“It's such an honour to contribute to changing someone’s life"

Reah was 'looking for a job' but found a home at Kick4Life, one of the organisations part of the Common Goal community

“I am from Lesotho. Born and raised.”  

Realeboha Khesa, better known as Reah to friends and family, had to move several kilometres to find a home away from home.  

She originally comes from the highlands of Lesotho, from Mokhotlong where her parents still live, eight hours away from where she is currently based in the capital, Maseru.  

Lesotho is a landlocked country in the southern part of Africa. It is a mountainous country, with breathtaking scenery and is the only country in the world which stands above 1,000m.

However, it’s a country with a high unemployment rate and this is a concern for young people. The most likely line of work comes in applying through agencies to various organisations in the hope of starting as an intern. Oppurtunites are sparce.  

Reah’s path also began in this way, starting out by volunteering at a friend’s beauty salon. 

“When they say there's an internship, you just apply,” said Reah.

“You need to apply because if luck falls on your side, you’ll get a job and you'll be secure for a certain time.” 

Reah struck gold and joined Kick4Life, a football for good organisation, for an internship that was originally supposed to last a year.   

Kick4Life is a unique football club with the goal of changing the lives of vulnerable young people in Lesotho towards long-term education & employment. Kick4Life is one of the four partner organisations part of Equal Play Effect Africa, Common Goal's solution to accelerate progress towards gender equality in football.

Implementing the sport for development approach as a tool for raising awareness about gender equality, transforming gender roles, and promoting a positive image of masculinity.

Inside the organisation, there is an academy, community programmes and both a men’s and women’s team with a wide range of social development football activities towards sustainable livelihoods. 

Reah has never been a fan of or played the game, but knowing it’s the most popular sport in her country she understood how much of an influence it can have on the community. 

“I just applied, and I was very scared," added Reah.

“Coming into Kick4Life, it's an environment I've never been in, that I'm not very familiar with. I've never played football.

“How was I gonna manage?” 

But when she landed at the organisation, she realised she had come to the right place.  

A place with a clear purpose, with the possibility of changing lives and a welcoming environment with people always ready to help in any way they can.  

She felt comfortable and safe.  

She found her home. 

“Then I think two months into the internship my manager left for another opportunity elsewhere and then I was brave enough to apply for his spot,” said Reah.

“I was a permanent employee, and then I later joined the community programs team.

“I wouldn't say I was looking exactly for that but obviously everyone wants to have a purpose in their lives, right?

“Everyone wants to do something you'll be remembered for even when you're not here.” 

Although Reah was 'just looking for a job', she found something more.  

As a community and life skills assistant, Reah works with different teams, but with the same curriculum focusing on self-awareness, self-confidence, social rights, health and reproductive rights, leadership, teamwork, entrepreneurship, and climate change.  

Lately they are putting an extra effort into mental health.   

In these sessions, it’s key that many exercises are done in mixed teams, thus also including a message of gender equality. One of the purposes on which the organisation is based.   

Encouraging and providing a space for girls to practice the sport they like is fundamental for their development.  

“It's such a great honour to contribute to changing someone’s life.”

It may not be the same as changing the world, but for Reah, "it's a one step at a time thing". And a step as she values through the touching stories she has come across during her time at Kick4Life.  

When asked about them, she answers with three.  

Different topics, different people, but the perfect example of the range to transform someone's whole world.  

The first one was about an intervention in a school in one of the most at-risk neighbourhoods. 

During one of the first sessions, they noticed the absence of a young girl, and thanks to the safe space they created, they allowed this young girl to have the trust to come forward and tell them that she had been sexually abused.   

The team got to work, and the procedure was put in place so that nothing like this would ever happen to her again. 

“That is how I saw how big of a difference we are making," added Reah.

“That is how I saw that we are not just an organisation that is out there to help, we are a home for them.

“I always tell my colleagues that what draws me to Kick4Life is the initiative and knowing that I am changing a person's life. This is what wakes me up in the morning.” 

Reah finishes the conversation as she started it, with a big smile and a lot of energy, expressing that she feels very lucky and admitting that the love for football has been growing inside her. 

“Oh well, I didn't choose Kick4Life. Fate got me," said Reah.

“I didn't go for my fate. Fate got me.”

Find out more stories about the Common Goal community here: https://www.common-goal.org/Organisation