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Kenyans in Diaspora raise money to enable Kisumu youths return home

Posted by Administrator on December 27, 2011

Kaloleni United FC that had been stranded in Nairobi for over a week now is finally back in Kisumu.

The last batch of the team of 40 children left Nairobi on Tuesday morning aboard a Mololine shuttle following intervention by well wishers and good Samaritans both home and in the Diaspora following an exposÈ by The Standard newspaper on its FeverPitch section, on December 25.

Among the contributors who sent money which was used to buy food for the team, tickets and personal effects are Shadrack Obunga (United Nations, Geneva), Joshua Okalo (USA), Bernard Amwayi, Ibrahim Bilali (Kenya’s 1984 Olympic boxing bronze medalist), Onesmus Omema (USA) and Ahmed Farah (Garissa).

Others are Goro Oronge (Kisumu), Edward Kiogora, Thomas Ogaye (businessman at Kisumu’s Kibuye market) and Alex Imbenzi.

“I don’t regret my stay in Nairobi even though life was tough, I learnt a lot. I also realised there are so many Kenyans who care so much out there.”

“On Christmas Day, we got food from the Mayor’s wife and were also invited by Mama Kevin and Mama Benzi, who entertained us in their houses. They were more than parents to us,” said Hezzy Obungu, a defender.

Hassan Ali, 15, who was eager to get back to his lakeside city said although the memories of being stranded in Nairobi will not fade very soon, however, he will not forget the good people who came into his life.

“Following the experience I am even inspired to carry on with football, but next time we will be careful on who we deal with and the tournaments we play,” said Ali.

Hand to mouth

Kaloleni United coach Hassan Ochieng said it was a bitter lesson he learnt and promised to be cautious next time he is dealing with individuals purporting to be football chiefs.

“I am sorry for the parents of these children whom I coach and that were a disgraceful act from Nick Mandevu,” said Ochieng.

FeverPitch reported how the children and their coach had been forced to survive from hand to mouth and beg for places of sleep in Nairobi after it emerged that a deal about a prestigious tournament in Nairobi they were invited for was a hoax.

The team was hosted by Dande Abich Oningo (popularly known as Chuna Mangwana) and Tusker Team Manager Nevile Pudo at Kaloleni Estate House number X15, behind City Stadium in Nairobi.

Mandevu, who had given the team an invite to Nairobi, went missing and was unreachable when the team arrived at Nairobi’s Country Bus Station on December 15.

The Under-13 and 16 team had been invited by Mandevu who purported to be a Makadara Youth Soccer Club coach.

Mandevu had promised them a number of friendly matches including participating in an imaginary Makadara Youth tournament with lucrative prizes for the winners.

Abich and Pudo are now planning to organise a tournament to sensitise players to be wary of bogus football chiefs in this country.

Pudo and Abich also thanked individuals who contributed money, food and their time to rescue the team.

They are advising coaches, parents and team officials to be wary of people they deal with in the football fraternity as not everybody is honest.

Source: http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/sports/InsidePage.php?id=2000049025&cid=38&story=Kenyans%20in%20Diaspora%20raise%20money%20to%20enable%20Kisumu%20youths%20return%20home

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