Girls & Football South Africa: Help Us Score!

by Girls & Football SA
Winter break is over and schools are back in session which mean our workshops have started again! We are partnering with 30 girls from two different primary schools in an eight week workshop program. Our workshop leaders are hard at work with coaching the girls through various life skills as well as encouraging them in their love for soccer. in our life skills sessions we have tackled topics such as peer pressure, what it means to be a good friend and team work. It has been amazing to see how the girls are starting to grow in confidence and self awareness. We are excited to see how the girls continue to grow!
With the month of August comes Women’s Day, our Girls & Football SA players celebrated by participating in a five a-side tournament in Stellenbosch. The girls played in three games against primary schools from around Stellenbosch: such an excellent way to honor the day! 
We would like to thank you for your continued support. Without you, we wouldn’t be making the difference in South Africa. 

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It's the kick off of the FIFA 2015 Women's World Cup in Canada this month and we have had a busy past few months at Girls & Football SA in the lead up!

With the winter break in South Africa around the corner, our focus has been on re-vamping our workshops. Constant feedback from the users on our mobile app, mGirls, allows us to understand the needs of girls in South Africa. 

One area of improvement that we are focusing on is how to better promote life skills through the use of new types of soccer drills. As a result, we have partnered with train4changes and will be attending their CAC coaches training (July 6 – July 10). The training session will teach our workshop leaders various soccer drills that teach important life skills.

Girls & Football SA will also be present at the Women Deliver Girl Power in Play conference on June 18th-19th in Ottawa, Canada.

Finally, our workshops are scheduled to re-start the week of July 27th. While we are (impatiently) waiting for our workshops to re-start, we are actively looking for other schools to partner with and are excited to be back on the field with our girls soon!

Over the last three years, we've worked with over 3,000 girls in South Africa through sport, media and education. We learned a lot about what matters to girls in South Africa, and as a result, in July, Girls & Football SA launched mGirls, a mobile health app which now has 50,000 subscribers. mGirls is built on the Mxit platform (available in iTunes and the Google Play Store) and provides girls in South Africa with free, daily health facts. A push text is sent to a subscriber’s phone (be it a Nokia or an iPhone, the platform on which mGirls is hosted operates on 8,000 different devices) with an accurate health tip. Through effective use of technology suited to our target market, we reach girls all over South Africa.
 
This means 50,000 girls have access to information that could change whether they know how to prevent contracting HIV/AIDS, whether they understand how sport affects their health, and whether they have the courage to actively participate in school.
 
We are able to instantly adjust our content based on feedback we receive from users. We have untapped insights into health challenges girls in South Africa face today and we are better able to meet their needs. We can look at ways to predict challenges and we can collaborate with leading agencies on girls’ health to understand how to avoid issues like teen pregnancy.
 
Though mobile health (or mHealth) is not a new concept, we often overlook the young people who need access to information that will help them make healthy choices. This information ranges from helping a girl understand the changes her body is going through to encouraging her to make smart choices about her sexual health. It’s about going back to the basics: making sure young people have access to accurate information that helps them make informed, empowered decisions.
 
To me, this is the best kind of conversation we can have with young people - it’s open, safe and guided by our users. It’s 50,000 reasons this year was great.

Over the last three years, we've worked with over 3,000 girls in South Africa through sport, media and education. We learned a lot about what matters to girls in South Africa, and as a result, in July, Girls & Football SA launched mGirls, a mobile health app which now has 50,000 subscribers. mGirls is built on the Mxit platform (available in iTunes and the Google Play Store) and provides girls in South Africa with free, daily health facts. A push text is sent to a subscriber’s phone (be it a Nokia or an iPhone, the platform on which mGirls is hosted operates on 8,000 different devices) with an accurate health tip. Through effective use of technology suited to our target market, we reach girls all over South Africa.

This means 50,000 girls have access to information that could change whether they know how to prevent contracting HIV/AIDS, whether they understand how sport affects their health, and whether they have the courage to actively participate in school.

We are able to instantly adjust our content based on feedback we receive from users. We have untapped insights into health challenges girls in South Africa face today and we are better able to meet their needs. We can look at ways to predict challenges and we can collaborate with leading agencies on girls’ health to understand how to avoid issues like teen pregnancy.

Though mobile health (or mHealth) is not a new concept, we often overlook the young people who need access to information that will help them make healthy choices. This information ranges from helping a girl understand the changes her body is going through to encouraging her to make smart choices about her sexual health. It’s about going back to the basics: making sure young people have access to accurate information that helps them make informed, empowered decisions.

To me, this is the best kind of conversation we can have with young people - it’s open, safe and guided by our users. It’s 50,000 reasons this year was great.

Thank you for your support.

Since our last project report, we have continued our football workshops at St. Pauls Primary in Bo Kaap with much enthusiasm. In the life skills sessions we have tackled topics such as peer pressure, domestic challenges, the power of girls and women, the importance of sports, bullying, friendships and having a healthy lifestyle. But of course, football skills were also taught. The girls clearly understand the game better, and it is fantastic to see their enthusiasm for the sport grows. Last week they didn’t want to stop playing when the workshop leader blew her whistle to end the game. 

Girls and Football SA received the rewarding opportunity to be one of the 2014 beneficiaries of the 5ForChange black tie fundraiser. This gala took place on 31 May at the Waterfront in Cape Town

The 5ForChange event also resulted in media attention. The Expresso Show - a popular morning show in South Africa - visited our project in Bo Kaap and broadcasted a wonderful segment about our project on Youth Day. The young girls at St. Pauls were also interviewed and did an amazing job. In the video, workshop participant Bongiwe (grade 6) explains how football makes her a better person and why she and her classmates love to come play. Please have a look at this wonderful video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c44oe19ajHw

We would like to thank you for all your generous donations this past quarter. Without your support, we wouldn’t be able to change the lives of so many girls in South Africa. 

Thank you!


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Organization Information

Girls & Football SA

Location: Cape Town, Western Cape - South Africa
Website: http:/​/​www.girlsandfootballsa.com
Project Leader:
Jos Dirkx
Cape Town, South Africa

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