With 2020 being a year that had less local rugby action due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of rugby players and fans opted to spend part of their time supporting the less fortunate in the society.
In the spirit of the game whose values include integrity, passion, solidarity, discipline and respect, a number of clubs, fans and players were involved in different activities off the pitch to help the needy.
Scrummage takes a look at some of the activities that rugby members took part in a bid to support the needy in the society in this calendar year.
Blak Blad: The Kenyatta University outfit has been regularly involved in Corporate Social Responsibility activities in the past years. In 2020 they continued with the trend and have been raising funds from the playing unit, technical bench, fanbase, former players and wellwishers with members contribution as low as kshs. 50 bob each Tuesday. Once a substantial amount is raised, they have been selecting a children’s home where they spent a day with kids.
Some of the Children’s homes that have been visited by the club in the recent weeks include Joy centre Ruiru, Young Life, Betterliving Zimmerman and Everlasting children’s home Githurai. During the visits to the homes, Blak Blad players have been fellowshipping with the kids on Sundays, cleaning their premises, cooking for them, playing games and sharing meals with the kids.
The program has been on from January to December 2020.
Shamas Foundation Rugby: The Nationwide side has been supporting the less fortunate families during this COVID 19 pandemic period.
Since March 2020, Shamas have been raising funds through fans, wellwishers donations and partnerships with different companies. Some of their donations saw them partner with I&M bank and GA insurance to donate 4’000 bars of soap, 12 tons of maize flour, six tons of ndengu (Lentils), two tons of salt, two tons of sugar and 550 packs of fresh vegetables to over 2000 families from Kibera, Mathare, Eastland, Kangemi, and BTL area.
In April, they donated 528 masks and 500 reusable face masks. 500 hundred caregivers in the same areas also got the masks. Besides masks, a total of 250 girls from Mathare, Kibera, Eastlands and Kangemi got sanitary towels. Up to date, they have had over five food drives reaching thousands of Kenyans living in slums.
The Club members also spend their time off the field creating awareness on the COVID-19 pandemic using coaches and senior players. They distributed flyers with guidelines on how to protect oneself and emergency contacts. Created WhatsApp groups to spread awareness and pass vital information to the communities. The children groups also focused on creating awareness on the available educational tools and practices that they can use to conduct studies while at home.
The club in conjunction with UmRio from Brazil and Peace leaders Kenyan chapter also conducted the Lockdown Leaders project. The project engaged 10 youths (2 from each of their 5 centres) to identify social issues within their communities and device social enterprises to address them. The 10 have also been equipped with leadership skills to become community change agents.
One of their young coaches Spencer from Kangemi centre has been helping kids in matters education by giving them assignments, marking them and monitoring their progress.
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Johnstone Olindi, Collins Shikoli and Susan Elliott Eastwood: In May 2020, Kenya 7s fly-half Johnstone Olindi, Homeboyz winger Collins Shikoli and Susan Elliott Eastwood joined hands and contributed food to 50 families in Korogocho Slums in Nairobi.
The 50 were victims of Korogocho market evictions which happened towards the end of the month of May. Olindi who was raised in the slums was touched by the eviction story which was highlighted on news and decided to act.
Dan Sikuta: When rugby was suspended, Kenya 7s and Kabras RFC star Dan Sikuta went back to his Maliki village Bungoma County. When he saw most of his village mates without masks with a number having not bought them due to financial constraints, he donated 500 masks in his village to help locals stay safe from COVID-19. His donations also targeted bodaboda riders and business people.
Kabras Rugby Fans: The Kabras Rugby Fans started a sanitary towel initiative for girls early in 2020. Fans contributed cash and sanitary towels. The project led by Maureen Muvoka assisted by Clalffin Achimba, Shilako Mayavi and Grace Ndakala saw a total of 500 girls benefit.
The fans targeted Maraba Primary School and Ikonyero Girls. According to Muvoka who led the program, plans are underway to have another CSR in 2020 when the school are back in session.
Shadon Munoko, Ramsfield Matekwa and Rugby Patrons Society: KCB forward Shadon Munoko, his former coach at Mean Machine Ramsfield Matekwa and the Rugby Patrons Society donated foodstuffs, masks, gloves and clothes to rugby kids living in Githogoro slums near Runda on 24 July.
The Rugby Patrons Society has also carried out food donation exercises at Rugby Grassroots Clubs of Ngong, Matasia, Embul-bul and Runda in efforts to support the needy children in their Rugby Program.
Bethuel Anami: Strathmore Leos forward Bethuel Anami decided to run seven kilometres on a daily basis to raise funds for the Elimisha Stratizen campaign. The Elimisha Stratizen initiative had been launched by Strathmore University Students to help colleagues who have the will to study but lack school fees.
His daily run commenced in July and ended in August.
Moses Begi: In July, Begi in collaboration with his fellow rugby friends Bryan Tichi, Steven Odhiambo, Levy Amunga, AbbeyWood Warehouse, Nondies and BlakBlad players also raised funds to support the less privileged families in Mathare Slums to cushion them during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Leroy Mbugua: Mbugua, a former Blak Blad who later moved to Kenya Harlequins has been part of the Hearts of Ruiru. The Hearts of Ruiru has reached over 200 people through their mentorship program. 12 people from less fortunate of families have gotten full scholarships to pursue their high school. Mbugua told Scrummage that. “It is through the Hearts of Ruiru that I have learnt the art of giving back to less fortunate families. We have visited many children’s homes with the aim of spreading love.”
From the Scrummage Desk, we salute you for extending your support to those who needed it the most.