Fresh Life Enables Footballers To Pursue Their Dream – Susa Youth Group’s Story
Benta’s love for football began in high school. No amount of teasing from the boys could deter Benta and her friends at school from enjoying a sport they were passionate about. “Most of us are childhood friends and neighbors who grew up together,” Benta says. After completing high school, the girls resolved to continue playing the sport back home in Mukuru Kayaba.
In the beginning, the young footballers depended on individual member contributions to keep the group running. With time, it became increasingly difficult because the majority had become mothers who were focused on providing for their young families.
As a result, the group began drifting apart and missing out on football tournaments. “We would be invited to big football games but fail to participate as our members were not coming for practice,” Benta, now the head coach, adds. The group had to do something. The idea was to generate an income stream to help support their members. This would hopefully renew their passion for the game. Thus, ‘Susa Group’ was born. Today, they are not only footballers but also young entrepreneurs.
One of their primary projects is a Fresh Life business. Judith, a member of the group, describes the attraction, saying, “We liked the idea that the Fresh Life team would provide us with interest-free financing and training to help us run the business.” For the last year, Susa Group has run two Fresh Life Toilets in the outskirts of Kayaba.
According to Benta, business has been great so far. They earn up to three hundred shillings in daily profits with Sundays being their peak days. “Our group’s morale and commitment to each other has greatly improved since we started to earn good money; membership has expanded and participation in tournaments increased,” Benta says.
Today, the group has twenty-five fully-fledged team members. Profits from their toilets help cover transportation costs during football tournaments. The remaining profits are saved into their pool of funds to help expand their businesses. In the near future, the group plans to set up a small hotel.
Through the Fresh Life business, one of the team members now earns an income; Tracy serves as the attendant of the toilets. Her core role is to maintain the cleanliness of the toilet, which distinguishes their Fresh Life Toilet from all other toilet businesses in their area.
As these young people work toward achieving financial stability, their community benefits from their services as well. The group’s Fresh Life Toilets offer a welcome alternative to unhygienic sanitation options such as flying toilets. Shop owners and residents in the area can now go about their day in a much cleaner environment.
Susa Group has come a long way and now offers skills training to young and upcoming female footballers in Kayaba through their mentorship program. They have also set their sights on securing national recognition as one of Kenya’s top female football teams and representing the nation in worldwide tournaments.