Since 1987, the Mathare Youth Sports Association (MYSA) has pioneered the use of football as a tool to encourage co-operation, raise self-esteem and promote physical and environmental health in the Mathare community in Nairobi, Kenya.
MYSA was the very first Laureus-supported project and has twice been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Robert Pires, who won the 1998 FIFA World Cup with France and was part of the famous Arsenal FC ‘Invincibles', attended the 29th Annual MYSA Championships in Nairobi, Kenya.
Considered one of the finest midfielders of his generation and greatest French players of all time, Pires helped launch the Barclays Bank Sport for Kenya Youth Employment (SKYE) in Kenya, an innovative partnership with MYSA and International Youth Foundation (IYF) to provide youth with training, skills and confidence that will help them attain employment.
The overall theme for the event was “Community Cohesion and Integration”. Parallel events included employability training workshops for more than 100 youth as well as awareness raising activities on HIV/AIDS prevention, on child rights/protection and on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).
“The 2015 championships showcased some of our best youth teams and talents but also some of our key community service projects” said MYSA Executive Director David Thiru. “This year we are grateful for the support of Barclays Bank and the National Cohesion and Integration Commission.”
Since 1987, MYSA has been a global pioneer and innovator on sport for development and peace. In 2015, over 30,000 boys and girls on 1,811 teams in over 120 leagues in 16 zones participated in the MYSA self-help youth sports, environmental cleanup, AIDS prevention, slum libraries, public health and other community service programmes.