Two-time Premier League-winning Manchester City legend opens up on inspirational Kibera visit

FOOTBALL Two-time Premier League-winning Manchester City legend opens up on inspirational Kibera visit

Mark Kinyanjui 07:40 - 01.04.2024

The former England international has now looked back on his experience visiting Nairobi, Kenya last week.

Former Manchester City star Joleon Lescott recently embarked on a heartwarming journey to Nairobi, Kenya, where he had the privilege of meeting this season's Water Heroes Academy winners. 

Lescott, who won two Premier League titles in his time with Manchester City between 2009 and 2014 came to Kenya after City sent a legend to the City as part of their efforts to rewards the winners of the project.

Reflecting on his experience, Lescott expressed his admiration for the impactful work being done by the young leaders and their dedication to addressing water challenges in their community.

"It was an inspiring experience meeting this season’s Xylem Water Heroes Academy Winners in Nairobi," Lescott shared upon his return. "The work that the group do, led by the young leaders and supported by club partners Xylem, is incredible."

The Water Heroes Academy, a collaboration between Xylem and Manchester City, empowers youth-led projects worldwide to tackle water challenges using football as a platform.

 Through training provided by City in the Community coaches, young leaders are equipped to educate their communities on the importance of water hygiene.

Nairobi emerged as this season’s top-voted Water Heroes Academy project, earning recognition for its impactful initiatives. 

As part of their prize, the Nairobi Young Leaders received additional training in water access, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) curriculum, along with a visit from Joleon Lescott himself.

During his three-day visit, Lescott and City in the Community coaches engaged in various activities with the Young Leaders, including delivering educational football sessions at the Kibera Girls Soccer Academy. 

The culmination of the visit was marked by a World Water Day festival hosted by the Young Leaders for the wider community, showcasing their commitment to water education and community empowerment.

Reflecting on the significance of Nairobi's achievement, Young Leader Mercy expressed gratitude for the support received.

 "We were delighted to welcome Joleon Lescott, Xylem, and Manchester City to celebrate our achievements in Nairobi," Mercy remarked.

 "I want to express my deepest gratitude to everyone who has supported our journey in empowering the girls of Kibera through our approach of using football drills to raise awareness about water hygiene and menstrual health."

Chetan Mistry, Strategy and Marketing Manager at Xylem Africa, highlighted the impact of using football as a vehicle for water education. 

"By using the passion for football as a vehicle for water education, Xylem and Manchester City have been able to reach millions of people to help build a more sustainable world," Mistry stated. 

"We aim to accelerate our action and inspire more people globally to take action on water in their own lives and communities around the world."

To date, Xylem and Manchester City's collaborative efforts have engaged with 15 projects and reached over 16,000 participants, educating them on water responsibility through football and WASH curriculum. 

As the initiative continues to make strides in water education and community empowerment, the impact of partnerships like these serves as a testament to the transformative power of sport in creating positive change.

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