MEET   BETTY

Life for women in Kibera is difficult. Along with cooking, cleaning and taking care of the children, many run small businesses to provide essential income for their families. They’re both bread makers and breadwinners.

 

Life for women in sport is even more difficult. That’s why we loved meeting Betty. This outgoing and enthusiastic young woman coaches an Under-17s football team in Kibera, where a rising football scene has seen record numbers of young people get involved in sport. As a result, fewer teenagers are joining gangs and crime rates are falling. Dramatically.

 

Betty came along to our football coach training in 2015. Hope for Kibera is keen to nurture sport development in the area, so we sent two qualified coaches to provide training for the football teams’ coaches. But enough of the background information and back to Betty. On the muddy football pitch dampened by Kenya’s rainy season, she told us her story.

 

“I am a mum. I have a baby girl,” she told us. “So, it’s not easy.”

 

And as demanding as motherhood in Kibera is, Betty balances it with a full time job as a football coach.

 

“Coaching is my profession and I like it so much,” she smiled. “I came [to the training session] to learn more. And I’m learning a lot of drills I can share with our clubs and teams.”

 

Betty’s passion goes beyond coaching. She wants to see women both empowered and involved in sport across Kibera and the rest of Kenya.

“Women are forgotten here in Kenya and we want to encourage them to be players and coaches,” she said. “We need to empower women, so I want to encourage women to come out and join me. In soccer there is so much, but Betty’s passion goes beyond coaching. She wants to see women both empowered and involved in sport across Kibera and the rest of Kenya.

 

“Women are forgotten here in Kenya and we want to encourage them to be players and coaches,” she said. “We need to empower women, so I want to encourage women to come out and join me. In soccer there is no woman or man, that’s why it’s called a sportsman.”

 

So, as a young mum, full time football coach and inspiration to women everywhere, how does Betty do it?

 

“Every morning when I wake up I ask for grace to do my coaching,” she said. “God is in my life and I thank him because he’s the one who teaches me and it’s because of his grace and I can do what I do.”