Hearts of Ruiru Sports Centre
Passion: Giving our hearts, minds, bodies & souls; when we identify with a team or a cause so much it becomes part of who we are.
Covid-19 has dramatically disrupted the lives of impoverished children and youth as these families are pushed to extreme poverty in Kenya and other nearby countries. Parents and caretakers depend on casual jobs, now brought to a halt during the pandemic.
Hearts of Ruiru Sports Centre is based in Ruiru, a city of about half a million people nearly 20 miles northeast of Nairobi, Kenya. Led by Mary Mbaka, the Centre uses soccer and other sports to build and develop character through whole life coaching to address social issues, including drug and substance abuse and juvenile delinquency among 9-18 year old children & teens.
No school = no food
The families of players include children who go through some days without food and other basic needs. Kids in the soccer program depend on school feeding programs. With schools indefinitely closed, many go hungry, with no foreseeable end in sight.
Without school, children and teens at home are idle, hungry and little to do. This leads some to survival tactics like petty theft and abuse of dangerous drugs. Some children have been found in streets fending for themselves and some in drug use.
Girls at high risk
While always a concern, now is a special time to help the most affected families as they face challenging times. Some of the teenage girls have turned to exchanging sex for feminine hygiene products, leading to high pregnancy rates (even compared to Kenyan national statistics).
Ruiru Centre players need help to connect with those who can help them (virtually) and to be able to hear and share about their experiences. Without mental health care, youth are at risk and the mission of the sports program is also at risk.
Hands & feet
As part of fulfilling our vision at Wakefield Research Partners, we partner with Mary Mbaka and the Heart of Ruiru Centre by providing funds for the teams to play in a league, to provide transportation, food and fees to play in matches & tournaments. Any further contributions will assist the most struggling families of players at the sports centre.
Your contributions will 100% (no admin costs) go directly to meet these needs:
Food for players' families in need
Feminine hygiene products
Mobile +airtime support
Check back to here for updates to see the impact.
A little goes a long, long way
An initial gift of $500 fed 10 families for a month, provided feminine products for 30 girls, and more. Check out the stories and pictures about the players, families and Mary Mbaka, the founder and CEO of Hearts of Ruiru Sports Centre. Mary played for the Kenya Women Premier League and is now on staff at Ruiru prison, where she is in charge of sports.