Abdul Kassim, the Founder & Executive Director of the Kibera Girls Soccer Academy, initially created a girls soccer team in 2002 as a way to get teenage women off of the streets and engaged in something productive. It wasn’t long until he realized that a soccer team was not enough to combat the problems of street life. He knew he needed to establish a school, as education was the only way to make a lasting change. Through networking and meeting interested supporters including the KGSA Foundation, Abdul was able raise enough money for the development of a one-room school. The construction began in January of 2006 and provided eleven Form 1 students (freshman year) with a free secondary education. At this time, there were two volunteer teachers from Kibera that were teaching each of the subjects. As time went on, and more people came into contact with Abdul and the school, the financial support grew, and thus, so did the school. In 2007, the Kibera Girls Soccer Academy took on an additional class of girls and constructed a new classroom.
It was in this next event that changed the lives of everyone involved with the school. Abdul was contacted by a friend who told him that there was a film-maker in Kibera that wanted to feature a school in a documentary he was shooting on the slums of Kibera. Abdul quickly met up with the director, David Gough. Abdul gave him a tour of Kibera and showed him the school. David instantly fell in love with the girls and the school and its’ mission and decided to feature the school in his upcoming documentary. His film Slum Survivors featured six individuals and their own stories about living in Kibera – Abdul became one of the six. From this film, the exposure that the school got was tremendous! Several additional organizations contacted Abdul about financial support and through this he was able to fund the development of an entirely new school with four classrooms, located in a safer area of Kibera. Today, Kibera Girls Soccer Academy supports over 120 girls, employs 10 teachers, operates a host of extra-curricular activities, and has a dominant soccer team.
Kibera Girls Soccer Academy is dedicated to improving the lives of at-risk and disadvantaged young women by providing free secondary education, artistic programming, and athletic opportunities in the slums of Kibera, Kenya. We firmly believe that through active participation in education, arts, and athletics, young women will have the opportunity to develop a stronger confidence in their minds, bodies, and spirits – empowering them to become inspiring leaders in their own communities and country, as they advocate for a brighter Kibera and Kenya.