#UpForSlumDwellers Women’s football team play for sustainable cities and communities

#UpForSlumDwellers Women’s football team play for sustainable cities and communities

5 March 2017 Nairobi
Up For Slum Dwellers, a football team comprising talented young women who were born and raised in Mathare slum located in Kenya’s capital Nairobi, participated in the Global Goals World Cup. The team played for Goal 11 on sustainable cities and communities. More specifically, the team also played to advocate the upgrading of slums that will result in the improvement of living conditions for the world’s estimated one billion slum dwellers.
 
The team wore orange, the colour of Sustainable Development Goal 11. Orange is also the campaign colour of the Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme  (PSUP) that supports 35 countries located in Africa, Caribbean and Pacific regions to implement slum upgrading programmes. The Programme calls for engagement through the slogan Up For Slum Dwellers- Transforming a Billion Lives.
 
Global Goals World Cup is an open women’s amateur soccer tournament that leverages the power of sports to advocate for sustainable development. To qualify for the tournament, teams of 5 – 8 players have to play and take action for one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The tournament brought together 24 teams from Africa who played at the Impala Sports Ground in Nairobi, Kenya. Teams included Moving the Goal Post, Zero Hunger Heroes, Mama’s United, Ethiopian Lucy and UNEP Team.
 
The popular television series Game of Thrones actor, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize nominee and Peace Ambassador Victor Ochen were celebrity referees at the tournament.
"What is so cool about this project is that you use football, you bring people together and then you introduce the global goals. The interesting thing about the Global Goals 2030 is that it is actually a very positive story and we can change, we can do something, if we all do it together,” said Nikolaj Coster-Waldau .Journalists from international, regional and national media houses were in attendance to promote key messages.
 
 
The Up For Slum Dwellers won 4-0 against the Dutch Embassy Team and 1-0 against Net Impact Uganda. The team was also invited to play a friendly match that took place in Mathare on International Women’s Day, during a visit to Mathare graced by Mr. Antonio Guterres, the United Nation’s Secretary General.
 
 
“Sports remain an important avenue for the Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme to seek the commitment of world leaders as well as secure the allocation of resources, to upgrade slums as well as prevent their formation,” said Ms Kerstin Sommer, the PSUP Project Leader representing UN-Habitat.
 
"We are not only playing but we want to encourage and motivate others through our talent so that people can see that Up for Slum Dwellers is doing something in the community to support young people, ” said Wendy Achieng the team’s coach.
 
  
With reference to the estimated one billion slum dwellers of the world, the proportion of slum dwellers is most acute in Africa which accounts for 55.9 percent, followed by Asia at 27.9 percent, and Latin America and the Caribbean at 21.1 percent. It is also important to note that one fifth of slum households are headed by women who are often the poorest and most vulnerable. Projections indicate that an additional 3 billion people will need adequate housing by 2050 as population increases and people move to urban centres. The absolute number of slum dwellers is growing, and is expected to increase threefold by 2050 to almost half of the world’s urban population, should nothing be done. Urgent action for the world to stand up for slum dwellers and transform their living conditions is therefore required.
 
For more information, please visit: www.worldurbancampaign.org/psup

Article by Murugi Maina and Ivy Langat, UN-Habitat
Photo Credits: PSUP (CC)