The Life changing sports missions of Oyugis united
The Life changing sports missions of Oyugis united
Formed in 2002 as a Christian mission center to train teenagers in a holistic way, Oyugis United has started reaping from the many years of hard work patience in the articulations of its vision.
The team has used soccer to bridge the gap and send out important information to the area youth in a bid to curb the negative vices that had engulfed the little town in Nyanza Province.
By the year 2002, Oyugis town was among towns and cities with a very high rate of HIV & AIDS infections in Kenya, As narrated by Oyugi’s FC Secretary George Odongo sports has played a major role in shaping destinies of young men and women from the area.
“I wanted to get ways on how we can be able to effectively reach out to our young men and women and talk to/with them on a level that we can understand each other. Out of all the possible routes we had, soccer turned out to be the most effective way of engaging the young people proactively so as to tackle the HIV and AIDS scourge in Oyugis Town,” says George Odongo.
Their Vision is simple, “to mold young ones to become better citizens as well as entrench values in their lives that would make them live a lifestyle acceptable to our Christian Faith.”
“It was in 2004 that we saw the need of adding a different feather to what we were already doing, we wanted to set up a permanent structure of child development both academically and in talent. It is then that we approached the principal of Karabok Secondary school - a small school with a population of about 300 students- on the possibility of partnering with the school to educate some of our beneficiaries to our program.” He added.
To the credit of the school they managed to offer secondary school education to many young men who would have ordinarily missed out of education due to lack of school fees.
“At first we agreed to be raising school fees for the children but then the school also gave us a different offer of supplying them with foodstuff from the community which would in turn be monetized for school fees. If a neighbor donates a bag of maize, we then give it to the school as part of school fees and this has proved to be very helpful.” He added.
Looking back Odongo thanks God for what he has done through the many people who have supported their initiative program, The team has acquired land earmarked to construct a football field to a cost of 1.4 million shillings.The team also owns an office which also serves as a community center to offer services to the larger community at a minimal fee.
“We also managed to set up a computer lab at Karabogi Secondary through the donations we received from our friends in Northern Ireland.”
Positively, Karabogi Secondary was not known in the circles of football, however due to this deliberate partnership with the Oyugis soccer team, the school surprised many last year when they represented Nyanza Province in the term two ball games national finals in in Mombasa.
“It was not a fluke, we worked hard for this .Our believe in structure finally paid off and motivated our staff and I know the school will even perform better this season.”
From cobbler to a superstar
Benson Otieno was a shoe cobbler in Oyugis who used to repair punctured balls had dropped out of school due to lack of School fees. He was later enrolled to the school after being discovered to be an amazing soccer star.Otieno is now an accomplished and well polished dependable goalkeeper playing for Oyugis United in the Nationwide division 2 League.
From tea picking to Gor Mahia
Another player now playing for KPL side Gor Mahia FC John Kiplagat was also discovered by Odongo in Limuru.
“I moved to Limuru between 2004 and 2006 and due to my passion in soccer I started training kids. It is in this period that I discovered Kiplagat. He was such a talented boy who I later came to discover had not joined form one due to lack of school fees and was helping his parents to pick tea. I recommended him to Karabogi where he enrolled.
However, he had to leave while in 3rd form due to the 2008 post election violence. Today Kiplagat plays for K’Ogalo and we are humbled to have played a part in shaping his destiny,” adds Odongo
George Amayo-Sony Sugar
George Amayo was discovered in Homa hills and just as many others was enrolled and trained, today Amayo turns out for Sony Sugar .
Oyugis United now plays in Nationwide Division two and have embarked on going lower in age so as to start nurturing kids at a very young age of six years.
“We have set a model that is working, our hope is that many others can emulate the same and give many deserving kids a chance to play and study at the same time modeling them to become responsible adults.”
Asked why he does what he does, George attributes his deeds to his Christianity and salvation as well as his passion for the sport.
“I am a Born again Christian and a very passionate soccer lover, I am called to serve and share my passion,” concludes George
Information about Oyugis:
Oyugis is the commercial capital of Rachuonyo District in Nyanza Province, whose administrative headquarters are located some twenty kilometres away at Kosele. Oyugis is located 20 kilometers north of Kisii town along the major A1 highway.
There is a smaller road (C26) connecting Oyugis to Kendu Bay while C18 road links Oyugis with western and southwestern Nyanza Province. Oyugis forms a town council with a population of 52,433, of whom 9,084 are classified urban (1999 census
Oyugis town has five wards: Ayoro/Nyandong'e, Mawira/Rabuor, Obisa, Sikri, Wire Hill/Migwa. All of them are located within Kasipul-Kabondo Constituency.
Oyugis is the headquarters of Kasipul division which, together with Kabondo, form the Kasipul Kabondo electoral constituency number 190 on the ECK registers. Though small in comparison to Kisii, Oyugis is the major commercial centre in Rachuonyo district and has recently registered fast growth especially since the creation of the district and increased use of the town by NGOs operating in the area and the Sondu Miriu Electricity Generation project on the border with Nyando district. The town also hosts several important academic institutions like the Agoro Sare High School and Oyugis Technical College.