Breaking the Silence

Our Breaking the Silence Program uses football to break the silence on female genital mutilation (FGM), menstruation, gender-based violence, conflict, girls rights, HIV/AIDs, and other issues that affect girls and boys. We offer them a voice through the development of skills that will help them to progress and beat these challenges.

We currently have two main projects that fall under this program:

Shoot To Score for Peace and Gender Equality

We use football sessions to provide girls and boys with equal opportunities to play football on safe spaces, fostering peace through weekly football sessions while showcasing the power of football to bridge ethnic divides. The project also educates participants on gender equality topics. A number of approaches are used in this project:

  • Weekly football sessions for girls and boys, delivered by trained coaches and peer educators
  • Football leagues and annual football tournaments for young girls and boys
  • Provision of balls and other football equipment to participants and the repair of some of the football pitches used in the project

Sport on the Cutting Edge

Our Sport on the Cutting Edge project aims to end female genital mutilation in Marsabit. FGM is highly prevalent in northern Kenya, with UNICEF putting the prevalence rate at 98% in some areas.

FGM is responsible for many harmful effects, including infections, painful urination and menstruation, keloids, sexual health problems, childbirth complications, fistula, perinatal risks and mental health problems.

To progress towards the end of FGM in Marsabit, we use the following approaches:

  • Weekly football and life skills sessions to adolescent girls, delivered by trained coaches
  • Training of traditional circumcisers on the dangers of FGM and providing them with financial literacy courses and support to earn alternative income
  • Workshops and provision of information materials on the dangers of FGM for community leaders such as religious leaders and chiefsĀ 

Integrating peacebuilding, development and humanitarian efforts on the Kenya and Ethiopia cross border (IPDHE)

The 538-mile border between Ethiopia and Kenya has a history of conflict as pastoral communities compete for pasture and water. The area is characterised by violence and socioeconomic problems.

This project, in partnership with Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) and with funding from the Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC), aims to reduce conflict and enhance resilience and peaceful coexistence of cross border communities at the Ethiopia-Kenya border. The project aims at benefiting 157,000 people in northern Kenya and southern Ethiopia.

The project’s key activities include:

  • Social inclusion and gender analysis, capacity building for youth volunteers and community champions, linkages to social safety nets.
  • Organisational capacity strengthening, community-led risk assessment, and action planning, supporting humanitarian, development, and peace actions, support collaboration across systems.
  • Training of government leaders on conflict sensitivity, disaster resilience, support multi- stakeholder platforms, collaboration on cross-border policies / initiatives, policy dialogues, and advocacy.

Support for Our Breaking the Silence Program

HODI is grateful to the FIFA Foundation, Comic Relief, GlobalGiving, Voluntary Service Overseas and the Austrian Development Cooperation for their support of our Breaking The Silence Program.