Jump Rope: Empowering Youth and Nurturing Talent March 26, 2012 by Carolina For Kibera
Many youth living in the terrible conditions of Kibera slums, especially girls, say they never knew they had a talent until they were introduced to jump rope. This is a sport many youth cherish in Kibera as it helps them realize the unique talent in them. Through Carolina for Kibera, the jump rope initiative now accommodates both boys and girls, aged 8 to 15 years. Through the sport, some say they now see how they can utilize the opportunity and transform the society they stay in. Christine Ondiek, a 14 year old living in Kibera notes with a gleam in her eyes, “I never knew I was blessed with an awesome talent of skipping this simple string. Whenever I perform publicly, the crowd remains dumbfounded and this makes me feel like a champion. I plan to break the world record in due time.”
The Jump Rope team has managed to win several medals in East African Regional competitions held in the neighboring country of Tanzania and in the coastal province of Kenya. Christine states that jump rope has exposed her and she has learned new skills that she would love to share with her peers in the community.
The three coaches for the program are all local youth volunteers. Amon, Davy and Innocent first came to work with CFK through the Sports Association. They now are leading the jump rope efforts and helping younger youth develop their talents. They realize that most of teens do not know how to tap their talents and now they are out to help them appreciate what they own. The CFK Paka Skippers, as they are called, use jump rope to not only develop their talents, but it has deterred them from negative peer pressure, boost their self-esteem, physical fitness and confidence.