Street boys in Kenya proudly play in kits donated by Bolton Wanderers FC

published on 21 Nov 2014

Some of the most vulnerable boys in Kakamega, Kenya have played their first competitive football match wearing kit donated by Bolton Wanderers FC, thanks to the work of Bolton Corps.

The boys are part of one of our outreach projects which has been running for a year engaging with street boys helping to give them the skills they need to gain work and support themselves so they no longer need to live on the streets. This has included providing food and education in health and hygiene, as well as introducing them to school for the first time. The project has successfully reunited some of the children with their families and helped them to return home.

As part of the lessons in health the boys were split into two teams and given the opportunity to play football with a proper ball – something they hadn’t experienced before. Major Fiona Broom, Commanding Officer at Bolton, visited the project.

Major Fiona Broom, said: “The Salvation Army outreach project in Kakamega works with some of the most disadvantaged boys and most haven’t received the very basics in life. Giving them them the opportunity to play football is fantastic as it demonstrates vital team work skills while helping to keep them fit and active. Sadly, they didn’t have a kit to play in, so as soon as I arrived home I contacted Bolton Wanderers who were more than happy to help. I'd like to thank the football club for their support as it has made such a difference. The boys have now played their first competitive match, proudly dressed in the kits which is wonderful to see.”

Major Broom is planning to take 14 volunteers from the corps in Bolton aged between 15 and 65 out to Kenya to work on some of the other projects in the area for two weeks next year.

Major Broom continued: “We are very grateful to our group of volunteers from Bolton who have kindly given up their time. I believe we can make a big impact on the lives of some of the most vulnerable people who The Salvation Army is working with in Kenya. However, as the trip costs almost £1,400 per person it won’t be possible for everyone to go unless we’re able to secure support from local businesses. We’re not able to take much with us due to baggage restrictions so the most valuable donation would be money as it will go towards travel costs, allowing us all to go and together I know we'll make a big difference.”