During the course of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, with support from US Women’s National Team member and World Cup Champion Christen Press, generous supporters rallied to help 3,500 youth in Africa the Dream BIG. Fueled by a matching donation from a loyal donor, Grassroot Soccer’s DreamBIG campaign raised $87,500! This funding is making a critical impact in the lives of young people in southern Africa by using the power of soccer to connect them with the mentors, information and health services they need to thrive. This generous support will have ripple effects, empowering youth to become leaders in their communities. Check out more in our impact report:
Grassroot Soccer believes strongly in the importance of empowering adolescent girls to live healthier lives, and we are therefore proud to announce that we have become an official signatory of the Girl Declaration, a call to action urging global leaders to put adolescent girls at the heart of the post-2015 development agenda. The Girl Declaration contains goals, targets and guiding principles for including girls. It was created based on consultations with more than 500 adolescent girls living in poverty around the world and more than 25 of the world’s leading development organizations and issue experts.
A broad, historic coalition has now come together to support the Girl Declaration. From Microsoft to Malala, USAID to Unilever, from Save the Children to Archbishop Desmond Tutu, from Nike to Oprah Winfrey, more than 100 individuals, companies, multilateral and aid organizations and NGOs have come together to sign the Girl Declaration. Grassroot Soccer is one of more than 100 signatories.
The Girl Declaration recommends five practical goals with measurable targets. Adolescent girls should:
- reach adulthood with relevant skills and knowledge to fully participate in economic, social and cultural life
- have access to health and nutrition information and services
- be free from violence and exploitation
- know how to build and protect their economic assets; and
- have equal access to services, opportunities, legal rights and personal freedom
The Girl Declaration was developed through a collaborative global process that included consultations with more than 500 adolescent girls living in poverty and more than 25 leading development organizations.
Grassroot Soccer’s work with girls focuses on ages 13-18. What happens to girls during these critical adolescent years can have a profound impact on their lives and our world. We want girls to reach adulthood with skills, knowledge and resources. Adolescent girls are key to every sustainable solution, and the key to ending poverty before it starts. This is the girl effect.
To see the full list of official signatories, go to: http://www.girleffect.org/the-girl-effect-in-action/girl-declaration/ and scroll down to “A World Uniting Behind Girls”.
What Can You Do?
We can all help by letting girls be heard. By letting their concerns guide our efforts beyond 2015. By supporting, translating and sharing the Girl Declaration. By lobbying passionately at a national or regional level for the adoption of the goals and targets in the Girl Declaration. By going to http://www.girleffect.org/2015-beyond/the-declaration/ and pledging support for the Girl Declaration.
Recently four Grassroot Soccer Coaches, two from Khayelitsha, South Africa and two from Johannesburg, South Africa, graduated from the British Council and English Premier League’s Premier Skills programme. Each Coach was awarded a Level D South African Football Association (SAFA) license. The Coaches are Wonderboy Sibiya, Thando Vokwana, Lebo Tlhako, and Andiswa Ndamane.
Premier Skills is a highly selective program that uses football as a tool to engage and develop the skills of young people. During the last year, the selected GRS Coaches received face-to-face trainings on how to be an effective and engaging football coach as well as a mentor and community leader. Each Coach had to develop their own community football project. The Coaches’ projects ranged from a soccer program that works with physically disabled youth to a soccer tournament that engaged elders and grannies.
Coach Thando from Soweto said, “Being a part of this program allowed me to engage my community in something that I love – football – and I am now starting my own football club for young boys.”
The graduation event was attended by SAFA CEO Dennis Mumble and SAFA CEO of Development Robin Peterson, along with selected representatives from sporting organizations, private companies and NGOs.
Cedric Nukeri, Grassroot Soccer site director for Soweto, was asked to be a part of the graduation ceremony. Cedric was honored to be asked to represent Grassroot Soccer and take part in this prestigious ceremony.
At the graduation, Robin Peterson discussed SAFA future plans to build community oriented youth soccer centres around the country starting in Soweto this year. The goal is to employ formal Premier Skills graduates at each center to teach life and soccer skills. As Cedric noted, “the partnership between Grassroot Soccer, Premier Skills and the British Council has been extremely successful, and has benefited our coaches greatly.”
Original post submitted by Julie Platt.