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Jul 14, 2020

Staying Safe in Senegal and Beyond

Laurence, Helene, Gaelle, Jen (also Seyni & Diaby)
Laurence, Helene, Gaelle, Jen (also Seyni & Diaby)

Ladies’ Turn is hanging in there! We have paused all of our activities and will reassess in October about when we should start up again.

Luckily Senegal thusfar has been spared the brunt of the pandemic. According to the Johns Hopkins website as of July 12, 2020, Senegal has had 8,135 COVID-19 cases for a country with a population of approximately 15 million people. In March, The government asked people to stay home and for a time imposed a curfew at 8pm although that has now been lifted. The government has also been distributing masks. Schools were also closed. On June 25, however, schools reopened for the end of year exams for students finishing primary school, middle school, and in high school for the baccalaureate exam. These exams are key for progressing to the next level.

In West Africa, Senegal has one of the best health systems although most health infrastructure is centered in the capital. We continue to hope that the spread of coronavirus stays limited.

As for Ladies’ Turn, if the pandemic worsens, we will think of ways to support our players outside of our usual soccer activities. For now, this pause in activities finally gave us an opportunity to get together from our different corners of the globe on Skype. Seyni called in from Dakar and Diaby from Saint Louis, Senegal. Jennifer called in from Washington, DC. Gaelle, our Communications Director, called in from Évreux, France where she had been visiting her sister and got stuck when the stay at home order came. Hélène joined from Paris. We even had Laurence who helped us in the early years of Ladies’ Turn call in from Cameroon.  

It’s always magic to speak together. It’s why we do Ladies’ Turn- the mission and the people! We chatted about the past year, realizing how much we had accomplished, in no small part thanks to your support! We also discussed how in the coming years want to keep working in schools to tie girls’ soccer to education and reach younger and younger girls. 

Seyni has also been participating in a local soccer chat. She was invited to participate in a whatsapp group “Foot Local” or “Local Football” that brings together local representatives throughout the country for soccer. They asked her to join for the first time to give an update on women’s soccer. The chat now has become a forum for discussing the implications of COVID on soccer and will be active people discuss what to do in the fall.

We hope you all stay healthy and happy. Thank you again for your ongoing support!

Nio far, In Solidarity,

Jennifer and the Ladies' Turn Team

Throwback to 2009- Jen, Seyni, Gaelle, Helene
Throwback to 2009- Jen, Seyni, Gaelle, Helene
2009 celebration- Seyni, Laurence, Gaelle, Jen
2009 celebration- Seyni, Laurence, Gaelle, Jen
Seyni's mask w/ Senegalese Federation for Football
Seyni's mask w/ Senegalese Federation for Football
Mar 13, 2020

The girls keep getting better...

A girl on a school team in Thies practices headers
A girl on a school team in Thies practices headers

We’ve had a fun winter of soccer in Senegal!

From October to December 2019, Ladies’ Turn organized Saturday soccer clinics for girls’ teams at 20 schools in Thies, Senegal. It’s been inspiring to see the girls who started playing in April really improve. We kicked off these recent clinics on October 11 with an event for the UN’s International Day of the Girl Child. I’m excited to share these photos because they really capture the energy of Senegal and what we do!

In February, we moved into our tournament phase with the teams. Between February 22 and March 21, 2020, we are organizing 8 one day tournaments in different zones of Thies to give all the teams plenty of opportunities to compete. The final tournament will bring every team together to play and have fun! We’re excited!

We’d like to thank you for all of your support! You make Ladies’ Turn possible! We’d like to thank Plan International Belgium and the Belgian Development Cooperation who have been our funding partners in this recent adventure.

Wishing everyone a fantastic spring!

Nio far, In Solidarity,

Jennifer and the Ladies’ Turn Team

Drills!
Drills!
Group photo at a Saturday clinic in Thies!
Group photo at a Saturday clinic in Thies!
Scrimmage!
Scrimmage!
Girls play in their new cleats
Girls play in their new cleats
Dec 5, 2019

All the Way to the Top of FIFA and Back

Seyni with FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura
Seyni with FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura

The momentum for women's soccer in Africa continues to build! Last month, Seyni, our Ladies’ Turn President, was invited to Egypt to participate in FIFA talks about how to develop women’s soccer in Africa. She spoke at the joint Africa Cup of Nations and FIFA’s Women’s Soccer Strategy Taskforce in Cairo on November 12-15, 2019. At the meeting, Seyni met with other women’s soccer leaders and showed the trailer for the Ladies’ Turn documentary. Fatma Samoura, who became the first female Secretary General of FIFA in 2016 and is also from Senegal, invited Seyni over to dinner and asked Seyni all about Ladies’ Turn. It was a big moment for Ladies' Turn!

Seyni was just featured on the Africa Cup of Nations website with great photos of the Cairo event! Check it out: https://fr.cafonline.com/news-center/news/seyni-ndir-seck-et-le-football-une-passionnante-histoire-d-amour

Back in Senegal, Ladies’ Turn continues to work to increase opportunities for girls to play. Our partnership with Plan International Belgium and the Belgian Development Cooperation continues to blossom. With their support, we have been working with new girls’ teams at schools in Thies.  Girls in Senegal often lack cleats, playing barefoot or in borrowing a pair from their brothers. On October 11, the UN’s International Day of the Girl Child, Ladies’ Turn was able to distribute 300 pairs of cleats to the girls’ teams in Thies and organize soccer drills. The day also included messages against child marriage and promoting female leadership.

Finally, it’s the holiday season again so if you are able to... 

Please, pretty please, donate again so we continue to get girls on the field in 2020! It's been an exciting year in 2019 and we are excited to ride that momentum in 2020! Thank you for all of your support this year and before which helps us fight for women’s soccer in Senegal and across Africa!

Nio far, In Solidarity,

Jennifer and the Ladies' Turn Team

Seyni in Cairo at the Cup of Nations/FIFA meeting
Seyni in Cairo at the Cup of Nations/FIFA meeting
Seyni speaks what is needed for women's soccer
Seyni speaks what is needed for women's soccer
In Thies, International Day for the Girl Child
In Thies, International Day for the Girl Child
Girls line up to do soccer drills in Thies
Girls line up to do soccer drills in Thies
A coach supervises drills
A coach supervises drills
Drills, drills, drills!
Drills, drills, drills!

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