On the 28th of March 2011 in Fuata Nyayo slums-Nairobi Kenya, over 3,250 families were rendered homeless when a fierce fire sneaked in and gutted down hundreds of their homes. Among the affected families were fifteen boys from the Michezo Afrika’s -Nairobi Junior League soccer and mentorship development program whose houses were completely gut leaving them and their families homeless and hopeless.
But three months down the line, the families of the affected boys especially those attached to the Nairobi junior league and the Cheza Afrika soccer programs received reconstructed hope and a new lease of life when they received a rare heavy gift from the visiting group of Baylor University sportsmen and women.
Peter Mutisya-father to upcoming goalkeeper Francis Mutisya- had lost hope after all he had worked for over the years went up in smoke during the fire. Without enough finances to reconstruct his house Mutisya turned to seek refuge mostly from relatives with an initial thought of moving back to his drought stricken rural home in Eastern province.
But on Thursday, Mutisya, his family and all the budding soccer stars who were affected by the fire had a reason to bring back the smiles on their faces when the Baylor University students put up a new three roomed house for Mutisya and his family.
The visiting students bought all the material and helped to bring up a new roof and life over the affected family. “I have been here for three years in a row now and the people we meet here every year are just amazing. This is like my second home and am delighted to just be a part of the light in the lives of these young ones and their families. Just by coming here to join and rebuild their homes for the community is a great blessing not only to the soccer boys but to us as a team because we have realized that the things we don’t value a lot in life mean great to others out there.” Said Melissa Jones.
After completion of the house that was built in one day, Mutisya dedicated one room of the newly built house to serve as a resource center for the community especially to the budding soccer stars in the impoverished slum. The youth will be using the same each evening after their soccer training to carry out their remedial studies. The center will also offer job opportunities to the parents of the boys and the coaches who train them on a daily basis.
“When the house burnt down, we had lost all hope, we lost all we had in the fire and at one point we had thought of moving back to our rural home but now we have a smile back on our faces. Through my young boy Francis, Soccer has brought back life, sports has made us new people and we thank all that have worked in making this day the most memorable in our lives and that of the entire community. We will live to pray for their success in whatever they do and I dedicate one room in this house to serve as a resource center for the community and especially the upcoming soccer stars.” Said Peter Mutisya.
On Behalf of the Baylor team, Terrance Gennaway thanked Mutisya for showing compassion to the community urging him to serve as a shining head to all the families and to exhibit leadership in bringing them together as a family united by their little boys in the name of sports.
“This is just a fantastic experience and We wish we could do more than just grab hammers and nails to share in the little that we have. These people value everything to be so precious, even with the little they can get they have a bright smile on their faces each day we meet and talk to them yet we take so much for granted. Honestly! This was a unique opportunity for us to be a part of the team that just built back a life and we thank God for that.” He said
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