Noor Abdulqadir

HODI's Breaking the Silence through football uses the power of sport to create a safe space for girls in Northern Kenya

HODI empowers women in Marsabit, Kenya by facilitating peer-to-peer, football skills and life skills.
HODI empowers women in Marsabit, Kenya by facilitating peer-to-peer, football skills and life skills.

Stage 3: Proof of Concept

Focus Areas:

Education and Extracurricular or Out-of School Activities

Education and Extracurricular or Out-of School ActivitiesSEE LESS

Implemented In:



Country Implemented In


Marsabit in northern Kenya is affected by ongoing drought and inter-tribal conflicts and girls and women have no voice or choice. They cannot be seen or heard and the culture is so deeply rooted that even talking about the issues that affect women and girls is a taboo. Female Genital Mutilation, Early forced marriages, beading, girls dropping out of schools are some of the major challenges girls have to deal with on daily basis. HODI uses football to create a safe space and break the silence.



Our innovation is using football to break the silence on violence affected by violence at personal level from FGM, early marriage and beading. Mostly during droughts and emergencies girls are given away to recover some of the lost livestock. HODI has undertaken baseline surveys to establish the actual situation before implementation and end of the year survey. We have build a curriculum based on the need of the girls from Being yourself, be empowered, be healthy and be money savvy. Mapping out the safe places on a community map, working with teachers in school to facilitate peer education sessions, football skills and life skills. The young girls graduate as Champions to run the program themselves. Breaking the silence won the beyond sports award for social inclusion in 2015. The intervention also engages the parents and communities to ensure there build up to support the girls. In the beginning it was difficult to even engage the girls as they are hidden at home or not allowed to participate in sports.

Target Beneficiaries

The girls are the main beneficiaries of the intervention it crafts new ways to communicate with the girls through sports. It also encourages the girls to learn how to use their voice and have choices on what to do with their life. The program is based in Marsabit Kenya and we are working with 13 schools, we have 2 days sessions on Tuesday and Thursday. Normally an after class sessions which includes in class and out in the field. 415 girls benefited from the project in 2015, with 1040 benefiting over the last 3 years. Some 6 young women have taken leadership positions at HODI as a direct result of their participation in the project. In life skills, only 22% of girls at the start of the 2015 knew how to prevent pregnancy, compared to 84% at the end of the project. While only 44% of our girls knew a safe place at the start of the year, 95% of them knew where to find a safe space at the end of the year. We used salesforce to measure impact, record attendance, base and endline.

Mission and Vision

Our Mission: To champion justice and development in the Horn of Africa through advocacy, education, peace building and sustainable livelihoods.Our Vision: A democratic and peaceful society engaging in sustainable development.

Competitive Advantage

TOP 3 STRENGTHS-Ties with local partners-We're educators coming into development--not vice versa -We teach a simple, innately-rewarding learning process that is infiniteALSOFocus on meaning/power from one's own story. Many of us need to make sense/order to be okay--this work is often transformativeShort cycle effort-to-result. Girls get energy from quick growthLots of practice in strength-based literacy work: problem-solving, critical thinkingInherently adaptable. Girls create the work, so it's at each levelEasy to spread. It's the creative process: ideas, iterate/revise, publish for allLesson language is concise, clear to understand/translate Others work in literacy, few in writing. Also, we do NOT -import/imitate school-as-factory model, undifferentiated-exempt crisis settings from research-based education practices-assume teachers need long scripts, silent pupils-believe trauma-sensitive=empathy+low standards-think access to content=education


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