We use soccer, the world's most popular team sport, as a vehicle for positive change in the lives of girls ages 7-19 in Granada, Nicaragua. A team can be the most powerful change agent in a young girl's development, proven to inspire healthy choices regarding drugs, sex, alcohol, academics, and nutrition. This project provides soccer, team-building, life-skills, culture exchange, and civic engagement activities that support girls to make the healthy choices needed to achieve their goals.
What is the issue, problem, or challenge?
Girls in Granada, Nicaragua face tremendous challenges: 28% are pregnant by age 18, 52% do not complete primary school, many are expected to raise younger siblings. The chance to become engaged and educated members of society is slim; there are obstacles at every turn. While sport and sports teams have been proven to address these challenges, particularly with girls, 90% of girls in Nicaragua report barriers to participation, and just 13% report playing sports, formally or informally.
How will this project solve this problem?
Our program gives girls in Granada the social, educational and economic support they need to overcome obstacles to success and achieve their personal goals The team atmosphere and shared identity provides girls with a network of caring peers and mentors that inspires each girl to stay enrolled in school, avoid risky behaviors and make healthy choices. By participating girls earn points that can be exchanged for school supplies, clothes, shoes, toiletries, and soccer equipment.
Potential Long Term Impact
Our aim is for this program to grow into teams in every age group (7-19), working with more than 250 girls, 5 days per week, year round and exposing an additional 2,000 to elements of the program through schools. Empowering these girls through soccer, the development of key skills, and connecting them to tangible education and career opportunities can help break the cycle and reset the precedent for what is expected of girls in Nicaragua, and what they expect of themselves.
Total Funding Received to Date: $35,444
Remaining Goal to be Funded: $14,557
Total Funding Goal: $50,000