Transform a Girl's Life Through Soccer

by Ladies' Turn
Vetted
Seyni represents Ladies
Seyni represents Ladies' Turn at FIFA HQ.

Seyni Ndir Seck, our President, was at FIFA headquarters for International Women’s Day- March 8, 2016. Seyni traveled to Zurich to represent Ladies’ Turn and women’s soccer in Senegal at FIFA’s Women’s Football and Leadership Conference on March 7, 2016- right before International Women’s Day.

Seyni met some stars and felt like a star. The conference presented the perfect opportunity for Seyni to share our experience with Ladies' Turn and hear from important leaders on stratgies for promoting women's soccer.  It was even was translated into French so Seyni could listen to anglophone participants- like former US women's team forward and international goals record holder, Abby Wambach.

Seyni met Lydia Nsekera from Burundi who became the first woman to be elected to the FIFA Executive Committee and Brigitte Henriques who represents the Caribbean. They discussed how to navigate national soccer federations powerful lobbies to ensure women's soccer is taken seriously. Seyni chatted with Brigitte Henriques, the head of women's soccer at the French Soccer Federation about what strategies she was using to increase support for women's soccer in France and what could work in Senegal. Billie Jean King was even there in solidarity talking about her experience as a female althete!

Seyni returned home to Dakar fresh with new ideas and armed with new knowledge. We hope that our two-pronged approach of on the ground work and international advocacy can continue to advance women's soccer in Senegal.

We also cheered the news that FIFA named Fatma Samba Diouf Samoura from Senegal to be FIFA’s first ever women Secretary General. We think this can be the beginning of a new era for women’s soccer.

So thank you as always for your support. We are living in exciting times! 

Nio far- In Solidarity,

Jennifer and the Ladies' Turn Team

Selfie! Seyni meets Abby Wambach.
Selfie! Seyni meets Abby Wambach.
Seyni with Rwandan and Burundian Soccer Leaders.
Seyni with Rwandan and Burundian Soccer Leaders.
Seyni with FIFA President Gianni Infantino.
Seyni with FIFA President Gianni Infantino.
Seyni talks to journalists about Ladies
Seyni talks to journalists about Ladies' Turn

Advocacy for women's soccer is a huge part of what Ladies' Turn does. Seyni, our President, represented Ladies' Turn at the Discover Football Women's Coaches Conference organized in Berlin from November 29 to December 5, 2015. The event brought together 18 women coaches from around the world. 

“Faut pas lacher- Never Give Up!” was Seyni’s message to coaches and players alike. Seyni has lived by these words. She grew up playing soccer when almost no other women were, hiding her passion from her relatives who often didn’t approve. She rose to become captain of the Senegalese National Women’s Soccer team.  In chatting with the coach from Nigeria, Seyni realized that they had played against each other 11 years earlier when both were on their national teams! Seyni’s goal now is to give girls the opportunities to play soccer that she didn’t have growing up. After hearing Seyni present on Ladies’ Turn, the coach from Burkina Faso told Seyni that she wants to start a similar project in her country. This is magic to Seyni and our ears!

Seyni’s attendance was the latest event in Ladies’ Turn’s strong partnership with Discover Football, an organization working to build a global network of leaders in women’s soccer and promote women’s soccer worldwide. In 2010, Seyni Ndir Seck  and Hélène Harder, our documentary filmmaker, participated for the first time in the Discover Football annual Women’s Soccer and Cultural Festival tournament which brings together women’s team from across the globe. In 2011, Seyni met Angela Merkel as part of the Discover Football tournament. She also got to attend a game of the Women’s World Cup. And in 2012, Discover Football invited Lycée Ameth Fall, a women’s team from Saint Louis, Senegal, who helps organize the Ladies’ Turn tournament to participate and screened the Ladies’ Turn documentary.

We hope that by continuing to partner with organizations like Discover Football and giving Seyni, our President, a platform to share her views, we can convince more people in Senegal and abroad to get behind women’s soccer and give more girls a chance to play.

Thank you for all of your support. A special thanks to those who donated at the end of 2015 to support a great year in 2016! We’re excited!

Jennifer and the Ladies' Turn Team

Seyni presents her motto- Don
Seyni presents her motto- Don't Give Up!
Seyni and coaches from Oman, Brazil & Burkina Faso
Seyni and coaches from Oman, Brazil & Burkina Faso
The women coaches get to play some street soccer!
The women coaches get to play some street soccer!
Group Photo- Women coaches from 18 countries!
Group Photo- Women coaches from 18 countries!
Jennifer and Seyni prep for the screening!
Jennifer and Seyni prep for the screening!

This year, when the tournament was not on, we were busy doing diplomacy for women’s soccer by showing our documentary throughout the world and spreading the word. The highlight of our year (besides the tournament of course!) was our big event in Ethiopia. The Embassy of Senegal and the Organization of the Francophonie invited Seyni Ndir Seck and Jennifer Browning to present the Ladies’ Turn documentary at the Semaine de la Francophonie (Week of the Francophones) festival in Addis Ababa this past March 2015.  

The Alliance Ethio-Française theater was full for the screening. English subtitles were used so the Ethiopian and international audience could understand. Probably 20 countries were represented among the public! It’s always fun to show the documentary in different cultures because every screening is unique, each audience member’s reaction is different. This was especially so in Addis Ababa- the seat of the African Union. 

People laughed and mostly, expressed awe of Seyni’s determination and the Ladies’ Turn tenacity. The Senegalese Embassy sent a deletation. The Ambassador of Canada warmly congratulated Seyni after the film. His wife praised the initiative. 

We have Borja Santos Porras a talented photographer and Ladies’ Turn champion to thank for our wonderful photos in this entry.

This is our last entry for 2015! A huge thanks to all of you for continuing to support us! As the holiday season approaches, consider donating again to Ladies’ Turn so we can make 2016 as beautiful a year for Senegalese girls who dream of playing soccer as 2015!

Happy Holidays!

Jennifer and the Ladies’ Turn Team

Seyni speaks to Ethiopian TV about Ladies
Seyni speaks to Ethiopian TV about Ladies' Turn.
Jennifer, Seyni, & the Senegal Embassy Delegation.
Jennifer, Seyni, & the Senegal Embassy Delegation.
Seyni & Jennifer celebrate a successful screening!
Seyni & Jennifer celebrate a successful screening!

Links:

Andre Guillabert Middle School Team ready to play!
Andre Guillabert Middle School Team ready to play!

At our final tournament day on June 3rd, the mbalax music was blasting as the girls took the field at High School in Saint Louis, Senegal.  The crowd cheered on the girls’ teams at André Guillabert Middle School. The music, the cheers this time were for girls’ soccer but also for soccer as a tool to help keep girls in school.

In total, over 270 girls from schools in 5 regions participated in our new tournament format. We are now partnering with middle schools to ensure that girls’ soccer teams will have the structure in which to flourish. Ladies’ Turn donated jerseys and balls to the schools’ girls teams so that they could continue to play in this coming school year.

Most importantly, in a country where many girls drop out before high school, we hope that soccer at the precarious middle school stage can be one more way to keep girls in school.  To further this goal, Ladies’ Turn will also be providing scholarships in the form of school materials (notebooks, pens, and books) to all players in our partner schools who finish the school year in the top ten of their grade. We hope this will encourage the girls to keep up the good work both on and off the field! However, we also do not want girls to stop going to school because their families cannot afford school books for the year- a common problem in Senegal. Thus, we also will be donating school books to our partner middle schools to give to the neediest students.

Finally, Ladies’ Turn would like to give a huge thanks to you, our supporters.You made our new girls’ soccer-education partnership possible.

We’d like to especially highlight District Sports www.districtsports.org, a community soccer organization in Washington, DC. Their spring league teams opted to donate to Ladies’ Turn instead of receiving new jerseys so that we could purchase jerseys for girls in Senegal. Thanks to their generosity, they raised $5,000 dollars for us! I’m from DC, grew up playing girls’ soccer both on weekends and for my public school, and have played in District Sports’ summer leagues. They are an amazing organization- a model for us. It thus means a lot us to have their support from across the ocean. Check them out if you are in DC and itching to play!

Our success in May encourages us to continue partnering with schools to expand girls’ soccer and keep girls in school.  Let’s give girls the chance to play and to study!

Jerejef! Nio far, Wolof for "Thank you! We are in this together,"

Jennifer and the Ladies' Turn Team

Defending the goal! But we could use some new nets
Defending the goal! But we could use some new nets
A crowd gathers to watch the girls play.
A crowd gathers to watch the girls play.
District Sports Partnership helped donate jerseys.
District Sports Partnership helped donate jerseys.
Soccer in Senegal is a sandy sport. Power kick!
Soccer in Senegal is a sandy sport. Power kick!

Links:

Girls run under the banner for Suzanne M. Bianchi
Girls run under the banner for Suzanne M. Bianchi

Ladies’ Turn and women’s soccer still face major challenges in Senegal. While we got off to a great start on May 8, this was later than our original May 3 start date. As the field we had reserved weeks before in Dakar cancelled and then our backup field revoked their promise in order schedule men’s games, the girls didn’t have a place to play. It was a frustrating reminder that while we have made lots of progress, we still have lots of work to go. Your support makes change, little by little, possible.

However, such setbacks only strengthen our resolve. Ladies’ Turn's first games were held on May 8 and 9 in Fatick and Kaolack. This year, we are working with schools to use soccer as a tool to keep girls in school. It’s only fitting then that this tournament is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Suzanne M. Bianchi, who was such a believer in women’s education and women’s sports. Before start of each set of games, Seyni, our President, explains who she was and why we are honoring her. Then a moment of silence is held.

After Fatick and Kaolack, Ladies’ Turn moved on to Kaffrine (Koungheul) on May 16 and 17. Ladies’ Turn then organized a non-stop tournament day on May 23 in Thies. Everywhere the atmosphere has been electric. Girls just like to play!

Tomorrow on May 30, we will hold our final non-stop tournament games in the beautiful city of Saint Louis. We are donating balls and penneys to each school so they can take girls’ soccer forward this year.

We will update you after the final games. Thank you again for donating to Ladies' Turn!

Nio far,

Jennifer and the Ladies' Turn team

Girls play- in Senegal, soccer is a sand sport.
Girls play- in Senegal, soccer is a sand sport.
We play on central fields to draw large crowds.
We play on central fields to draw large crowds.
Team photo!
Team photo!
Seyni and our partners award prizes after the game
Seyni and our partners award prizes after the game

Links:

 

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating or by subscribing to this project's RSS feed.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

Ladies' Turn

Location: Dakar - Senegal
Website: http:/​/​www.ladiesturn.org
Project Leader:
Jennifer Browning
Princeton, NJ United States

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence

Snorkeler
Our
Impact

Woman Holding a Gift Card
Give
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle
GlobalGiving
Guarantee

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter