues; receive counselling; make informed choices; and gain empowerment on issues related to their sexuality.
In addition, the Mrembo programme encourages girls to participate in sport by coaching girls’ football in schools and community centres. In 2013, VAP will work with girls in 10 schools to implement the Mrembo life skills curriculum and introduce sport. In addition, several themed tournaments will be held throughout the year as a means of addressing issues such as teenage pregnancies, sexual abuse and self-esteem.