International development: Thirteen Kenyan girls aged 12-14 are visiting the Grand Duchy this week as part of a visit organised by the NGO CARE.
The youths are playing friendly football matches against local girls their age, visiting cultural attractions, and are scheduled to meet the Grand Duchess on Wednesday. The project is led by Auma Obama, technical adviser at the CARE Sport for Social Change programme, and older sister of the US president.
The girls all come from “difficult social backgrounds,” explains Frédéric Haupert, director of CARE in Luxembourg. Most are from the slums surrounding Nairobi and the NGO uses sports as the means to engage with the girls on more serious topics, such as education, health and vocational training.
The girls are taking their first trip to Europe in stride, Haupert reckons. Indeed, the group was relaxed when Delano.lu met them in the Grund between schedule events on Tuesday (photo).
Luxembourg is the last stop on the group’s two-week tour, which already took them to Berlin, Bonn and Bavaria. One highlight of the Grand Duchy leg was the Tuesday evening opening of “Who Am I?” at the Galerie Clairefontaine Espace 2 (21 rue du St-Esprit, L-1475 Luxembourg). The exhibition is a series of the girls’ portraits by the German artist Isabelle Federkeil, which runs through June 23. A portion of sales proceeds will support the CARE exchange programme.
Obama says the international exposure has definitely helped many of the youths “open up” as they “come from homes where children should be seen and not heard.” She hopes seeing “a different life” in Germany and Luxembourg will inspire them to improve their own communities and make better life choices for themselves. Yet Obama keeps reminding the girls in a short time “they’re still going back to their own life”.
Auma Obama talks about the CARE Sport for Social Change programme in the June print edition of Delano.