Paul Ogalo of Football For Water Kenya.
CREATA is one of our implementing football partners in Kenya. They work in Migori and Nakuru county. CREATA took the lead in applying for the Beyond Sports Awards that will be awarded on the 20th of October in London. We are delighted that Football for Water has been nominated for the final. We asked Paul Ogalo some questions about his work in Kenya.
How does your working week look?
As a management we work normally from 8.30am – 4.30pm. Based on the intensity of activities during certain months, for example when we have leagues and tournaments, we also attend the functions during weekends. We visit WorldCoaches to ensure that the coaches carrying out the planned activities in schools in a good way. We visit around 2 teams per week
What is your biggest challenge?
CREATA has been striving to build the capacities of communities, WorldCoaches, teachers etc but not its capacity as an institution. Most staff lack the necessary capabilities to carry out certain of their duties, e.g proposal writing, M&E and reporting. Part of the reason for this is that most of our funding has focused specifically on activities and not on institutional development.
The area of coverage is growing wider and wider, therefore there is need to have more staff and better means of transport. Our budget for monitoring is too small, and so it is impossible to monitor what coaches are doing. In return, coaches are also disappointed with the lack of our presence. We depend on performance of WorldCoaches to realize our goals.
So, building a broad funding base has been a challenge. We need staff capability training on fundraising, partnership building and reporting.
How has Football For Water made a difference for the children in Migori/ Nakuru, Kenya?
Maybe this has not yet resulted in terms of behavior change, but I can say it has triggered development activities around the schools. It has brought the realisation that school development is not just about building classrooms, as has previously been the case, but is about holistic development such as rehabilitating feeder roads, football grounds, sanitary facilities and even business enterprises, as well as improving school performance. In Migori we have seen at least three schools (Rapogi, Amoso, and Uriri) which have benefitted from rehabilitation of feeder roads into the schools. One school (Anindo) had its field rehabilitated bythe Sub County based on a request by CREATA. Andingo benefitted from a fishpond as an income generating activity.The reasons can be summarized in what one Fishery Officer pointed out during the launch of the fishpond “We came to invest here because there are good developments happening here”. He was referring to the rehabilitated field and latrines and football activities.
Football For Water is responding to a critical problem which neither the government nor anyone had dared to do to this degree. It is challenging the development consciousness of local leaders. Some community members have used this to challenge local leaders also to perform in their areas. The new school outlook, due to the new sanitation facilities and football games, have improved the school image. There is more demand for it from most schools.
How do you see the chances in winning the Beyond Sports Awards?
I think we will have a big chance. We have a strong program. There is still much to learn, but we also achieved a lot. I keep my fingers crossed. For me, what is important now is not that we win, even though I pray for this to happen, but what is more important is that at least by shortlisting us, someone has recognized that we are making some positive contributions to the lives of our children and communities.
If you could say something to the World Leaders regarding sports for development, what would you tell them?
Sports is the best development model/approach that has just been discovered. Sports for Development should be recognized and entrenched into government policy and legal frameworks in order to give it a legal basis and government funding. It is one sure way of ensuring that children participate in their development agenda.