British Council

 'When we started they were volunteers but as we contributed you now have champions who remain in the community and can carry forward the discussions.' - Programme staff member, Kenya

Life cycle





Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), British Council funded


To contribute towards the reduction of violence against women and girls through football by demonstrating that it is transformative in enabling women and girls to live free from violence and enhance girls’ ability to claim their rights.


The three-year programme was initiated against the backdrop of high rates of violence experienced by women and girls in western Kenya. The Kenya Demographic and Health Survey (2014) established that women in Western and Nyanza regions reported higher levels of physical and sexual violence committed by a spouse/partner than other regions. At the root of the high incidences of violence against women and girls is the unequal power relations, inequitable gender attitudes and cultural norms that reinforce gender inequality. Kisumu and Bungom counties were selected to provide a contrast between rural and urban locations, in order to test how our collaborative approach worked in different contexts. 


The design of the programme was based on the Premier Skills model – a partnership between the British Council and the English Premier League that has been running for 10 years. Three components made up the programme’s delivery – firstly, changing young people attitudes towards VAWG using football and education sessions; secondly, community engagement through behaviour change campaigns and 22 community festivals; and thirdly, strong research and evaluation to build an evidence base.

The delivery model was adapted for various groups, such as the 80 participating teenage mothers. For example, coaches had to be sensitive and venues changed to provide a safe space for the young mothers to increase their confidence, before culminating in combined male and female sessions.


The programme exceeded its targets for enrolment and attendance, reaching almost 4,500 young people across the two regions, of whom 43 per cent were girls. To achieve this, over 100 coaches were trained – 47 per cent of which were women. 

By the end of the programme gender equitable attitudes among participants increased from 41 per cent at baseline (47 per cent for girls and 34 per cent for boys) to 75 per cent (79 per cent among girls and 72 per cent among boys) at the end of the curriculum. In the out-of-school groups, 65 per cent of attitudes expressed by male youth and 83 per cent by female youth were gender equitable - a 30 per cent increase in both genders.

The adaptation of the programme for different groups led to positive change. For example, a football league was created for the out-of-school male youth where the winning team was judged not just on the football matches won but also on points earned from attendance of VAWG education. 

The programme’s strengths in collaborative work was ‘highly commended’ at the 2017 British Expertise Awards in the Collaborative Project category.

Mutual benefit

The programme involved collaborative working between UK and Kenyan partners to deliver effective impact. For example, the Premier League played a critical role in the design of the football sessions and capacity building of coaches. UK-based Itad’s expertise in research, monitoring and evaluation was instrumental in building an evidence base of the impact the approach has had on the attitudes and behaviours of participants. We worked closely with local partners, including Exp Social Momentum, ACORD, Moving The Goalposts, Football Kenya Federation, Free Pentecostal Fellowship of Kenya (FPFK), Civil Society Organization Network and the County Governments of Kisumu and Bungoma.