Hi, my name is Alexis. I’m a Senior Program Associate at GlobalGiving. I recently had the pleasure of spending an afternoon with Girls and Football SA in Cape Town. Here’s an e-postcard about my visit:Have you ever been on the set of a television show? Well I never had until Jos Dirkx, the Co-Founder of Girls and Football SA invited me join her and a group of girls for a live recording of Hectic Nine 9, a popular South African children’s show. As a well-respected advocate for girls and women’s rights in South Africa, Jos had been asked to join the show for a special International Women’s Day episode. I was thrilled to accept Jos’ invitation! Not only was this an exciting opportunity to visit a TV studio, but it was also a great way to learn more about Girls and Football SA’s work in the Cape Town area and to meet some of the girls and teachers that the organization works with. The TV set was exactly what you would expect! There were bright lights and cameras everywhere, with crew members busily running around and calling into walkie talkies. Jos, who is no stranger to the TV set and live interviews, sat casually waiting for the interview to begin while the girls who had been selected to participate in the show were all abuzz, chatting eagerly about the set and the TV hosts. The girls’ chaperone, Charmaine, a teacher at Lynedoch Primary School on the outskirts of Cape Town, explained that this was a very proud moment for her students. Back home, parents, teachers, and friends would be watching this interview! The show’s host began the interview by asking Jos about Girls and Football SA. Jos explained that the organization provides a safe space for girls to talk about important issues like self-esteem, bullying, drugs, and sex, by hosting workshops and discussions at soccer matches and tournaments. Earlier in the day, Jos had told me that in many cases, these soccer games are the only place where girls could just be girls, where they could feel just as powerful, strong, and deserving as their male counterparts. As the host turned his questions to the girls, the impact of Girls and Football SA’s programs could not have been more evident. When asked “what do you like about being a girl?” the group of girls responded by explaining that as a girl, they were often underestimated, they liked to prove people wrong. As girls, they explained, they could accomplish anything that boys could.While watching the interview unfold from the side of the set, I was amazed at the confidence and self-assurance that the girls exuded. Here they were, speaking on TV with thousands of people of watching, and they were able to articulate their pride in simply being girls! I can only imagine the lasting impact this self-confidence will have in these girls’ lives.Thank you to Girls and Football SA for a fantastic afternoon at Hectic Nine 9!All the best,Alexis
GIRLS & FOOTBALL SA QUARTERLY REPORT JUNE 2012 The Girls & Football SA team has had an incredibly exciting past three months.
April was a challenging month, as we tackled a devastating and controversial topic in South Africa, the issue of ‘corrective’ rape. In 2008, Eudy Simelane, a star player on the South African national women’s football team, Banyana Banyana, was bru- tally raped and murdered in her township for being a lesbian. Her story shook South Africa, but incidences of violence towards lesbians haven’t decreased. The term ‘corrective’ rape is used to describe when men rape lesbians in what they see as an at- tempt to ‘correct’ their sexual behavior. Lesbian girls or women of any age can be targeted in such an attack. As a result, many girls and women feel it is unsafe to have a ‘different’ sexual orientation. South African society struggles to accept lesbians and gays, despite South Africa’s progressive constitution and the legalization of gay marriage which came into effect in 2006 when the Civil Union Act came into force. As a result of the launch of Girls & Football SA’s ‘Corrective’ Rape and Football video, Girls & Football SA was invited by Al Jazeera to contribute to a debate on the prevalence of rape in the country.And, speaking of videos, GIrls & Football SA also captured the amazing Dlala Ntombazana All-Girls Tournament in a short video - well worth a watch! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bnrZAXh6lM) This month, to honor the courage and determination of South Africa’s women, Girls & Football SA has collaborated with South Africa’s leading retailer Pick ‘n Pay (http://www.picknpay.co.za/picknpay/content/en/home) , and South Africa’s number one online design contest company, Springleap.com, in the ‘Fiercely Female & Awesome’ T-shirt design campaign. (http://www.springleap.com/posts/view/design-contest-girls-football-sa-fiercely-feminine-awesome-2700) In seeking to communicate the power of women everywhere, Girls & Football SA has partnered with these two amazing brands to organize South Africa's first creative campaign in honor of the historic march in 1956 when 20,000 women marched in Pretoria to petition against the strengthening of pass laws.In addition to raising awareness on the importance of national women’s day, the winning design will communicate the idea that determination and strength have the power to change the world. Check out our website or Facebook page for more informa- tion!Girls & Football SA was invited to speak at TEDxCapeTown, an incredible event that exceeded all expectations, delivered in- credible ideas and brought together inspiring leaders in the education space in South Africa. The topic of our presentation was the importance of sport for the development of girls and women in economic, social and political spheres. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6BVUvuX_6EE&feature=relmfu) Particularly noteworthy was the speech delivered by Dr. Mamphele Rampela, a South African academic, businesswoman and medical doctor who was an anti-apartheid activist. Another incredible speaker was Soli Philander, who turned the tables and spoke about what we can learn from children - his humor, intelligence and honesty made for an engaging and enlightening speech.
The Girls & Football SA team has been as busy as ever this quarter! We started the year with a strategic planning session that mapped out our game plan for 2012. With new faces and partners on our side, we are able to expand our reach to ensure more girls and young women in South Africa get the opportunity to learn and grow through sport. As South Africa’s first organization to focus on an entirely girls-only space for development, we want to ensure that our programming continues to cater towards young women. On March 24th 2012, Girls & Football SA attended the Cup of Dreams in Pretoria, South Africa’s biggest all girls tournament, with 26 teams of 18 players between the ages of 10-19. We were invited to fly up from Cape Town to host our safe space workshops, and share our programming with the girls. In the lead up of the tournament, Girls & Football SA staff consulted the tournament organizers on which specific topics the workshops should focus on to best cater the girls’ needs. Based on the responses, Girls & Football SA staff designed a new series of short programs to be carried out throughout the day.
By keeping workshops short, effective and informative, we were able to reach a large number of girls with our information.During the tournament, Girls & Football SA set up a tent in which workshops were held on the following topics;- Healthy Life Style- Self-esteem & Peer Pressure- Skills Identification and Development- Healthy Sexuality and Abuse- Identity: Girls vs. BoysWe were glad to see that although we were piloting new, controversial workshops about sexuality and identity, the girls’ and coaches responses were very positive. The girls were receptive to and interested in the information we were sharing and actively participated in group discussions.
We created a short baseline study so that we would have a greater understanding of the current knowledge on the topics in question, in addition to having the possibility to measure the impact of the workshops. The baseline study was carried out at the beginning of the workshop and at the end of the workshop, after the information had been dispersed.We also carried out interviews with several of the players, with South Africa’s first female match announcer, and with Girls & Football SA board member and FIFA instructor Fran Hilton Smith. Stay tuned; in a few weeks we’ll have an awesome video highlighting the success of the day!
Your generous donations helped us reach girls 200 girls directly, and 700 girls indirectly in an effective and efficient way with information crucial to their development. We are so grateful for your continued support. Without your contributions, we would not be able to carry out our work, and we are very thankful for all of your donations. Please keep supporting our work, and stayed tuned in the exciting months ahead!
This year’s monitoring and evaluation, conducted with half of Girls & Football SA’s participants, shows our girls-only programming has had an incredible impact. Some of the statistics highlight;
93.1% of participants learned how to work in a team
96.6% of participants have more confidence
75.9% of participants think a woman can be a good president
Numbers aside, our participants have improved leaps and bounds; not just their technical skills, but also regarding their grasp of life skills. We’re seeing more outgoing, confident and engaged participants after even just 6 weeks of participating in Girls & Football SA - so brave they wrote letters to Mrs. Obama! (And yes, the First Lady did write us back!)
Girl Effect Winners!
We have ended the year with a bang, being chosen as one of 12 projects through the first annual Girl Effect Challenge! We’re excited to say that we’re spending the season celebrating our fourth award and we’re grateful for the opportunities presented to us by the Girl Effect. We’ve been in awe of the amazing work that the Girl Effect has done and if you haven’t done so yet, go take a look!
Our documentary has taken us many places!This year we traveled to the 2nd biggest film festival in the Middle East, Festival du TV et Cinema in Beirut, Lebanon where “Can I Kick It?” picked up the prize for Best Documentary. We also had wonderful screenings and Q&As in Toronto, New York, Asmara and Victoria and traveled to Bogota to present on girls’ sport!
Women Talk Sports Guest Bloggers
We’re proud to say we’ve written several short articles for South Africa’s biggest sport network, Supersport and are excited to announce a great new blogging partnership with Women Talk Sports. A selection of articles can be found on women’s sport in South Africa - a good read during relaxing days off!
This year, our research on girls’ only spaces for (sport) development was called for by the United Nation’s Girls Education Initiative. The research focused on girls’ sport programming and was presented at the Beyond Sport Conference in Cape Town, South Africa. Further, four academic works written by Girls & Football SA staff were published through the University of Amsterdam, the University of the Western Cape and Stellenbosch University.
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