“Can I join you in central defence?” (sceptically) “Yes, sure…” “Are you good at it, to rely on you?” “I am good.” “Fine, because I’m not!”
True to her word, C was the best player on the pitch. She scored the winning penalty too, and saved my blushes for the own goal (although I did equalise to keep a brave face with the girls). Both teams were fun though, as well as competitive. The participating teachers and the professional commentator from the Journalist Club added an edge to the game (I could hear our names mixed with Barcelona and Rooney…).
Playing on a bumpy and dry field, where it was difficult to control the ball, was the least of their worries. The stats in this urban slum alin Kenya are against them in terms of all the risk indicators surrounding them: child maltreatment, domestic violence, alcohol use and offending.
Where will these girls be in a few years? Can they built enough resilience through school and other supports in the meanwhile?