Association of Kigali Women in Sports

AKWOS Mission is: "To Empower East-African Women, starting from Rwanda, through Sports and Education. By doing so, AKWOS will contribute to the alleviation of poverty , Campaign against Gender Based Violence, Economical Empowerment, HIV/AIDS Prevention, Reproductive Health, Conflicts Resolution, Unity and Reconciliation and improving the well-being of Women and Girls in East-Africa, and in the Rwandan society in particular".
Feb 4, 2010

Coach the Coach' Women Course & Sport for promoting girls’ legal rights

Trainees on football coaching pose for a group photo
Trainees on football coaching pose for a group photo

AKWOS organized a sport tournament themed: “promoting young girls’ legal rights through sports”. The tournament brought together young girls footballers in football competitions and the disabled girls and women in seat ball competitions. Prior to this, a basic football coaching course for 35 female coaches in Rwanda took place as part of women empowerment through sport for social change project. Basing on achievements so far made, we are strongly of the view that sports is the most successful tool for women empowerment for social change, by enhancing health and well being, fostering self esteem and empowerment, facilitating social integration and inclusion, challenging gender norms and providing opportunities for leadership and achievement. We are humbly calling up on different donors, to support us, so as to make our project successful. We also need your opinions, suggestions and comments on how we can work together to attract wider support, and by so doing, we will be contributing to women empowerment. We take this opportunity to thank all our supporters and partners, while requesting their continued support and partnership.

The E.Director/AKWOS shakes hands with one of the teams
The E.Director/AKWOS shakes hands with one of the teams
When a child girl plays, the world wins
When a child girl plays, the world wins
Oct 15, 2009

A postcard from Sports to Empower Women & Girls in Rwanda!

Manmeet Mehta and I spent a day with Felicite and Grace, learning more about them and the work they are doing. We visited two of the 29 schools where AKWOS has established programs and saw the girls in action. Since Alexis and Brian wrote a postcard about the work not too long ago let me offer a few different thoughts:

1. While it would be easy to view this work as "soccer for girls" the true power is in the social change AKWOS is making happen. Through conversations before or after every practice or game, these girls can learn about and discuss issues that they otherwise wouldn't touch.

2. Rwanda is an amazing place, just 15 years post-genocide. The ongoing commitment to, and investment in, reconciliation is palpable. AKWOS' work with girls includes conversations about differences and inclusion.

3. As much as the project is about the girls - it is about investing in a great social entrepreneur - Felicite Rwemalika. Felicite is a true rock star. She is the only woman on the national soccer federation board. She has organized events to bring awareness of the power of sport to engage and strengthen Rwanda's youth. She has the respect of NGO and Government leaders in Rwanda and around the world.

GlobalGiving is happy to be working with Nike and all the GlobalGiving donors who have supported this powerful work.

When asked what she would tell her friends about this project, Donna said: "Great: They are making a difference."

Jun 18, 2009

A postcard from "Sports to Empower Women & Girls in Rwanda"

soccer picture
soccer picture

Alexis Nadin is a student at American University and former intern at GlobalGiving. This summer, she is travelling through Africa and visiting a number of GlobalGiving projects.

Alexis visited this project on May 29, 2009. She writes:

Location: Kaninya School, Rwanda

As we stood amidst throngs of students (many of which were boys) that had gathered to watch their female classmates play football, we joined the noisy cheering. At the Kanyinye School, two of the top girls teams, ages 8-12 years old, faced off in a match that could not have possibly happened without AKWOS, the organization implementing this project. According to Felicite, the director of AKWOS, when boys played sports in school, girls would be sent home to help their mothers. Thanks to AKWOS, schools across Rwanda now offer girls the opportunity to actively participate in sports. At this particular school, 134 girls play on 7 teams, two of which we saw. Coach Niyikora, trained by AKWOS, explained that not only are girls taught practical football skills, but practice time is also used to teach ways of fighting genocide mentality, prevention of HIV/AIDS, and women’s rights. According to the head teacher, the girls playing soccer are performing better in school, and they are more confident in class. Student captains of the two teams excitedly told us that because of AKWOS, they were able to travel around Rwanda for the first time.

Later in the afternoon, as we sat in the AKWOS office with the staff, we learned of AKWOS’ many other programs which are supported by GlobalGiving. Aside from starting women’s soccer leagues around the country and working on training 100 women coaches, they also empower women to get tested for HIV (bringing testing facilities to the matches). One notable program brings together wives of genocidiares and female genocide survivors for reconciliation through sports.

AKWOS has had a tremendous impact on soccer in Rwanda, even winning support of the national government for their programs. Not only has AKWOS created women’s teams countrywide, and empowered school girls to play sports, but AKWOS has brought about the formation of the national women’s team, and even helped train the coach for the national men’s team (a woman). It is undeniable that AKWOS is the reason that women in Rwanda can take an active role in sports.

Alexis said she would tell her friends this project was: "Great: They are making a difference."

GlobalGiving is committed to incorporating many viewpoints on our 600+ projects. We feel that more information, especially from eyewitnesses helps donors like you continue to support organizations doing great work in the community.

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