Abdul grew tired of the gender inequalities in Kibera and thought that soccer could be a vehicle to transform them as it was seen as a man’s game. He began to teach a group of girls the game. The boys would steal the balls, telling him that these girls belong in the kitchen and that soccer was a man’s game. He continued on, until one day his girl’s team beat a boy’s team. This was a huge turning point for the girls, the boys, and for Abdul as the boys started to see that girls were just as capable as them and should be allotted the same opportunities.
Now, KGSA manages four teams with more than 80 girls through an Under 10, Under 12, Under 14, and a Seniors team. Players have competed internationally at the Homeless World Cup in France, and neighboring countries around East Africa. Graduates from the program have even joined the Kenyan National Team.
Through this approach, Abdul and the coaching staff have created a built-in network of support for young girls at an early age. As they grow through the program, they develop healthy relationships with their peers and have older role models to turn to in times of need. This also sets them up for success when they are old enough into KGSA as they already have a strong social network for which they can rely on.