Making the women of today, the entrepreneurs of todaySubscribe
UK Sport International 25 May 2012
Girls in Kenya inspired by sport now have the opportunity to earn an independent income and create their own pathway, thanks to a new partnership between International Development through Sport and sport and development organisation, Moving The Goalposts.
In Kenya, girls as young as fifteen live in circumstances where they are forced to adopt more adult roles and responsibilities, preparing them as future wives and mothers. This pressure from parents and the community often leads to many young women leaving school, and as a result, females aged 15-24 are without formal qualifications and limit their ability to take advantage of available economic opportunities.
Moving The Goalposts (MTG) in partnership with UK charity, International Development through Sport (IDS), have created the Pathways programme, providing out-of-school girls aged 15 - 24 years, in coastal Kenya, with access to life skills development, education and economic opportunities through football. The programme that is funded by Comic Relief provides training on business skills and savings for girls involved in their football leagues. These girls may also access small loans to start their own businesses.
Janet Juma, is a 23-year-old football player and counselor. Girls involved in MTG football leagues talk to Janet about personal issues including, relationships, problems at school, sexual harassment and abuse. Using football to educate other girls in her community about health issues and how being part of a team and active in sport can help personal skills and development; she has fused together her love for football and music and used her cash support from MTG to make a series of music videos. Singing about HIV/AIDS and girls making the right decisions and have respect for one another, Janet hopes that by using music to distribute her messages, other young women will follow her lead and get involved in football. Janet’s innovative approach of using her existing talent to gain her own financial stability is an example of how a programme such as the Pathways programme can also help other girls gain economic independence.
“My inspiration comes from issues that have touched me as a young woman living in a rural area. I have decided to make videos because they are a necessity for artists since nowadays all music goes hand in hand with videos,” she says.
Janet started singing in a church choir and her talent is famous among girls involved in the MTG programme. Cocky van Dam, Football Coordinator for MTG says: “She is very popular among the MTG girls and we all know her songs by heart.”
Joanna Knight, International Development Manager, IDS says: “International Development through Sport is really excited to partner with Moving the Goalposts and Comic Relief on the Pathways programme. This focused three year project to provide opportunities for economic independence for out of school girls in coastal Kenya will be an innovative approach to use football and individual development support.”
Moving The Goalposts is helping girls to discover their talents so that they can build a future for themselves.