Wednesday, November 20, 2013

KGSA Foundation Climbs Mt. Kilimanjaro!

As many of you may know, the KGSA Foundation and Kibera Girls Soccer Academy staff have been working tirelessly to put together a fundraising strategy to finance the construction of the Boarding & Community Centre over the last year. Now we've done it.  The KGSA Foundation has partnered with 1,000 Shades of Green Tour and Safari Co., who has graciously organized a trip for 30 adventurous climbers to scale the tallest free-standing mountain in the world, Mt. Kilimanjaro.  In addition to that, 1,000 Shades of Green is doing this all at no-profit on their end which mean that we can turn an experience of a lifetime into a great fundraising opportunity! 
Our goal is to raise $500,000 through small and large contributions, corporate sponsorship, and a climbing expedition. Each climber will raise $10,000 for the experience. Of that total, $8,000 will go directly to the construction of the new Boarding & Community Centre, while the remaining $2,000 covers all in-country expenses for the trip. The $240,000 raised by individual climbers, along with corporate sponsorship and individual gifts will allow us to “break ground” by October 2014. The complete duration of the trip will be from February 6th - 17th, 2015.

These 30 spots will go fast, register now!

For more information on the climb, itinerary, and registration details visit our website at:

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Next-Step Scholarship

Seven years ago, Abdul Kassim decided to establish the first and only free, community-run, all-girl secondary schools in Kibera.  It started with volunteer teachers and plastic chairs, donated school supplies and 13 students with big dreams.  Abdul knew that if he wanted to create a transformative learning environment that he would need to find a way to provide more services.  Over the years he was able to find sustainable funding for a lunch program, a new school building, teacher scholarships to pursue post-secondary education & teacher trainings, and an arts & athletic program that deepened the sense of community.

Now, Our model of a rigorous, free-education for girls is working. Each year, more of our graduates are qualifying for universities, pursuing vocational education, or are interested in establishing their own business.  To help address this need, the KGSA Foundation has created the "Next-Step Scholarship" to help finance that “next-step” for the students of KGSA so that they can continue beating the odds. 

However, in order for this to work we need people like yourself to support KGSA graduates and their next-step with a monthly commitment, no matter how small or large of a contribute.  We are asking supporters to commit to a monthly recurring donation (a new feature on our donate page).  100% of this donation will help fund a post-secondary opportunity for a KGSA graduate, whether that be a microfinance loan, a two-year degree program, or college tuition.

What can you give?

* $5.00 / month:  Give up one latte, and pay for her annual school supplies
* $15.00 / month:  Skip a movie for two, and she invests in a small business
* $40.00 / month:  Forego a concert or show, and she gains a degree from a vocational institution
* $80.00 / month:  Pass on dinner for two, and she goes to university for a full year
Sponsor a KGSA graduate's dream today by 
becoming a member of the Next-Step Scholarship

For more information on how you can be a part of the Next-Step Scholarship, visit our website at:

Friday, July 12, 2013

KGSA made it on TEDx!

Ellie Roscher decided two years ago to write her next book on the Kibera Girls Soccer Academy. Last year she traveled to Kenya and put in 10-12 hour days interviewing, observing, and writing on the KGSA story. This year she took this story to TEDx and made it to the final stage. Watch her
amazing delivery of an important story, the story of Abdul Kassim, the KGSA students, and the Kibera community.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Completing the Cycle - Sustainable Menstruation Management at KGSA

Menstruation is a significant stage in the development of adolescent girls.  However, when girls cannot afford proper sanitary products, it can present a number of problems. Here in Kibera, many women and girls cannot afford sanitary pads on a regular monthly basis and are forced to use strips of cloth, tissue paper, notebook paper, or other unhygienic materials.  Studies have shown that when girls do not have access to effective and affordable menstrual management methods, the number of missed school days increases or girls may drop out of school altogether.

For years now, the Kibera Girls Soccer Academy has relied on US visitors to bring large quantities of sanitary pads over, or a donor will sporadically chip in to cover the cost of pads for a few months.  While extremely helpful, this is not sustainable in the long term. However, we think we may have just found a solution.

Over the last month, the KGSA Foundation & the Kibera Girls Soccer Academy have been meeting with Ruby Cup, an organization here in Kenya. Ruby Cup is a healthy, high quality and sustainable menstrual hygiene product made of 100% top Medical Grade Silicone and can be re-used for up to 10 years.  We have decided to officially partner with Ruby Cup providing all of the KGSA students’ access to safe, effective menstrual management methods. 

This Saturday, Ruby Cup will facilitate four 45 minutes educational sessions (separated by grade level) where they will cover topics on basic reproductive health, menstrual hygiene, and how to use Ruby Cup.  Once students return a parental consent form, we will hold an official distribution Saturday, June 30th. In addition, we are extending this opportunity to the student’s mothers and sisters in a separate family educational and distribution session.

Each Ruby Cup costs the KGSA Foundation 700 Shillings ($8.00 USD) per student.  With over 120 students, the cost adds up quickly.  If you or someone you know is interested in helping cover the expense, click this link to DONATE.  Please write Ruby Cup in the memo line so we know where to place your donation.  

Another way you can help us out is by sharing this blog on your social media sites.

For more information on Ruby Cup, check out their website.

Also, check out Sayantani DasGupta’s article on “Talking about Periods: Removing Menstrual Shame for Social Justice.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Power of Stories

KGSA students explore the new E-Book
Just months ago, the KGSA Journalism Club submitted their quarterly articles to their international magazine partner Global Journal Project.  Little did they know that someone would go on to read their stories and feel inspired to act... in a large way.

Thanks to an anonymous donor, the Kibera Girls Soccer Academy just received 100 E-Books with over 10,000 stories and educational tools uploaded onto them.  The donor worked through an organization called Worldreader who additionally conducted a two-day training with our teachers on how to use and integrate the E-Books into the classroom, trained the students, and organized a community kickoff party where family and community members were able to hear about this exciting new tool for their students.

Abdul Kassim shares a few words during the kickoff party
Of the 10,000 E-books the students and teachers have access to, their favorites so far are Let Me Tell You, a collection of stories written by Kenyan coastal girls and published by Storymoja, and Who is Barack Obama by Roberta Edwards.

Thank you to our wonderful donor and their family, thank you to Worldreader!

Watch Worldreader's promotional video featuring the Kibera Girls Soccer Academy at

More pictures from the day are below.

Community members in attendance

A classroom of very excited students

Parents learning about the E-Book

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Knowledge is my Amour - Asha Jaffar

Asha Jaffar is a writer, university student, and a graduate of KGSA
  Asha is a graduate of Kibera Girls Soccer Academy.  Around the school, she is spoken of in legendary, mythical terms.  She is a KGSA hero.  With leadership and tenacity, Asha rose to the top and took over the school.  She was president of the Journalism Club, Head Girl, top of her class and President of the Student Board.  All these honors were well deserved.  She is witty, courageous and speaks her mind in passionately and fluently in three languages.  A vivacious reader, Asha is also kind and cheeky.  She is a loyal and compassionate daughter, sister, classmate and friend to many.

In many ways, Asha is a prophet.  She sees the truth clearly, and she is agitated by injustices in every system she is a part of.  She warns of coming times and refuses to say the expected thing to make people feel comfortable.  People listen to Asha.  She has something to say, and her passion will not let her mince words.  She hates the systemic oppression that is holding her back.  She knows the story she is a part of, and she wishes she had more power to change it.  Meanwhile, she actively looks for inspiration so that she doesn't give up.  Asha is working diligently to hone her reading, writing, interviewing, editing and radio skills so that she can continue to be an effective journalist who tells her story and the story of young women in Kibera.  She is a priceless gem in the KGSA family. 

An entry from Asha: 

"Mere passion.  This was what drove me to the search of the only amour I knew of as a young girl and even to get myself admitted in a university. Education; it was what everyone would whisper to me every time I said I wanted to be a writer, a journalist and a lawyer. To think I came from Kibera where people were viewed as unreasonable and ignoramus, they were the ones who pushed me to the road of assertiveness.  Over 10 women told me that if I wanted men to respect me, then I should go for education. Fiercely surprising, men told me the same. They only added a little spice to make it even more tantalizingly mouthwatering; that we will only love a woman who knows what was on the papers, a woman who will not ask for money every 5 minutes for household stuff, a woman who can be able to stand with her husband in a court of law and demand her rights and a woman who knows her rights and who does not want to be oppressed. 
The reasons to go to school from them were to conquer, to be superior, and to beat the men. To me going to school and to be knowledgeable was what I had always wanted. I was tired of men chauvinist, but I knew the only way I could fight them would be to get better education. Violence to me came with negative connotation, I didn’t like it. Education and Knowledge are the best weapons a human could ever have according to me if you are wondering.  I had gigantic dreams and I was very ambitious and still am. To me all that mattered in life were books, be it educative, Informative, or comic. I would get myself attached to a corner trying to understand the hard terms and the languages used; I would even read some book with a dictionary attached to my thighs.  To me knowledge is very dear,  I was always taught that without education life would be miserable, of course that was not true but coming from Kibera then it was supposed to have an impact on me somehow.

I started cultivating my dreams, when I was in high school - Kibera Girls Soccer Academy; I joined as a very quiet and a serious person which saw me getting picked in some of the student’s leadership posts. What interested me most in the school was when I became a member of the journalism club, it has always been my dream to do a documentary or write an article. The journalism club when I joined had only 7 students most from the from the senior classes, the other ones were from junior classes were never interested, but I was! The teachers and the interns who came to the school left a mark in me, they encouraged me to be strong, and aggressive when it comes to knowledge.

One day as I was loitering around the Kibera girls soccer, trying to get the different places mastered, it was not a big school but I wanted to know every part of the school. I saw some students gathered together looking at something, I wasn’t able to see what they were looking at, so I walked some few inches and I got to where they were. There I saw a thing, sort of a computer, which know I know is a laptop.  I felt so happy to see such “technology.”  It was not a big school with a million students but it was something else these students were being introduced to computer by a very young teacher Mr. Teka, I quickly cut the teacher short and asked immaturely “can I join this club?” and he said “yes of course”. I was so damn elated! It could not be described with words. Beautiful things can never be defined by words we only glow or smile or excrete some tears. It was in K.G.S.A where I started career as a journalist.

If I am to give any thanks, or gratitude I would definitely give it to girls soccer, I learned how to edit when I worked with Ryan, and though he was a little strict I loved working with him. I became an editor at the age of 16 when I was in form two for the journalism club and now that I am pursuing this course in university.  I look back and express gratitude to the people who were there when I was growing up in the field of journalism.  People like Tim, who came to see us and ended up facilitating us to come up with a magazine that I typed with a one hand until Ryan showed me how to place my finger while typing.  All the  articles typed in our small computer room that was cramped up, and very beautiful, had those big computers of the past centuries that was back in back in 2009.

Asha on her way home
 I managed to type impressively the first time I went to college, I was even better than all the students in my class. I was able to express myself better. I was able to speak English, because I interacted with people who came to K.G.S.A and because I read a lot. When my lecturer asked one day asked how many books I read, I stumbled trying to remember all of them they were so many.   Miraculously the student who Ryan took her hands and put them on the keyboard can now type! The girl who sat at the library telling Ryan and Sean that she needed more books has now read and had developed a reading habit. If it weren’t for girls’ soccer then I would have poor communication skills, poor typing speed and poor editing skills, and a poor writer.  

All these skills came as a package of being in Kibera Girls soccer. It is a small school but the knowledge surpasses the building. I was taught how to edit sound and in school I will be taught that, and I will have to show off during that lesson just as I showed off in the interviewing class. Thanks to Ellie who I worked for as an intern I got skills that no university could teach me in in –depth. Where I came from (Kibera girls soccer reduced blocks on my road to success)"

-Asha Jaffar