Soccer for peace: bringing people together in Tana River County, Kenya
Last December, our colleagues at CISP Kenya organized a 5-dayssoccertournament in Tana River County, Kenya. “Soccer for peace” was held to enhance peace and harmony amongst community members by increasing interaction and improving relations among neighboring clans in the county, in line with one of the objectives of our EU REBUILD project: facilitating discussions and initiatives on peaceful co-existence in the community. The tournament was organized in partnership with the United Nation Development Programme in Kenya (UNDP), the National Drought Management Authorithy Kenya (NDMA) and the County Government of Tana River.
The tournament involved 24 teams, 8 teams from each sub county, including Tana Delta, Tana North, and Tana River.
“Playing football together creates a bond between us and our different cultures and helps us build a peaceful relationship,” said Oscar Godhana, a footballer from the Flying Squad football club in Tana River Sub County.
"Soccer for Peace"brought together women, youth, and the elderly from different tribes. I am so happy to see youth from rivalling communities playing together like brothers," added Issa Marsis, top scorer from Sango FC, Tana Delta Sub County.
“The success of the peace tournament was evident by the huge turnout, hearty interactions and commitments made to fostering peaceful coexistence. In the coming year, CISP intends to support 5 other tournaments in Tana River County with the hope of expanding it to an inter-county peace tournament and bringing more communities together. In the context of the EU REBUILD project, cohesive peaceful communities provide the foundation for long term resilience building interventions, and we are also glad that this tournament has provided a platform to raise awareness on the project itself,” added CISP Project Manager, Anthony Burugu.
THE EU-REBUILD Project aims to contribute towards increased resilience of Kenya communities that, due to drought and other effects of climate change, live in arid and semi-arid lands. Furthermore, the project intends to enhance food and nutrition security among vulnerable households, especially for women and children, generating sustainable livelihoods and protecting productive assets in Tana River County. The project is implemented by a consortium of four partners including CISP, Nature Kenya, GROOTS Kenya, and Procasur Africa, in close collaboration with the National Drought Management Authority as well as the County Government of Tana River.