Football Coaching & Youth Development: Black Cats
The Black Cats Sports Programme supports some of the most marginalised and vulnerable young people in Kenya; street children, orphans, internally displaced people, and young people from urban slum communities and low-income rural communities.
Through sport, the Black Cats aim to provide an alternative to street life and gang culture, inculcating positive values of trust, commitment, teamwork, cooperation, discipline and above all providing fun activities for Kenyan girls and boys who would otherwise lack such opportunities.
The Black Cats works closely with other Moving Mountains Kenya programmes such as Educational and Social Welfare Support and the Embu Rescue Centre and is led by dedicated coaches who are from the communities we work with and act as role models and mentors to the young people.
Crucially, the Black Cats, in turn, gives Moving Mountains the chance to provide counseling and advice, assist and encourage the young people to go back to school, college or vocational training, set up small businesses and to lead a healthy life whilst being integrated back into the local community.
Read a blog by former street child, Black Cat and Moving Mountains Kenya board member Kelly Kioko, reminiscing about the days when Premier League Superstar and Harambee Stars (the Kenyan national team) captain Victor Wanyama was part of Black Cats!
Video: Black Cats v Canada, football tournament within the Solio community
History of the Project
1996 – Football has been a method that Moving Mountains has used to bring kids together in sport and fun during the many rehabilitation camps that we have held since 1996
2001 – A youth club was founded based in Muthurwa Primary School in Nairobi. Moving Mountains paid for goal posts and nets to be built, provided footballs, boots, and strips and provided the money for the team to enter a local football league and to transport them to matches. We then started to develop football coaching groups in Nairobi, Embu and Western Kenya.
2010 – Helen Kamanthe (Nairobi Black Cat) and Charles Onyimbo (Western Black Cats) joined a Premier Skills Coaching Course, organised by the British Council in conjunction with the English Premier League, gaining valuable experience to take back to their teams.
2011 – The programme was established in Solio
2013 - Former Black Cat Victor Wanyama transferred from Celtic to Saints and becomes the first Kenyan to play in the English Premier League.
To date - Many of the children involved with Black Cats have been supported to undergo rehabilitation from substance abuse, undertake vocational courses, return to school or college or successfully establish small business initiatives.
Volunteers (Adventure Alternative)
Africamp volunteer groups (Adventure Alternative)
Football volunteering in Kenya with the Black Cats - contact us to go out to Kenya and work with our football coaches and help develop the weekly training sessions. This can be a part of a wider volunteering programme.
You can also support a Black Cats player through Moving Mountains, utilising our support structure and the network of expertise in Kenya to ensure that your donation is targeted and efficiently used to really benefit a child in Kenya, over the long-term and as part of a wider programme of support for sustainable community development in Kenya.
Your sponsorship will support an individual child from the football club, particularly those who are on our rehabilitation programme and those who have shown commitment to the programme and a desire to go back to school or vocational training.
We aim to bring more children off the street and for those who are substance abusers into rehabilitation by involving them in Black Cats Football Clubs. We would like to set up more Black Cats teams throughout other parts of Kenya and continue to provide support structures for children to be a part of.
Each year, in addition to the daily training sessions and competitive matches, we also organise the Embu Street Soccer Tournament bringing together young people and teams from all around Embu and involving community stakeholders such as government departments, the local police and other local NGOs and businesses.
We coordinate with these stakeholders to provide support to Black Cats players, the street children and young people who attend Embu Rescue Centre for Street Children and our education programme beneficiaries in Embu. (Check out this blog post for an example of the work we do to support Black Cats players). In addition, many of these stakeholders also send teams to compete in the tournament alongside the Black Cats. The Street Soccer Tournament is a very popular annual event bringing the community of Embu together and promoting the work of Moving Mountains and the Black Cats with street children and disadvantaged young people.