Mwanaidi Karisa explains in her own words how her love for football and refereeing has enabled her to "stand tall" in her community.
I joined Moving The Goalposts (MTG) in 2005, and taking the bold move to blow the whistle was the beginning of becoming a football star. When I was the referee of the match, everyone came closer to see what I was doing. I would always leave the house on Saturdays to go to the football field with my friends.
I was nervous when I officiated my first match where girls from my community were playing. But now, when I am called upon to referee boys’ matches, I feel even more proud. I take my referee role seriously and when I make the decision, all players have no choice but to respect it.
I played for the MTG team that participated in the National Women’s Premier League in 2011 and 2013. Some of our opponents were older but I defended tirelessly. Through MTG, I have travelled to places I only read about in our geography book - and when I come back from my football tours, I always have lots of stories about the places I've been to and people who live there.
MTG supported me to pursue my secondary school education because my family could not afford to pay for my school fees. I stand tall in my community because I am educated and I have received offers to join other professional clubs in Kenya. My dream is to play for the Kenyan women's national team!
Our partner organisation, Moving the Goalposts, uses football as a tool to open up new opportunities for disadvantaged girls and young women in Kenya. Find out more about their work here.