At the Starehe Boys Centre in Nairobi, Kenya, men and women came together for the Form Ni Gani Tournament, which not only provided participants with intense competition, but also served as a platform to discuss the importance of family planning amongst young Kenyans.
On a muddy pitch just outside the heart of downtown Nairobi, many gathered for what at first glance looked like your typical co-ed seven-a-side football tournament. Cash prizes and heated competition paired with musicians and dancers providing side entertainment further reinforced this notion.
However, when taking in the action on the pitch, one couldn’t help but notice the interesting garb donned by all of the male players — pregnancy simulator kits. It was now clear that the Form Ni Gani Tournament was definitely not your run-of-the-mill Saturday morning football.
The purpose of the simulator kits and the tournament in general was to engage young Kenyans in conversations about making informed decisions about their future and the crucial role of family planning in it. Despite its importance, many Kenyans lack access to both family planning methods and information. Adolescent pregnancies and childbirths still remain relatively common throughout the country, something that the Form Ni Gani Organization hopes to address through first-hand education.
Inspiring empathy can be the most effective catalyst for change, something that the pregnancy simulator suits hopefully did for all of the male players. This tournament once again showcased the magnitude of the beautiful game, and how it can be used as a powerful tool for education and community building all over the world.
Photography by Gilbert Bita for Urban Pitch. Story by Kevin Bita.