Sport is a powerful vehicle in which to engage youths and to deliver key messages.
Many young people with whom we work have become disaffected from education and have limited qualifications or skills for work. As such they reside in shanty or squatter areas and many become engaged in illegal employment; petty theft, robbery, drug dealing and the sex industry, leading to imprisonment, HIV and AIDS and premature death. Many of these youths engage themselves in risk taking behaviours, such as smoking, drug taking and unprotected sexual relations, and as a result are endangering their own lives as well as marginalising and stigmatising themselves within the communities they reside in.
Sport is then utilized as an effective vehicle in re-engaging disaffected youths, whilst dispelling negative behaviours, and providing them with opportunities to build their confidence and develop their potential.
What is CASEC doing?
CASEC is implementing a Sports for Development programme to enhance and extend the current work being conducted at the their Centre for Identification and Development of Talent (CIDT) based in Nane Nane, Arusha.
At CASEC, we recognise that sport has not only proved to be very popular but has been fundamental in re-engaging many disaffected youths and connecting them again with education and training, as well as empowering them to deal with challenging situations. Sport is used as a vehicle towards achieving holistic development and facilitates young people in learning key values such as equality, respect and teamwork. The impact on the young people includes promotion of leadership and development of self-esteem, positive attitudes and life-skills and adopting positive health behaviours.
Currently CIDT has three football teams, under 14’s, under 17’s and under 20’s, who train weekly from Monday to Friday and play every Saturday and Sunday. The teams have proved greatly successful with over 60 youths involved and showing great dedication to training. Furthermore, as the teams are facilitated through CIDT, youths are provided with vital training on HIV/AIDS, STIs, Life-skills and Leadership training as well as being provided with opportunities to develop other existing talents and further their education. Overall, the engagement with sport and education provides these young people the opportunity for attitudinal change regarding their own self worth. Feedback from the individuals has been hugely positive with one, Abdallah aged 18, commenting ‘the Centre has had a big impact on me and is helping me to realize my dream of becoming a professional football player. Football is my life but at the Centre I can also develop myself and have learnt English and IT skills as well as the importance of staying safe from HIV/AIDs and STIs.’
We are currently seeking support and funding to develop and extend this programme with the aim of improving 1200 youths lives through sports development.