Edusport; Go Sisters' project
UK Sport International has been working with EduSport on their Go Sisters’ programme since 2005. Since 2008, the Go Sister programme has been funded by the Department for International Development (approximately £500,000 over 5 years) and managed by IDS.
This programme aims to contribute to the achievement of the MDG3 in Zambia - promoting gender equity and empowerment - by increasing the number of girls in the target communities adopting leadership roles at the community and district levels. It will train 1,750 girls as peer leaders/educators who will in turn cascade their life skills and knowledge on health and girls’ rights issues to a further 25,000 youth through workshops, sports leagues, tournaments and festivals. In addition, over 100 peer leaders will have improved employment and life opportunities through completing secondary education, HEI scholarships or EduSport internships. This also supports peer leader retention in the programme.
Based on the peer leader approach, the programme is building a sustainable network of female role models who will lead and inspire the next generation of female leaders. Peer leaders organise themselves into Action Teams, self-managed organising committees, supported by the EduSport staff, to devise and lead educational and sports programmes for their communities.
The programme focuses on advocacy and empowerment through training in leadership, life skills and promotion of women’s sport as a vehicle for development. The formation of action teams and community committees allows female peer leaders to take on positions with decision making responsibilities with the support from their parents and communities. Boys are included in the programme as a strategic choice, because without their involvement and understanding gender inequalities will not change.
Achievements to date:
- Go Sisters is now active in 16 communities in Lusaka, 13 schools and 5 communities in Southern Province and 6 schools in Western Province
- 998 peer leaders trained in 4 sports codes, sport administration, event management, facilitation, HIV and AIDS awareness, Sexual reproductive health and human rights
- 32 community action teams established, with 252 youth (240 girls and young women) involved in organising sport training, leagues, tournaments and special events and life skills workshops for their school or community. The established community action teams are able to organise events with minimum supervision
- 550 peer leaders are classed as “very active”, leading at least one training session or organising a monthly workshop with their model team per week
- 66% of the 513 peer leaders surveyed after the workshop felt that their confidence, leadership skills and ability to stand-up for themselves had increased
- 79% of peer leaders surveyed believed that Go Sisters had given them a sense of purpose in life
- 164 female peer leaders have adopted other leadership roles since being in the programme (e.g. school head girl, class monitors, Sunday school teachers, praise team lead person and prefect)
- Approximately 10,000 children and youth have been reached in regular sport and play (over 65% are girls) as each peer leader actively engages with approximately 18 youth
- 95% of parents surveyed agree that the Go Sisters’ programme is good for their community and their daughters and support their participation
- 55 workshop and training camps held, where rights awareness has been central
- 48 TOT (31 female) have been trained and are supporting peer leaders and action teams to run workshops and create sporting opportunities in their communities
- A further 20,000 children and youth have been reached through sports festivals and events increasing awareness on HIV and AIDS, sexual reproductive health and gender equity
- The Go Sisters team and trained peer leaders are trained and conduct interviews and questionnaires to monitor and understand the programme. This information supports the external evaluation of the programme and enables the team to advocate with evidence on policy changes needed to empower girls and women
- 96 school and 2 higher education scholarships have been distributed enabling active female peer leaders to continue or go back to school on order to complete their secondary education
- 4 internships have taken place giving valuable work experience opportunities
“I had the chance to work as an intern with Go Sisters in Livingstone for six months. I am from Lusaka and had never been to Livingstone before. I had a chance to see how other Peer Leaders work and do their activities as things are quite different there. I learnt a great deal from Carol, the provincial coordinator. She is a very good role model. She is working alone with much to do, but she is able to do that with calm and composure and she works very well in difficult set ups and situations.
"Ever since I came from Livingstone, there has been a great deal of change. With the knowledge from the internship I am trying to set up my own project. I organized a number of girls and boys, to do a programme called ‘Youth Excellence through Sports.’ What we are trying to do is promote sports into the schools and also into the community. This small community based organization which is being run by me is to promote indoor soccer. We call it the ‘seven aside five aside’.
The internship has helped me do this, who to speak to and what planning and organisation I need to do.
"I had to register as a CBO registered and do all the paper work. The experience that I got from the internship helped me with that too. Then I went to my old school. They were very surprised and amazed that what kind of a girl I have grown into and going back at where I am coming from and just trying to promote something. They were amazed and said that the teachers there are quite old and then PE is dying out, so it’s a great idea and that they are able to pay us a certain amount of money in exchange for our programmes.
"I think the internship is very good. It is helping the Peer Leaders to step out of their comfort zone and see what other things they can do. There is so much more to life than meets the eye. Some people are scared of doing certain things or even applying for a job. But if you can be able to do that take one step further and just take something as a stepping stone. I took this internship as a stepping stone. So it was great for me.”