With support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Athletes for Hope has teamed up with our partners at Hive to address the overarching theme of gender equality. The goal of this initiative is to accelerate the pace of change by engaging influencers to help lead the conversation on gender equality. In that spirit, members of our team recently traveled to both Kenya and Tanzania with the purpose of meeting with athletes and teams that are willing to lend their platforms to taking a stand on this critical topic.
The week began in Nairobi, Kenya where we were joined by leaders of various prominent sporting leagues including the Kenya Rugby Union and Football Kenya Federation as well as individual athletes eager to join the #Better4Kenya program. We also met with The Mathare Youth Sports Association (MYSA), which utilizes the platform of sport to engender broad socio-economic development and effect social change.
The second portion of our trip took place in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. Gender equality was of great importance to those we met with, some of whom included former track and field legend and current Tanzania Olympic Committee Secretary General, Filbert Bayi, as well as members of the Tanzania Football Federation. Three major issues under the umbrella of gender equality that our #BoraKwaTanzania campaign will emphasize includes girls education, female menstruation/hygiene and women’s economic empowerment. AFH also met with the Msichana Initiative, an organization established to advocate for the girl child’s right to education in Tanzania. Organizations like the Mschiana Initiative are imperative to achieving gender equality in Tanzania and we look forward to working with them in the future.
When our founders joined forces, they did so with the belief that Athletes for Hope would be uniquely positioned to utilize the power of sport to address some of the most daunting issues of our time, including equality for all. It is with this belief, that we remain committed to tackling gender equality and we are excited about continuing our work with both influencers and national governing organizations in Africa.