Hi, my name is Alexis. I’m a Senior Program Associate at GlobalGiving. I recently had the pleasure of spending an afternoon with Girls and Football SA in Cape Town. Here’s an e-postcard about my visit:Have you ever been on the set of a television show? Well I never had until Jos Dirkx, the Co-Founder of Girls and Football SA invited me join her and a group of girls for a live recording of Hectic Nine 9, a popular South African children’s show. As a well-respected advocate for girls and women’s rights in South Africa, Jos had been asked to join the show for a special International Women’s Day episode. I was thrilled to accept Jos’ invitation! Not only was this an exciting opportunity to visit a TV studio, but it was also a great way to learn more about Girls and Football SA’s work in the Cape Town area and to meet some of the girls and teachers that the organization works with. The TV set was exactly what you would expect! There were bright lights and cameras everywhere, with crew members busily running around and calling into walkie talkies. Jos, who is no stranger to the TV set and live interviews, sat casually waiting for the interview to begin while the girls who had been selected to participate in the show were all abuzz, chatting eagerly about the set and the TV hosts. The girls’ chaperone, Charmaine, a teacher at Lynedoch Primary School on the outskirts of Cape Town, explained that this was a very proud moment for her students. Back home, parents, teachers, and friends would be watching this interview! The show’s host began the interview by asking Jos about Girls and Football SA. Jos explained that the organization provides a safe space for girls to talk about important issues like self-esteem, bullying, drugs, and sex, by hosting workshops and discussions at soccer matches and tournaments. Earlier in the day, Jos had told me that in many cases, these soccer games are the only place where girls could just be girls, where they could feel just as powerful, strong, and deserving as their male counterparts. As the host turned his questions to the girls, the impact of Girls and Football SA’s programs could not have been more evident. When asked “what do you like about being a girl?” the group of girls responded by explaining that as a girl, they were often underestimated, they liked to prove people wrong. As girls, they explained, they could accomplish anything that boys could.While watching the interview unfold from the side of the set, I was amazed at the confidence and self-assurance that the girls exuded. Here they were, speaking on TV with thousands of people of watching, and they were able to articulate their pride in simply being girls! I can only imagine the lasting impact this self-confidence will have in these girls’ lives.Thank you to Girls and Football SA for a fantastic afternoon at Hectic Nine 9!All the best,Alexis
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