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Mar 9, 2020

Celebrating International Women's Day

Comfort is one of the new members of our program
Comfort is one of the new members of our program

We've got a lot to celebrate as we grow our girls programming in Cameroon and Pittsburgh! Thanks to your generous support, we've been able to continue our Girls Leadership Initiative in Kumba into the new year, with the league finals being played this weekend (Mar 14) and our Super Cup & Leadership Conference the following (Mar 20 and 21).

Comfort, one of the young women who joined our program this year shared "As the day goes by, I have gained a lot of skills as a player and lot of educational materials. I am now more responsible in my team and what makes me so happy is that at first I was very shy and stubborn to my mum, but because of Open Field my mum is encouraging me in anything I ask of her because she said since I started attending the program I have changed."

Over in Pittsburgh, we celebrated an awesome weekend with 36 girls from immigrant and refugee communities at Chatham University. Thanks to our hosts, the womens' soccer team, our girls enjoyed a Soccer + Life Skills Clinic, campus tour, and coversation with players over pizza on the plaza on a beautiful sunny day. 

Many girls exclaimed "I want to go to college here when I get older!"

We hope the day inspired them to study hard and prepare themselves for this opportunity to continue their education in the future. 

Girls discuss with a peer referee before kick off
Girls discuss with a peer referee before kick off
Girls group at Chatham University on IWD2020
Girls group at Chatham University on IWD2020
Our girls: ready to play soccer anytime, anywhere!
Our girls: ready to play soccer anytime, anywhere!


Dec 11, 2019

Celebrating 1st year: Girls Leadership Initiative

Claudia left school after her father died to help her mother provide for her two little brothers. She lives in Kumba, only a few streets away from Open Field’s main office on Kramma Ave. Every day, she goes to the market to sell produce with her mum.

“When I first came to Open Field, there were lots of things that I didn’t know about my rights as a young woman, and how I deserve to be treated,” she said.

Claudia, alongside sixty other young women, participated in training workshops and soccer competitions over the past several months as part of our inaugural Girls Leadership Initiative. All participants were either witnesses to or survivors of gender-based violence. Together, under the guidance of local women, the girls were trained to recognize and prevent gender-based violence and given a safe space to begin processing their own experiences alongside peers who shared and related to their trauma.

After completing the program, Claudia says her confidence has soared. “I now speak boldly as a woman. I’m not afraid to talk about my ideas, or my skills with football [soccer].”

Your investment in Open Field creates safe spaces for youth, especially girls, affected by violence and insecurity to THRIVE. You build confidence and skills within young people like Claudia to become positive influences on other children in their neighborhood, creating a ripple effect on the entire community.

“I have become friends with people from so many different backgrounds,” Claudia said. “Now, I am a leader among my peers. I encourage them to join Open Field and experience the same benefits that I have.” 

Claudia is one of over two million children in Cameroon in need of humanitarian assistance. As the ongoing civil unrest spirals out of control, violence is increasing across the region with 48 percent of girls ages 15-17 experiencing physical or sexual violence. 

Please consider a financial gift to Open Field this holiday season to support young women like Claudia whose lives will be forever changed by your contribution.

Dec 10, 2019

Expanding with support from United Nations!

In Cameroon our life skills and girls’ empowerment activities are thriving, engaging more boys and girls than ever before, thanks to continued support from FIFA Foundation and a new grant from the United Nations Development Programme in Cameroon! 

Due to the ongoing crisis in Cameroon, there are more than half a million internally displaced persons in the Southwest and Northwest Regions of Cameroon, with tens of thousands living as refugees in neighboring Nigeria. With support from UNDP, we expanded our Sport for Good programming to serve youth in 12 different neighborhoods in three cities: Kumba, Bamenda, and Mamfe, specifically targeting neighborhoods with a large influx of new youth who have been forced to flee their villages in nearby rural areas.

To support this growth, we expanded our team, bringing on 5 new Community Leaders (bringing that number of part-time employment for young adults to nine total) in addition to our eight full time staff. Currently, our educational soccer leagues engage more than 1,000 youth.

We’re focusing on promoting social cohesion and life skills through the beautiful game, using our youth-led model that we’ve developed over the years. Our training workshops and the structure of our training sessions and league play increase the skills and confidence in teenagers to be role models to younger kids in their neighborhood. 

We believe that every kid deserves a role model - someone to look up to and learn from. In this way, role models create a positive influece and a ripple effect in their community. Your support will ensure more teens get the training they need to become a role model.

Please consider a financial gift to Open Field this holiday season to support youth whose lives will be forever changed by your contribution.

Displaced youth stand with new neighborhood teams
Displaced youth stand with new neighborhood teams
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