Kenyan soccer kids receive Maccabi kits

The junior team at Wire Soccer Academy in Oyugis, Kenya, wearing the donated Maccabi Hakoah Junior Football Club shorts and shirts at a tournament this month.

CHILDREN in the remote Kenyan town of Oyugis are as passionate about playing football as anyone else, but often lack the most basic of facilities.

Until recently, many youngsters didn’t have uniforms to play matches and train in.

Thanks to a donation of surplus gear by Maccabi Hakoah Junior Football Club (MHJFC) in mid-2017, players in a children’s team at the not-for-profit Wire Soccer Academy in Oyugis, Kenya are now wearing their own blue and white football shorts and shirts featuring the iconic Maccabi Hakoah logo.

The Jewish club gave their support through a wider, ongoing initiative by a group of Moriah parents led by Jo and Roland Bloch, which sends donated used, unwanted or surplus sports uniforms and equipment to small clubs and organisations in need in African and South East Asian countries.

Wire Soccer Academy’s manager Simion Kokelo, who is dedicated to improving the football skills of impoverished and underprivileged kids, said the donated uniforms filled the team with pride.

“The team managed to be runners-up in the most recent tournament, and we are grateful for the wonderful uniforms from you (MHJFC),” he said last week.

“God bless you and all your friends who helped with the donation.”

MHJFC president Ofer Greenberg said the club has access to excess uniforms every few years that sometimes go to waste, so donating them is a good outcome.

“We are very proud to support a charity so worthwhile and to help kids in need through football,” Greenberg said.

“We hope to continue our work with Jo and help underprivileged kids.”

“By working with various partners, like Maccabi, their programs can provide resources and training to help empower individuals and families.”

SHANE DESIATNIK