The lifeguard who changes the community

The lifeguard who changes the community

The lifeguard who changes the community 2000 1333 Charlotte van Egmond

Davies (19) from Nairobi works as a lifeguard and midwife. One day he witnesses a robbery and since then he has one goal: to reduce crime in his neighbourhood. Through organizing sport events and giving presentations at schools he helps the youth to take control of their future.

The bus bringing Davies home squeezes itself through the maze of streets and alleys where hundreds of thousands of people live packed together in makeshift homes. Davies’ house is in Kibera, the largest slum in East Africa, found in the Kenyan capital Nairobi. All of a sudden the bus stops. Two weaponed men barge in, “Give me your bag”, Davies can hardly make out their demand. He never sees his bag again. 

Big Mission 

Davies: “That day I became passionate about banning crime in my community. I hope that no one else needs to experience this kind of awful experience.” Davies has no shortage of talents to fulfill such a big mission. He is enthusiastic, is very self-confident and is active in scouting. He is a midwife and also works as a lifeguard at the swimming pool. “When I decided to participate in the Game Changers program from ISA, my coaches thought there was nothing left to teach me.”

During the program Davies learns through sport, amongst other things, to make the most of his talents and the most effective way to use them in his community. “I already did a lot, but I never believed that anything I did would actually make a difference in my community. I guess because of my age. In my culture, young people, in general, have nothing to say. Thanks to ISA I learnt that I can win the trust of an older generation. That I can let my voice be heard and that people really do want to listen to me. That was a revelation for me. The trust I received from my coaches gave me a boost.”

On his Own 

Davies organizes his first sporting event, on his own, for ISA’s Game Changers Program. He delivers an inspiring speech to 50 children, followed by a warm-up. In the months that follow he continues to organize sporting events and talks his way into schools, with one goal: defeating crime within his community. “I want children and youth to know what the consequences of crime are. That if you join a gang, you could become responsible for someone else’s terrible experience.”

At the same time Davies offers the children and youth an alternative. “At schools I share that you don’t need to be a criminal to make money. You can become a lifeguard or midwife just like me. You can use your own talents to make money. I also emphasize that when we work together we can make Kibera a beautiful place.”

About ISA’s Game Changers Program

ISA believes that each and every youth can become a Game Changer. In the Game Changers program youth are stimulated to use their trained talents to invest in their own families, neighbourhoods and their wider communities. To learn more about ISA’s Game Changers Program, click here.