Officials from Chess Kenya last week visited Our Lady of Fatima School in Nairobi to make a donation of chess sets.
Officials included Mr Githinji Hinga (Chairman), Akello Atwoli (Secretary General), Philip Singe (Assistant Secretary General) and Purity Maina (Publicity & PR). The sets presented were from Kenya’s ardent supporters Kasparov Chess Foundation Africa and were part of the 5,000 that were received some time ago.
The school which is run by the Catholics is located near Kariobangi/Korogocho area and has approximately 800 mixed students. The school catchment area is located near communities which have many challenges which include crime, poverty and unemployment.
For many the school is a haven where one can learn in a quality environment.
I love the school motto which is “Save Africa through Africans through higher education” which goes to suggest that it is only us who can overcome the many challenges that our great nation faces.
This initiative comes just after Chairman Githinji Hinga visited Red Roof School which is located in Mukuru Kwa Njenga and run by the Nairobi Slum School Project Trust Nairobi Slum School Project.
I am glad to see Chess Kenya going down to the grassroots to promote the game. This is highly commendable but serious challenges still face the promotion of our beloved chess game.
Chess Kenya is still struggling with the old model of being an association and relying on income from membership which itself is hardly self sustaining. The number of paid up members does not even exceed 200 members with each paying KES 1,200 (USD 12) per annum. This means that the committee which is made of volunteers will not find it easy to push the chess agenda with such a fragile financial base.
I think Chess Kenya will need to work with organisations like Kenya Primary Schools Sports Association and Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association.
Bodies like these bodies have the organisation capability to incorporate chess into their annual calendar to run with the other sporting activities without too much effort.
Overall a satisfactory start to the promotion of the game by Chess Kenya.