EACDT’s programme tackles the lack of ‘soft skills’ development within the educational system in Kenya, targeting children from Nairobi’s slum communities who are born into poverty and seldom ever alleviate themselves from its grasp and who are at most risk of being disenfranchised from their own society. EACDT aspires to help young people by developing their social and character-led capabilities. As a result, they should be better able to manage the extreme challenges of slum life and to support their advancement through education and employment, and ultimately, to elevate themselves from their historic deprivations.

EACDT teaches key character traits academically proven to be essential to progress and success in life; it implants in young, disadvantaged people, via coaching and playing sport, attitudes and life skills which will fit them for school, employment, family and community life and social integration.

EACDT’s two-year pilot of the programme with 3000+ children clearly identified a significant change in children’s general behaviour and performance: school attendance significantly increased, truancy dropped, bullies became leaders and school exam grades improved.

By the end of 2021, with the Foundation’s support and the match-funding which has been unlocked thanks to the Foundation’s grant, EACDT targets are to:

  • develop the seven core character traits among 2000+ boys and girls across at least 20 schools in Kenya
  • deliver a more intensive version of the programme to 200+ boys and girls, aiming to ensure that of these cricketers at least 12 become involved in national cricket squads
  • develop at least one new community cricket club
  • deliver training to a minimum of 30 teachers, future teachers and sports coaches

ACDT’s programme is inspired by the ‘Knowledge is Power’ programme, developed by the world-renowned KIPP Foundation, that has identified seven core character traits as being fundamental to a successful and fulfilling life. EACDT has developed a syllabus that instructs these character traits through the learning and playing of cricket, delivered by Kenyan-African cricket coaches. The character traits – Optimism, Gratitude, Curiosity, Perseverance, Enthusiasm, Social Intelligence and Self-Control – are all required to play and be successful in cricket, both as an individual and as a team and are also essential traits for an individual to have in such an economically deprived environment as Kenya’s unofficial urban settlements.

“Central to the COSARAF Foundation’s mission is our aim to enable young people to reach their potential, enabling those from disadvantaged backgrounds to develop their skills and take advantage of opportunities which would otherwise be closed to them. The East Africa Character Development Trust programme in Kenya is an exceptional programme and the Foundation is delighted to be able to be partnering with them in supporting some of the very poorest children in Kenya to succeed in life.”
Haroon Sheikh
COSARAF Foundation Chairman