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Girls and women in Kilifi District, Kenya are some of the world’s poorest and most disadvantaged people. Low retention in school, early and unwanted pregnancies and vulnerability to HIV/AIDS trap them in a cycle of poverty. Moving the Goalposts Kilifi (MTG) uses local and youth centred approaches to tackle these issues ensuring girls’ participation as leaders and decision makers. The project uses football to develop essential life skills – confidence, leadership, self esteem – of vulnerable young women. Football also provides a unique entry point for reproductive health, human rights and economic empowerment initiatives.

How we started

MTG started with a sport and development project in Kilifi in 2001. Many people could see that there were huge gender differences being experienced by men and women and boys and girls in Kilifi in terms of opportunities in school, health, leadership roles and employment. We thought that if we took a new approach – using football to tackle gender disparities – we might be able to get to the heart of some of the problems faced by girls and women in Kilifi.

So with a small amount of seed funding from the British Council the project was set up with advice and support from Moving the Goalposts UK (a registered charity in the UK). More girls started to play football in and out of school, participating in tournaments organized by MTG. Now there are over 3,000 players whereas in 2001 when the project started there were just 120. MTG has branched out with a reproductive health rights, HIV and AIDS programme, an economic empowerment programme and it has established participatory monitoring and evaluation in all projects. This year, in 2012, MTG will celebrate its 10th anniversary.

MTG Headquarters: With the help of the British High Commission and the Ford Foundation, we were able to build a headquarters facility in 2008. Kilifi Plantation has given MTG use of a piece of their land next to the new MTG headquarters for football activities.

How we do it

  • Promoting football for girls
  • Developing leadership through football
  • Providing reproductive health and HIV/AIDS information and services
  • Providing economic opportunities
  • Promoting access to education

Practical benefits for girls

  • They become leaders of their own activities
  • Their health and fitness improves
  • Improved educational chances
  • Employment and self-employment opportunities

Emotional benefits for girls

  • Increased confidence
  • Ability to make informed choices
  • Increased mutual trust, support and respect
  • Safer and more fulfilling relationships
  • Empowerment of a collective group of rural girls and young women

Read on to find out more about our programmes, our stories and our lives.

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