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Dec 4, 2017

Young Women Take Leadership and Soccer Back Home

Set Setal: Young women players clean Ngor beach.
Set Setal: Young women players clean Ngor beach.

The 24 young women who participated in trainings we wrote about in our June blog have been rocking it- bringing their leadership and coaching skills back to their communities. During the training, they designed leadership projects consisting of a soccer tournament and a community initiative of their choosing. Now, they are implementing them in their neighborhoods and villages. 

We’ve been impressed. We think you will be too. The young women decided that the best way to promote girls’ soccer to the whole neighborhood would be to get boys as well as girls involved. Over the years, we have found that boys and men actually take pride in helping to organize and participate in girls’ tournament activities when they are given a role. It’s one of the best ways to win acceptance for girls’ soccer and recruit allies. So while the girls’ games remain the main activity, the young women have organized games for the neighborhood boys as openers or as side events. In her neighborhood in Pikine which lacks a girls’ team, Ouleye recruited former women’s national team players to play a game and really show off women’s soccer in order to get girls in her neighborhood interested. 

For the community initiatives, some young women have chosen to address problems at the heart of soccer in Senegal. Soccer fields, surrounding streets, and beaches are almost always littered with trash.  Several young women have designed Set Setal or “neighborhood cleaning” initiatives where they gather players and other youth to pick up trash. In her neighborhood Ngor on the coast in Dakar, Arame organized a course in basic lifesaving techniques in the water in addition to a Set Setal beach cleaning.

Another issue with soccer in Senegal or anywhere is that players get injured. Awa, Mariama, and Ndeye organized a free first aid course for players and community members in Parcelles Assainies and Grand-Yoff neighborhoods of Dakar. Not all the young women have chosen to focus on soccer-related issues however. Lala in Bignona in one of Senegal’s poorest regions chose to raise awareness about the importance of registering your child’s birth because many children in villages her region lack birth certificates needed to attend school or access government services. 

Seyni and the Ladies’ Turn team have been traveling throughout Senegal to support the projects. Some women are teaming up so when they are done, they will have organized 19 tournaments and community initiatives throughout Senegal. This means quite a bit of travel for our team, but it's worth it. British Council has provided mini grants for each project, and your support through GlobalGiving has also been crucial. It has helped our team continue their work and provide equipment. 

So thank you again for your support this past year. As 2017 comes to a close, please consider a donation to support all the exciting girls’ soccer and leadership activities we have in the works for 2018.

In Solidarity,

Jennifer and the Ladies' Turn Team

Soccer tournament organized in Kaffrine.
Soccer tournament organized in Kaffrine.
Raising awareness about undocumented children.
Raising awareness about undocumented children.
Set Setal: Cleaning Pikine field.
Set Setal: Cleaning Pikine field.
Tournament prizes in Oussouye
Tournament prizes in Oussouye
Trainee with Diaby, former women
Trainee with Diaby, former women's national coach
Sep 5, 2017

Seyni for President 2017!

Seyni gives a television interview.
Seyni gives a television interview.

It’s been an exciting summer for Ladies’ Turn. Seyni Ndir Seck, our President, ran for President of the Women’s Soccer Commission at the Senegalese Federation for Soccer. One by one the women's teams voted for their next President. And SEYNI WON! It’s the most important post for women’s soccer in Senegal right now, short of being the Minister of Sports.

As President of the Women’s Soccer Commission for the next 4 years, Seyni oversees the Federation’s leagues for women’s soccer. It’s a volunteer position so Seyni will also continue her day job at the national television station and keep leading Ladies’ Turn. Seyni's goal is to see that girls play soccer everywhere on Senegalese territory. 

Through the Women's Soccer Commission, Seyni will push for improving and expanding the official Federation women’s leagues. Through Ladies’ Turn, Seyni and our team can continue our important work at the grassroots level both in promoting girls’ soccer but also women’s leadership and education. 

Seyni’s going to be busy, but she’s been busy her whole life following her passion for playing soccer! She has fought for women’s opportunities to play, first as a player on a boy’s team in her neighborhood, then as a member of a women’s team in Dakar, and finally being selected not only for the national women’s soccer team but also eventually as captain of the national team, representing Senegal throughout Africa.

Your support of Ladies’ Turn provided Seyni with the opportunity to grow her passion into a full fledged organization:

"Ladies’ Turn has allowed me to deepen my capabilities as a leader, to learn new skills, and to develop effective strategies for advocating for women's soccer."  - Seyni

I’m sure you will all join us in a collective Congratulations President Seyni!

On behalf of Seyni and our team, thank you again! We could not do it without your support!

In Solidarity,

The Ladies' Turn Team

Seyni receives the news that she won the election.
Seyni receives the news that she won the election.
Seyni and player at a girls
Seyni and player at a girls' soccer camp.
Seyni at Lala
Seyni at Lala's graduation as a new PE Teacher!
Jun 6, 2017

Women's Soccer Needs Women Coaches

Presenting the next generation of women coaches
Presenting the next generation of women coaches

Women’s soccer needs women coaches to flourish in Senegal. Until now, women’s soccer has been mostly coached and directed by men.  At Ladies’ Turn, we work with awesome women and we want them to lead! So we are partnering with British Council and the Premier League to train the next generation of female coaches. 

In January, Ladies’ Turn invited 36 women from 11 regions throughout Senegal- PE teachers, former soccer players, even former members of the National Women’s soccer team- to participate in a training to build their skills as women’s coaches from January 27-28 in Thies. At the end of the training, the participants returned to their communities and coach youth soccer teams and practice their new coaching skills.

“It’s a great initiative, going straight to the heart of developing women’s soccer in Senegal.” – Lala, PE teacher and former player who attended the training.

In May, Ladies’ Turn invited 24 participants back for another round of training from May 4-8. This time, half of the training focused on women’s leadership and social entrepreneurship. The participants designed their own micro projects to continue in their community and further hone their leadership skills. Ladies’ Turn and British Council will select the top projects to fund.

Thank you for all of your support and donations! We could not do it without you.

Nio far, in solidarity,

Jennifer and the Ladies’ Turn Team

Lala, PE Teacher and former player participates.
Lala, PE Teacher and former player participates.
Studying coaching strategy
Studying coaching strategy
Practicing drills to teach players.
Practicing drills to teach players.
 
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