Kenyan teenager uses football to rid Nairobi slums of vice

Source: Xinhua| 2017-12-08 20:04:58|Editor: ZD
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NAIROBI, Dec. 8 (Xinhua) -- A 17-year-old Kenyan teenager is using football to rid vice in the slums of Nairobi.

Shayaan Muraj, who is year 12 student at Braeburn High School in the city, is the founder of a non-profit making football academy that provides professional football training, academic support, mentorship and monthly groceries to various children from different slums around Nairobi.

"I currently have seven football teams that range from Under 7 to Under 19. Most players have single parents whose income isn't enough to sustain them while others are orphans," Muraj said on Friday.

"Through football, I aim to keep the boys away from the dangers like drug abuse and trafficking and other crimes that are prevalent in Kenya's informal settlements in addition to helping them maintain social, physical and mental well being," he added.

The players train 1-2 times per week and are thereafter provided with basic meals. The MK Warriors Football Club provides its players with uniforms and football boots where the teams compete regularly in matches and tournaments and is currently a high performance team.

"I have managed to produce a player who has played for the Kenyan national team whereas another, who is currently playing for a Kenyan Premier League team, he is now earning a decent wage enough to support his family," Muraj said.

To finance for the football teams, Muraj started a social enterprise comprising of football schools to provide football training to various students from international schools around Nairobi whose profits go towards running the academy.

Nairobi slums are among the most difficult areas to reside in the country, and as they expand at rapid rates they face increasing challenges in food, security and health services, water and sanitation.