The KGSA Foundation combats poverty and gender inequalities within the Kibera slum outside of Nairobi, Kenya by collaborating with local leaders to generate sustainable solutions on a local level. For effective change to occur, it must come from the people directly involved.
We do not pretend to have solutions for the unique challenges specific to Kibera. However, we can invest in local leaders and their ability to respond to problems on their own terms. When local leaders are given the chance to lead, several things occur. Local leaders create community “buy-in” leading to meaningful relationships and support with surrounding stakeholders. They create innovative solutions to poverty that us “outsiders” may miss. They illuminate the possibility that everyone is an agent of change and empower others to help strengthen the community.
We support community-driven development; we support Abdul Kassim.
Abdul Kassim is a fourth generation Nubian, born and raised in the Kibera. In 2003, Abdul empowered girls through teaching them to play soccer. In 2006 Abdul started the Kibera Girls’ Soccer Academy (KGSA), the first-ever free secondary school for girls in Kibera. Today, Abdul continues to advocate for the girls of Kibera through a variety of community initiatives. Read more about Abdul’s story here.
The Kibera Girls’ Soccer Academy (KGSA) was started by Abdul in 2002 when he helped girls believe in themselves by coaching them in soccer. By 2006, Abdul created the first-ever free secondary school for his soccer players in Kibera. The school started informally with a few girls, one table and rented chairs. Today, KGSA remains free and has grown to provide artistic and athletic programs, and microfinance opportunities to over 130 girls and families every year. However, Abdul is not finished. KGSA is raising the necessary funds to construct a 4-story Boarding and Community Centre that will provide safe and secure housing, a host of academic and health support services, access to clean water, reliable electricity, and job training.
Kibera is one of the world’s largest slums in the world with an estimated 500,000-800,000 people living in an area the size of New York City’s Central Park. The Kenyan government has deemed Kibera an illegal settlement, and continues to neglect and deny its residents basic social services such as education, healthcare, sanitation, security, clean water, electricity, and so much more.
While lacking resources, people from Kibera are entrepreneurial, resilient, creative, and hardworking. That is where the KGSA Foundation comes in – to provide community leaders with the training, resources, and skills they need to solve community problems on their own terms.