In 2016 we started a football program for girls. In 15 schools, teachers were trained to provide quality football lessons for girls. This gave the female students the chance to participate in sports, many for the very first time. The project allows the girls to enjoy life, discover their identity, strengthen their health and dream of a future beyond the monotone present they are confronted with. It is a pleasure to watch how much the girls enjoy the project.
15-year old Sumaia studies at one of our partner schools. She wrote a letter to her football trainer, telling her that she was quitting school. She explained that because of her poor marks, she had been skipping school. This made her feel ashamed and she was convinced that she was a failure. She went on to say that she was very sad that this would mean that she could no longer participate in the football group. She only wrote to her coach because she liked her so much and didn’t want to disappear without giving notice.
The teacher had built a trusting relationship with the girls she was coaching and so decided to visit Sumaia at home, taking two other teachers with her. The three women managed to convince Sumaia to return to school and continue studying. They promised to assist her in her studies.
Now Sumaia is back on the football team, attending school regularly, and studying hard with the help of her teachers. Through this journey her self-confidence has been regained and she is optimistic about her future.