Yesterday, Wednesday, the local elections were taking place at the field where KPI hosts its Let’s Play Fair programming. As a result, the local cell leaders requested that KPI cancelled our program for the day since all community members, KPI coaches included, were expected to attend.
Since I, Kate, am not fluent in Kinyarwanda (yet) or legally allowed to vote, I was not expected to attend. Instead I planned to spend my afternoon finishing our sponsorship page for our wonderful, vibrant, intelligent 13-15 year old participants who could really use a sponsor (hint, hint). As I sipped on my African tea overlooking beautiful Gatagara, there was a knock at the gate and a faint “Kate.” I went to check and much to my surprise (not really) there were 35 of our kids on the road waiting for me to come out and play.
Thankfully, City of Joy has their field right above our compound so we grabbed a soccer ball and went to play. By the time we started we had over 50 kids, including neighborhood kids, split into teams and ready to go. We started with our warm ups and stretching just as Joy Christian School dismissed their students. The preschoolers ran up the hill to join us. After our stretching, we started our games.
We set up a mini-tournament co-run between Fabrice, my neighbor who is a KPI participant and a future community leader, and me. After five games, we finished with stretching and a song. We also practiced our KPI clap (1-2-123-1234-1-2) that has proven to be quite a challenge so far! We’ve had two kids master it who are more than happy to teach others.
Yesterday the kids proved that they not only love Kids Play, and refuse to accept a day off, but also that they can be semi-organized and are starting to take direction very well (aside from “program is cancelled”). Yesterday also gave me an opportunity to see who rises to the top when there are no other adults available. With my overly active imagination, it’s fun to watch the boys and girls who gravitate towards leadership positions and imagine what they will be in 15 years and the impact they will have – locally and maybe even internationally!