Jakaya M. Kikwete Youth Park

The Jakaya M. Kikwete Youth Park (JMK) is a one of a kind, non-profit, multi-sport facility located in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Open seven days a week, the park’s staff of professionally licensed coaches is dedicated to providing sports and healthy lifestyle education opportunities to disadvantaged youth and the community as a whole.

The park was developed and financed by Symbion Power, in partnership with English Premier League Club Sunderland AFC (SAFC) and the National Basketball Association (NBA).

JMK Park provides free programming in a safe and accessible environment. Through skills based coaching and athletic programs modeled after those in the United States and Europe, JMK Park aims to raise the standard, performance and profile of Tanzanian sports. From a dedicated Street Kids program to a range of basketball, football, hockey and netball activities, the park offers more than 15 different programs for boys and girls.

The park is also a hub for lifestyle education for youth in the community. Together with JMK Park staff, Grassroot Soccer educators focus on public health issues such as HIV/AIDS and Malaria, as well as wider social challenges that adversely impact Tanzania’s youth.

The empowerment of young women is one of the park’s primary objectives and JMK Park has established programs exclusively for girls at the facility that provide a welcoming and engaging environment in which they participate as members of an organized team and build confidence.

The park’s influence is easy to see – in less than a year more than 45,000 girls, boys and adults have registered to use the park – far and away exceeding our expectations of engagement by the public. Programs are getting kids off the streets, involving schools by providing health and sport education that they are in most cases unable to offer, and addressing important health and social challenges. As a result of these efforts we are building stronger, sustainable communities and contributing to the development of young people who will grow up to be positive, contributing members of society.