Education
 Cameroon
Project #14044

Empower Girls with Income Generating Activities

by Cameroon Football Development Program
Vetted
Thank you from our girls!
Thank you from our girls!

20-year old Janet led her peers during training last Wednesday. Her goal is to become a professional player on the Cameroon Women's National Team as well as in international leagues, something young women couldn't conceive 10 years ago. With the recent success of the Indomitable Lionesses at the FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada this past summer, more attention and resources are being directed to women's soccer in the country. We are proud to be a part of this investment in girls and young women, and more importantly, leading it at the grassroots level. Janet says of her experiences learning from CameroonFDP coaches and staff, 

"For me to be a role model in my community, I will do my best to encourage others in my neighborhood and also give advice to those who want to play like me."

Being a role model and elevating others in your community are two of our core values here at CameroonFDP. We strive to ensure that every practice and game serve to promote and embody these and other important life skills and lessons. It's amazing to see these values being instilled in young girls like Janet within weeks of starting training with our coaches, Kama and Harrison.

2016 may very well be the greatest year for female football in Cameroon. The nation will host the Africa Women Cup of Nations in November and the Lionesses will strive to keep the Championship Cup in country this year. In 2014, they reached the finals and lost to Nigeria, who has won the tournament 6 of the last 8 times it has been played consecutively since 1998. 

With your support, we hope to give young girls like Janet the opportunity to participate in the tournament - even from the sidelines - and meet their heroes and see them compete in the greatest competition on the Continent. With all of Africa watching to see how their lady footballers prosper in Cameroon in 2016, we hope to continue leading the efforts to make a difference, using the game to improve the lives of girls and young women in the communities where we work.

Many thanks and best wishes for an amazing holiday season and prosperous New Year!

Coach Harrison and the Girls Team
Coach Harrison and the Girls Team
Nenne discusses with Team Captain, Janet
Nenne discusses with Team Captain, Janet
Killian takes time to learn more about the players
Killian takes time to learn more about the players
All Star team is ready to play!
All Star team is ready to play!
Brescia FC girls team - finalists!
Brescia FC girls team - finalists!

Young girls in Kumba have a lot more choices these days, especially when it comes to recreational activities. Thanks to the diligent efforts of our staff in Cameroon, we are creating more opportunities to for girs to learn more about themselves, gain confidence, and build a network of peers. We are providing this forum to young girls in Kumba with another football competition in August and September. The second phase of the girl’s enrichment league kicked off on Thursday the 20th of August 2015 with four teams of young women and a supporter section cheering them on. After two rounds of play, the finals are set for Sunday, September 6th, and will feature Brescia F.C. and Arsenal F.C. 

The four teams who played in the competition benefitted from jerseys donated by girls soccer teams here in Pittsburgh, Avonworth High School, and other equipment from Duquesne University.With the enouragement of jerseys, shorts, socks, and cleats, female participants and their male counterparts began to see the material benefits of participating in our educational programs. Equally, creating this oppotunity to showcase the talent of female athletes - both on the pitch and off the pitch - enhances the visibility of women's empowerment initiatives and furthers the conversation about gender equity.

The theme of the tournament is hard work, discipline, and becoming a role model. Throughout the matches, all teams exercised the importance of these qualities via motivational statements. They also demonstrate knowledge gained by providing answers to the referee's questions about the topic of the match. Sport lovers from the Delegate of Sport and Physical Education alongside with FECAFOOT Delegates were present at the field to encourage these girls with a passion for the beautiful game of football.

Madam Mwengela Catherine, Regional Delegate of Female Football in the Southwest, was present to cheer on the girls and was pleasantly surprised with our activities, especially in the domain of gender equity. When the girls came out to read motivational statements she exclaimed,

"Wow, an enrichment league, indeed! Kudos to the CameroonFDP staff for such an initiative!"

Check out the Facebook page for more updates on the teams, coaches, and the results of the Championship match this weekend!

Arsenal girls- Finalists representing Avonworth HS
Arsenal girls- Finalists representing Avonworth HS
Coaches shake hands before match
Coaches shake hands before match
Wumjeck FC ladies supported by PA West Soccer
Wumjeck FC ladies supported by PA West Soccer
St. Peters FC
St. Peters FC
Coaches stand with Madam Director of Female Fball
Coaches stand with Madam Director of Female Fball
Girls love football, too!
Girls love football, too!

We have three amazing updates concerning our girls programs to share with you this time around!!

#1. Summer Holiday Football Festival for Girls

Following up to our successful first-ever boys' league in Kumba (championship is this weekend!), we are ready to take the next steps in laying groundwork for a girls league' to kick off in 2016. Before we get there, we're planning a summer holiday competition to bring together all stakeholders and continue to promote female atheltics in the country. The event is sponsored by the women's soccer team at College Andre-Grasset, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and will add water to the seedling we planted last December with our first-every girls' tourney you so graciously supported. 

#2. Partnership with Teresa Julian, Master's in Sport for Peace and Conflict Resolution

Teresa has been working on her Masters degree in Tereul, Spain over the last year. In the last month, her thesis proposal to work on sport for girls' empowerment programs in Spain and Cameroon was approved!! Teresa has been a long-time supporter of our work and stayed close to the organization after her sister led our first coaches clinic back in 2011. This collaboration will create an opportunity to apply intustry best practices and revitalize our girls programs in Cameroon. Not to mention, Teresa will be traveling to Cameroon in January to implement her peer-mediation and mentoring program with our girls! We can't wait to have her!

#3. Collaboration with Ministry of Sports and Physical Education on the Future of Girls' Football in Cameroon

We had a meeting earlier this month and graciously accepted an invitation to help develop a football club for young women in Kumba. Based on the mission, vision, and values of CFDP and our demonstrated work ethic, we were selected to help cultivate women's football in the community as part of a national movement driven by the Ministry of Sports and Physical Education and the Cameroonian Football Federation (FECAFOOT). This brings in a new era for women's sports and we are excited to be on the frontlines. 

All of this started with your support of our initiatives to empower women in the Southwest Region of Cameroon. What started with some workshops with partners in the US Peace Corps, has grown into a local movement. In no time, it will become a regional and national movement. We look forward to shareing more updates with you! 

Many thanks for your support!

Nenne and Caroline - leading the charge for girls!
Nenne and Caroline - leading the charge for girls!
Love of the game.
Love of the game.
Pre-game discussion and "quiz" by referee
Pre-game discussion and "quiz" by referee

"This football tournament is something the town of Kumba - even beyond, to the whole Southwest Region of Cameroon - has never seen before. It is inspiring to see the community support this initiative of CFDP. It has truly elevated women's sports to a new level."

- Divisional Delegate of Ministry of Sports and Physical Education, Meme Division

 

The crowd gathered around the field at GPS Kumba Town as the referee blew the whistle to kick off the final match in the first-ever Holiday tournament for girls in Kumba. By this point, news of the activities on the playing grounds had spread around town and many ventured to the field to see what all the excitement was about. The girls played 11 vs. 11 for a full 90 minutes, just like the Indomitable Lionesses will do this summer at the Womens World Cup in Canada. Two teams, Kumba Lakers and Brescia FC, emerged to play in the final, from the total of four girls' squads who participated in the two-week long event.

Of course, this tournament was about more than winning. In the weeks leading up to the campaign, the girls trained with their coaches on the "CFDP method" for playing football (soccer). This means incorporating all of the things they work on in practice right into the game: preparation with appropriate warm-ups, life skills topics such as self-respect, confidence, and empowerment, tested by the referee before the start of the match, good sportsmanship, or "sports-womanship" as we like to call it, and fairplay during the match.

When Game Day finally came around, the girls found themeselves in a position to elevate their own status, and that of all women in the community, leading by example and creating awareness about social issues through football. Spectators learned how the girls felt about certain issues through the motivational statements they read before each match. 

After 90 minutes, the championship was decided and the Kumba Lady Lakers came out with the win and joyously celebrated victory! In this case, the celebrations were about more than winning a single came. This tournament represents a new level of sporting achievement for young women and girls in Cameroon. What started with your support of this project last year has paved the way for a more engaging approach to girls' empowerment through sport in Kumba in 2015. We remain grateful to our supporters who believe in the power of sport to change the world. 

Pre-game activities: prepare to succeed!
Pre-game activities: prepare to succeed!
The girls and their coach
The girls and their coach
Champions!! Lady Lakers FC
Champions!! Lady Lakers FC

Links:

A new girls team participates in Coaches Clinic
A new girls team participates in Coaches Clinic

We will welcome four new ladies' teams to our youth enrichment football league in Kumba this season, with competitions officially kicking off in December. Wallace and his team of trainers, Collins, Caroline, and Kama, led Coaches Clinics for our community-based league teams the weekend of October 12-14, which included a few club coaches with girl's teams.

Many of the girls registered to play have been enrolled in CFDP after-school programs for the last 1-3 years, and have benefitted from your support of different trainings and worships which we have facilitated in conjunction with the US Peace Corps.

Looking ahead to the upcoming competitions and reflecting on the practice sessions happening over the last few weeks, Comfort had this to say about the start of the new CFDP season:

"I love football. I am thrilled at the chance to play the game just like the boys do. It's good CFDP is organising this for us. This girls competition will be something to make people in Kumba sit up and take note. We are here and we are driving for our own success."

Worthy of note is the Indomitable Lionesses will join the best female national teams from around the world in Canada in 2015 for the FIFA Women's World Cup! We will be cheering on our role models from the national team as the girls soccer league in Kumba takes root!

Two of the greatest female role models in Kumba
Two of the greatest female role models in Kumba
A fierce female footballer ready to play!
A fierce female footballer ready to play!

Links:

 

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Organization Information

Cameroon Football Development Program

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.cameroonfdp.org
Project Leader:
Justin Forzano
CEO
Pittsburgh, PA United States

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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