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How Two Young Kenyans Used Soccer to Gain a Foothold in the Construction Industry

With this knowledge and experience, this young man and woman have landed jobs in a growing sector.

From Idleness to Opportunity in Kenya

“I had to drop out of secondary school because my aunt, my guardian, could not afford to educate me,” began Joseph Kinyanjui. “I hoped one day I would operate a big machine.” This 22-year-old graduate of the Sport for Kenyan Youth Employment initiative addressed an audience of project partners and construction firms, describing his initial idleness and current success.

From Soccer Hopeful to Youth Development Professional

When I was growing up a resettled refugee in New Hampshire—having emigrated from Vietnam—life wasn’t always easy, things didn’t always make sense, and ends didn’t always meet. I didn’t have much, but I always had soccer.

Translating Skills from the Soccer Field to the Workplace

While my linguistic skills are quite limited, there is one language that has allowed me to communicate across Sub-Saharan Africa: soccer. I can’t say I speak all the dialects, but I am more or less fluent in Premier League, proficient in Champions League, and speak enough La Liga and PSL to get by.