Rugby Foundation (SRF) was founded in 2010 as a grassroots’ rugby development
program. Run by 4 volunteer coaches engaging 12 children from Kibera at the
RFUEA grounds in Nairobi. Meals are very important for sporting actives and
understanding the Kibera’s ecosystem; Africa’s largest slum, there was need to
introduce snacks to provide a meal and act as an incentive to attract more
In 2011, the Kibera community had embraced the program which saw the numbers grow with participation consistency from 12 to 100 boys. SRF expanded to other regions of Nairobi: Mathare (another big slum in Nairobi) in 2012; followed by the Eastlands center in early 2014 and lastly Tatu city and Kangemi in 2017.
With 16 coaches, 300 Players and having hosted 16 monthly tournaments, SRF was already a rugby household name in East Africa that resulted to invitations to international tours; first tour being to South Africa in 2013 & England in 2014 (Moulsford) winning the bowl trophy in Wellington U13 tournament and in 2015 (Bristol) winning 4 matches out of 6.
From 2015 SRF started developing an off-the-field development approach using rugby for a holistic community development. Our players live in communities whose dynamics require more than just rugby skills, they experience a lot of challenges each day that need tailored interventions. There was, therefore, the need to tailor programs to empower our players and the communities at large to be able to overcome their challenges and lead them to a more sustainable & fulfilling lives.
In the spirit of gender inclusivity (SDG GOAL 5), SRF introduced the Girls Rugby Development program in all centers in 2015. The aim was to achieve Gender Equality and Empower Women and Girls to lead better lives through rugby by providing an opportunity for the girls to participate in a male dominated sport thus eliminating the aspect of exclusion of women in rugby. Currently, the program has over 250 girls at the development level and 30 ladies playing rugby competitively in the Kenyan Women’s League.
In 2016 SRF introduced its own Life Skills Program. The main objective was to build the capacity of our players to be able to handle and overcome challenges and help them build meaningful relationships amongst themselves and their communities. Over the last two years the program has impacted over 1500 children through life skills camps during school holidays.
Moreover, since 2016, our social work department has been conducting home visits to assess the level of vulnerability and the conditions our players are exposed to under the Community Welfare program .The home visits data is used to tailor initiatives directed at community empowerment. Through this program we have contracted 30 different unemployed mothers from the community in economic empowerment program to provide services (e.g. catering and cleaning) to help in the implementation of some of our programs.
In 2017, the SRF scholarship Fund was introduced. Education is a fundamental human right and no child should miss school due to poverty. Today, 55 players are benefiting from the program where some receive full scholarships or partial.