Thank you for your generous donations! We have had an exciting wrap up to this calendar year and are very excited to share some key findings that we have identified during our last quarter. Because of your support, we have been able to spend six weeks of workshops carrying out a survey and programming on various different issues! Our final quarterly report for 2012 highlights the findings of our survey, which focused on issues regarding self-esteem. These findings will help us improve our existing Girls & Football SA programming, and allows us to better meet the needs of our participants going into 2013!
The participants of the workshops and our survey were girls aged to 10 -12, living in Lynedoch, a colored community in the Western Cape. Through our chats with them, we also took this opportunity to focus on helping the participants become aware of opportunities and to learn how to make the most of these opportunities. Through our surveys, we explored the issues listed below:
· Principles and values
· Future plans, dreams and aspirations
· Perceptions of differences between girls and boys
· Family structures
· The society as a whole
By aiming to understand the role girls play within their society, we hoped to better grasp how they feel about themselves, and in which areas in their lives they places most value. Sample questions in the survey included:
- How happy a participant felt about herself
- The importance of being honest and reliable
- The importance on making your own decisions
- How much the participants value working in a team
- What it means to spend time with family, and how they perceived their role in their family
- What it means to feel safe
The results of the survey showed us that the participants understand the concept of self-esteem, and that more than 80% of girls believe they play an important role in their immediate surroundings. This is a significant improvement from our first survey carried out in March 2012, when most girls indicated they did not know what self-esteem was. The results also indicated that participants require a safe space and a safe community and society in order to maintain feelings of self-esteem. A safe society and strong family structure is a very important factor in determining how strong and confident our participants feel.
Spending time with family and being part of their community was regarded as very important for the majority of the participants; 80% placed value on a safe family structure and attributed this to feelings of safety, belonging and self-esteem, should the family structure meet their needs in a positive manner.
The participants indicated on the survey that the presence from boys and non-relative elders influences their feelings of safety negatively.
At Girls and Football SA, we promote female football, the role of female athletes and the importance of sport for women in South Africa. Issues surrounding how girls perceive gender and perceptions surrounding gender influence feelings of self-esteem. Most of the girls surveyed believe in the capabilities of girls to play sport, and in their capabilities to achieve other successes in life, such as getting a good job. 39% of the participants indicated they have confidence in their intelligence, but 11% indicated they felt that being intelligent was a masculine trait.
Both societal structure and the attitudes of boys, in addition to the presence of boys, can at times make the participants feel uncomfortable and influence their self- confidence. In the odd occasion boys were present at the workshops (watching from the side lines, mostly out of interest), we ensured to yell out our first rule, “No boys allowed!”. The emphasis we place on building a safe, girls-only space ensures that we can have honest and open discussions with participants, that are not influenced by outside pressures.
By observing the behavior of some of the participants in the workshops, we were able to see an increase in self confidence, particularly with regard to football skills and leadership skills. During the last few workshops girls dared to take the lead, felt comfortable with given tasks and responsibilities and felt confident to share their football knowledge by explaining things to others.
Although the surveys indicated on a whole that girls felt confident in the present moment, they feel far less confidence regarding their future and goals for their future. 75% of girls believed that identifying their dreams is important, and 55% identified that identifying their skills is important. Only 29% of the girls indicated that they understood the value of developing their knowledge.We feel the focus on self-esteem is an important one, as this equips the girls’ with a feeling of self-worth that will help them stand up for their rights, and work hard to achieve their goals!
Due to your generous donations, we are now better equipped to reflect on and meet the needs of our participants. Thank you for your support in Girls & Football SA, and for helping us provide even better programming for the girls and young women in South Africa.
We wish you a very happy 2013 and thank you again for your support in Girls & Football SA!
The Girls & Football SA Team