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'LUO' COLLECTION PROJECT

As you may know, our designs and collections are inspired by and named after tribes in Kenya, and we want to value this inspiration by giving 5% of all top-line sales towards projects within these communities. Each project is carefully selected by the founding brothers of KOY (Jimmy & Alastair) who grew up in Kenya, and each project has a unique connection to the culture and heritage of the tribes. We believe it is time that brands accept responsibility and join the fight against Cultural Appropriation!

In February 2019, Jimmy was back home in Kenya to find and give back 5% of 2018’s ‘Luo’ product sales to a project linked to our ‘Luo’ clothing collection. After meeting with various people from the Luo community and researching a good charity to partner with, Jimmy came across a fantastic charity called the East Africa Character Development Trust (EACDT). The EACDT is an incredible charity that are transforming the lives of young Kenyan children in deprived areas of Kenya through sport, primarily through Cricket, ultimately driving them towards a better life after school.

Jimmy had a “mind blowing day” in the slums with the kids at the EACDT’s Nairobi ‘HUB’ at Kawangware primary school. We were also very honoured to have former England Cricket player 'Nick Compton' join us on the trip! Here is a video to show you how the day went:

You may ask – ‘What’s the link between Luo and Cricket?’. Well, interestingly most of the Kenyan Cricketers come from Luo Land in Western Kenya. Therefore, our goal over the next few years is to work with the EACDT to develop our very own character building ‘HUB’ in Luo Land, which will have a significant impact within the Luo community. Each ‘HUB’ created by the EACDT supports up to 4,000 children a week!

At Kawangware primary school there are 2,000 pupils and only 20 teachers, which means up to 100 kids per class! Therefore It is very easy for kids who do not excel in their studies to get lost, but thanks to the EACDT these kids have more chance to stand out from the crowd and be noticed...

This project immediately jumped out to both Jimmy and Alastair as a great cause to get involved with. Both brothers have always been passionate about their sport. Jimmy was very dyslexic at school and therefore found learning very tough:

“School was never easy for me, however sport motivated me to attend school and do better in my studies so I could play more sport, and I believe that most of the attributes I use in working life today, I learnt on the sports field” (J. Scott).

The EACDT’s primary goal is to make kids more employable after school by teaching them seven vital characteristic traits. These attributes consist of:

PERSEVERANCE

Finish what you have started: stick with it for more than just a few weeks. Try hard even after you’ve experienced failure. Stay committed to goals – keep working hard, even when you feel like giving up.

ENTHUSIASM

Participate actively – approach new situations with excitement and energy.

SELF-CONTROL

Come to sessions prepared. Remember and follow directions. Get down to work right away – pay attention and resist distractions. Remain calm, even when criticised or provoked. Allow others to speak without interrupting – be polite to everyone.

Keep your temper in check.

OPTIMISM

Believe that effort will improve your future. When bad things happen, think about things you can do to make it better next time. Stay motivated even after things have not gone well. Believe you can improve things you are not good at.

GRATITUDE

Recognise what others do for you. Show appreciation for opportunities – express appreciation by saying ‘thank you’. Do something nice for someone else as a way of saying ‘thank you’.

SOCIAL INTELLIGENCE

Be able to find solutions to conflicts with others. Show care for the feelings of others. Adapt to different social situations

CURIOSITY

Be eager to explore new things. Ask questions to help learn better – take an active interest in learning.

These seven character traits are also identifiable in cricket as components essential to the playing of the game and achieving a successful result. Of all team sports, cricket relies upon a unique blend of individual skills and collective team application to succeed that becomes a metaphor for life in general. On their own, no one skill can achieve a positive result and every individual skill requires the support of the entire team to realise victory or a high-performance level. It also requires strategic leadership, willing acceptance of roles, mental flexibility, personal application and communal engagement, all of which are essential to success in life.

As such, coaching and playing cricket provides a perfect vehicle by which to deliver the ‘character education’ syllabus that EACDT imparts, to better prepare young, disadvantaged children for the often-extreme challenges life will throw at them.

We are proud to announce that our initial contribution will support up to 80 children through this programme for one year, and this is just the beginning!

#DreamBig

(To find out more about the EACDT, please follow this link - https://eacdt.org)

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