Using Sports by Baringo County Youth to Curb Idleness and Substance Abuse

“Baringo is one of the largest counties in Kenya with numerous challenges affecting the residents mostly the young people. The youth within the county have tried to come together to fight challenges such as insecurity and drug abuse that is fast rising, this has been hindered by lack of support,” – MC Toroh

25th November 2020, Baringo Interfaith Youth held a football tournament at Karbanet Show ground. The football game involved 2 teams where the winners walked away with a trophy, balls and cash awards, and the 2nd place team also getting a fair share of the goodies.

This was a tournament organized by the Inter-Religious Council of Kenya in collaboration with UNDP through the Transcending Foundations of Peace and Security for Inclusive and Sustainable Development in Kenya project. This tournament was also a platform to discuss issues of mental health awareness among the youth in the community. Months later Dialogue Diaries visited the County of Baringo to get a feel of how the teams were doing. We managed to talk to MC Toroh who is a Journalist and an interfaith youth member at Baringo County; he also participated in the football tournament.

“In a very special way, I want to thank Inter- Religious Council of Kenya for their efforts in bringing the youth of Baringo together. The two football teams that took part were Arena FC from Baringo South which is 90 percent Muslim and was formed to help the youth conserve their environment and Kaptimbor FC from Baringo Central which is 90 percent Christian and was formed to help the youth avoid crime and drug use.

The award money that both teams won helped the youth progress from the stagnant situation and positions they were in. The teams bought new jerseys and registered to participate in Sub branch FKF league. This has helped the youth to put aside their differences and come together to practice, every day. The youth are also playing with other teams every weekend as they strive to qualify to the next level; this keeps them busy and away from idleness and drug abuse. The trees planted within the showground and Sunrise children’s Home by the participants are also flourishing.

May I say thank you very much IRCK for the initiative and we hope to partner once again in transforming the lives of our young people through talent. God bless you.” – Mc Toroh

Baringo County is one of the many Counties that IRCK in partnership with UNDP have held youth tournaments and used these platforms to create mental health awareness and plant trees as a way of conserving the environment. Other Counties that held the tournaments include Narok, Marsabit and recently Mombasa and Nairobi Counties.

By

Mary Ndulili

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