Young girls' fight for equality through sports

by iPartner India
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Young girls' fight for equality through sports
Young girls' fight for equality through sports
Young girls' fight for equality through sports
Young girls' fight for equality through sports
Young girls' fight for equality through sports
Young girls' fight for equality through sports
Young girls' fight for equality through sports
Young girls' fight for equality through sports
Young girls' fight for equality through sports

Dear Global Givers,

A very happy 2021 from all of us at iPartner India.

We are happy to share an update on iPartner India’s intervention to empower young girls by
training them to become footballers and pursue a career in sports. Your support has been
crucial in helping the girls’ team continue with their football practice amidst the global

As you are aware, most of the girls from the slums of Rajabazaar in Kolkata, West Bengal
have restrictions imposed on their movement and on their choice of careers. iPartner India
is giving these girls an opportunity to make informed choices through a series of gender
workshops and career guidance sessions.

The aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown have posed significant
challenges. Most activities were put on hold, especially football matches and the weekly
practice sessions for the girls. Our team on the ground along with the coach
managed to guide the girls through online exercise sessions. Within the available limited space at their homes, the girls practised, proving that with motivation anything is possible.

Another challenge was for those girls in high school who needed support regarding their
education and career. A workshop on Adolescent Reproductive Health and Rights was
organized, which helped the girls address some of the challenges posed due to the closure of
schools due to the pandemic.

Meet Shahina, who is currently pursuing her 12th grade. She lives in the slum colony of
Rajabazar in Kolkata with her younger brother and parents. Her mother does stitching work
at home and her father is a street vendor. She joined Roshni Youth Group two years ago and
she is also part of the all-girls football team.

Shahina is passionate about playing football and enjoys doing exercise. When she first
joined she did not take the game seriously but today she is one of the strongest team
member and wants to set an example for girls in the community that girls can achieve
anything that they set their hearts and minds on.

The year 2020 was a big challenge and a struggle as both her parents lost their livelihood
and providing for the family was very difficult with no jobs. Her family had no work, money
and food.

Through your kind support, she has been provided with balanced nutrition such as fruits,
health drinks and protein to help her stay fit and active.

She regularly practices her game and is looking forward to start playing competitive matches
soon. Shahina wishes to become a lawyer so that she can help women and girls in her
community to fight for their rights.

Thank you, Global Givers for believing in our work and for your continued support. As
always, we’ll approach the challenges that 2021 brings with the same determination, focus,
and willingness to innovate that has served us well in the past.

Happy New Year once again.

With deep gratitude,

iPartner India Team

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Dear Global Givers,

The nationwide lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic has pushed many vulnerable families in an unprecedented crisis. The crisis clearly shows that people in the most vulnerable situations are hit the hardest by the pandemic and how it is exacerbating structural inequalities in society. Cases of domestic violence, child marriages, sexual abuse and girls dropping out of formal education have been reported to have increased since the lockdown. Mass school closures are tending to entrench
learning gaps between girls and boys and putting many more girls at risk of sexual exploitation, early pregnancy, and early or forced marriage. For many poor families where only the mother or father owns a mobile phone, girls are mostly made to do domestic work while boys are given the preference of attending online classes.

iPartner India’s project in the slums of Kolkata to promote an all-girls football team was already facing the challenges before the pandemic. Most of these girls come from extremely resource-poor and conservative backgrounds, having fought gender norms and societal pressures to be part of a team to play a sport that is associated with boys. We are hopeful that the girls will soon be able to unite as a team and start practising football once the situation improves.

Despite many new challenges emerging due to COVID-19, our team on the ground managed to remain connected and ensured that the girls were regularly engaged through various online classes and training sessions.

Online classes continue as many schools remain shut and the girls are coping to complete school work and at the same time are encouraged to participate in series of online sessions to avail counselling, gender training and football coaching classes. The team is closely monitoring the progress of all the girls and are also regularly in touch with their families.

Since many girls were facing stress and depression due to COVID and restriction on mobility, a support group has been established with the help of a counsellor. The group enables the girls to share and discuss psycho-social issues in a safe space. One to one tele-counselling have been held for the girls by the counsellor and girls are also encouraged to reach out to their peer support group in case of any help.

A WhatsApp group was formed where the football coach has been giving various tasks, exercises and skill-building techniques by sharing videos, including videos on inspirational girls' football stories. The girls have been practising in their rooms or the streets and regularly share their videos with the team and the coach. The coach is closely engaging with the girls and gives his feedback and other tasks for the girls to keep practising. The girls are encouraged to work as a team, motivate their teammates to practice with them and upload the videos on the chat group.

Thank you, Global Givers, for your continued support. We need your support now more than ever to ensure that the football team will continue and give these girls an opportunity to pursue their passion for the game.

With deep gratitude,

iPartner India Team

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Dear Global Givers,

We hope that you are in good spirits and health during this challenging time of COVID-19
pandemic. The world as we know has changed so much during these past few months and
the future has never felt so unpredictable. Yet, our work must continue and with this we
would like to present an update from our campaign “Young girls' fight for equality through
sports” living in the slums of Kolkata, India.

In India, the nationwide lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic has caused a lot of hardship,
especially on the poor who have lost their livelihood and are facing hunger and starvation.
To add to this burden, Kolkata was hit by Amphan cyclone, one of the worst cyclones of the
century, which led to the destruction of many of the houses where these girls live.

Although all sporting activities have been suspended due to COVID-19, we continue to
engage with the girls through telephonic conversation to ensure that they are coping well
during these challenging times. We have also distributed dry ration and basic essential items
to 100 families in the area where these girls live. Most of the parents of these girls are daily
wage labourers, and with the lockdown, they have lost their daily earnings. We are closely
monitoring the situation on the ground to ensure that these families can sustain themselves
during the lockdown. The girls whom you were supporting have shown exemplary
leadership during these times and volunteered for ration distribution to families around

The girls are determined to fight back with grit and courage and reclaim their passion for the
game and aim to start playing football as soon as the lockdown opens up in their city. 
Thousands of families from marginalised communities need our support now even more
than ever and we need supporters like you to be part of these changing times.
Despite tough times ahead, we are grateful that there are still many reasons to look forward
to, and we are grateful to ardent supporters like you who keep believing in our work.

Thank you Global Givers! Your generosity inspire us.

With deep gratitude,

iPartner India Team

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Organization Information

iPartner India

Location: London, Greater London - United Kingdom
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @ipartnerindia
Project Leader:
Bina Rani
London, Greater London United Kingdom

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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