The famous claret-and-blue shirts have been donated by Villa fans through an amnesty that gave ‘Villans’ a discount on this season’s kit in return for their donation. With the help of Turkish Airlines, the club’s official airlines partner, the shirts were then flown out to Kenya. There they were given to people in two locations.
The first shipment of shirts was distributed to young boys and girls from SuperBentoz United Football Club in Githurai, a slum on the outskirts of Nairobi, the capital, which is home to more than 300,000 people. It was distributed by the Women’s and Children’s Wellness Centre based in Nairobi, which provides young people with alternative means of spending their free time, thus thwarting the social menaces attributed to sexual and gender-based violence perpetuation.
The remaining shirts will go to Kericho in western Kenya, where Living With Hope and Niksham Hope, who are partners with Villa, will distribute them in local communities whose young people are affected by a variety of issues such as poverty, disease and violent crime that are prevalent in their everyday lives.
Villa are also working with both charities in Kericho to build a community sports facility to encourage young people to take up positive activities rather than those that lead to anti-social behaviour. The facility, which will be completed in December, will also house an early child development centre, a place for vocational training of women and coach training facilities, all of which will boost employment in the local area.
“The shirts will be a means of motivating the young people in these communities and, ultimately, to address the social issues affecting them,” said Ravinder Masih, head of Villa In The Community.