Matilda Mwaba 1957- 2021 (MHSRIP)

Matilda Mwaba 08.06.1957 – 11.01.2021

The Board and Management of NOWSPAR regret to announce the passing of our Founder and Executive Director Mrs. Matilda Mwaba.

Mrs Mwaba died on Monday 11th January 2021 at the Levy Mwanawasa Hospital in Lusaka, Zambia. Our hearts go out to the family, friends, and colleagues across the sports world.

Feel free to send your messages, pictures of or with her, and share your memories and prayers with us on:

Facebook Page: NOWSPAR Women in Sport

Twitter: @nowspar

Here we share a few highlights of nearly three decades of her career in sport practice, administration and advocacy. 

In 2006, Ms Mwaba co-founded the National Organisation for Women in Sport Physical Activity and Recreation (NOWSPAR) where she was Chief Executive Officer until the time of her passing. NOWSPAR is a leading sport focused civil society organisation dedicated to the advancement of women’s rights to and through sport. She was Chairperson of the Women Sport Africa Network (WSAN), and a member of the Global Executive Board of  the International Working Group on Women and Sport (IWG) as representative for Africa. 

She was Team Manager for Team Zambia to the Manchester Commonwealth Games in 2004, she spearheaded theTalent Identification Program in 2011 in preparation for Zambia’s participation in the All Africa Games, led the Volunteer Management Committee during the Zone VI Games held in Zambia 2012. 

A second Dan Judo Black belt holder, she was the first woman to be elected President of a national Judo Association and served from 1998 – 2005. Through this groundbreaking election, she was the first woman within the global martial art sport community to become president. She was also the first African Woman to head a national Judo Association. Other sports leadership portfolios she held include the Board of the National Sports Council of Zambia for 12 years, served on the Ministry of Youth and Sport Women’s Technical and Advisory Group, Board of the National Olympic Committee of Zambia (NOCZ), President of the International Kicking Aids Out Network, and member of the African Union Sports Council Region 5 (AUSC5) Gender Advisory Committee. 

In the course of her career, she has been at the frontlines of advocating for the sport for development approach and gender equality in sport at different levels from National, Region, International forums. She has engaged in platforms including with traditional leaders, sports federations, Parliamentary Committee, African Union Sports Council Region 5 (AUSC5) Women’s Commission, Africa Women in Sport (AWISA), International Women’s Working Group on Women and Sport (IWG), United Nations, G8 and World Bank summits. 

She was awarded three times as Sports Administrator of the year by the Rothmans Sports Award and National Sports Council of Zambia Awards. She also received an award from the Ministry of Youth and Sport, in recognition of contributions to the advancement of girls and women in Zambia.

In 2014, she was awarded by the AUSC Region 5 Sports Award presented by the Chairman of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC).

In 2019, Ms. Mwaba was awarded the Presidential Insignia of Meritorious Achievement for her contribution to sport by the President of Zambia.

In 2020, she was inducted into the African Union Sports Council Region 5 (AUSC5) Hall of Fame.


Call for Applications: Youth Sport Exchange 2020/2021 (Extended Deadline)

We invite Zambian women aged between 20-28 to apply to participate in the Youth Sport Exchange Programme (YSEP) 2020/2021.

About the Programme:

YSEP is a cultural exchange programme within the Nowegian Exchange Commisison (NOREC) to facilitate youth learning and sharing through exposure to day to day work and life in a different country. YSEP participants volunteer in sport federations, sport NGOs, community clubs and schools in Malawi and Norway for a period of 10 months. To facilitate adoption of the local ways of living and working, volunteer are hosted within families in Malawi and in Norway they live in a shared apartment in the city. YSEP volunteers work as coaches, activity leaders, P.E support, sports administrators and sport project assistants among other roles.

Programme Costs:

The programme expenses including passport, visa, flights, accommodation, and a stipend to cover basic transport and food costs while in the placement are provided. Please note that although YSEP participants are treated as staff members in their host organisations, the stipend is not a salary, it only covers basic expenses.

About the Applicants:

NOWSPAR is recruiting women who are trained coaches, peer leaders, sport administrators, and activity leaders to participate in this programme. We particularly encourage women from the following sport disciplines: Judo, Athletics, Volleyball, Handball, Football, Table Tennis, and Netball. Alumni of the sports education programmes including Goal, Play It Forward, and other peer leader programmes are welcome to apply.

Applicants should have:

  • Confidence to work in a new place/organisation
  • An open mind to learn and to adapt to different work and living cultures
  • Willingness to live in a different culture and place
  • Skills and experience to teach, coach, plan, and manage activities
  • Maturity and responsibility to manage their time, targets, and plans
  • Interest and commitment to learn a new language (Norwegian or Cichewa)
  • Skills to use digital communication- smart phone apps and computer
  • Motivation to develop themselves through work experiences, exposure, and skills
  • Ability to face social, work, and personal challenges and work through them
  • Resourcefulness to work in a diversity of cultures and contexts (class, religion, genders, ethnicities etc)
  • Ability to work with a variety of age groups (5 years – over 60) and physical abilities/disabilities


There are two potential placements, Norway and Malawi. Please note that there are fewer placements in Norway and majority of applicants will be placed in Malawi. Placements are between August 2020 and June 2021. (Subject to change).


Please fill in the form by 17thApril 2020. Click Here for Application Form

Kindly note that you must provide an answer to each question in order to be able to click submit.

Covid 19 Statement: Please note that any changes due to the response to the pandemic will be communicated. Changes may affect start date of the placements.

NOWSPAR Goal Girls Kick-Off International Day Of The Girl at Kapwelyomba Primary School

To kick-off NOWSPAR’s commemoration of the International Day of the Girl (11 October, 2018), five of our Goal girls at Kapwelyomba Primary school made presentations during their school assembly. In their presentations, they shared about their participation in the Goal program and the importance of being informed on their rights as young girls.
“As a girl who comes to Kapwelyomba, I have the right to be educated, and to be treated well by teachers and other pupils,” one participant, Cindy Kabwe, said. “We all should respect each other’s rights; we shouldn’t treat each other as things, but as people.”
The girls spoke to their peers about peer-pressure, the importance of independent and confident decision-making, personal hygiene, and the difference between ‘needs’ and ‘wants’ and prioritisation when making financial decisions.
NOWSPAR will be supporting a series of community and school based activities around the country to commemorate the International Day of the Girl.
For more updates on NOWSPAR’s work during the International Day of the Girl, keep up with the organisation on our website,, and follow us on Twitter @nowspar. Join the conversation through the hashtag #DayoftheGirl

NOWSPAR is Celebrating International Day of the Girl 2018!

October 11 2018 is the 7th annual International Day of the Girl, and NOWSPAR joins the rest of the world in taking action for girls.

The International Day of the Girl aims to highlight and address the needs and challenges that girls face, while promoting girls’ empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights.

NOWSPAR believes and invests in girls in and through sport. The organisation uses sport-based methodology to equip girls with sport and life-skills including financial literacy, knowledge about their rights, and development. International Day of the Girl is an opportunity for girls to celebrate their achievements, while staying informed on issues concerning their well-being, human rights, and safety.

This year, NOWSPAR will be supporting a series of community and school based activities around the country to commemorate the International Day of the Girl. Young women leaders will be supporting girls’ action at Chitukuko Primary School, Kapwelyomba Primary School, Woodlands Secondary School, in Lusaka, as well as schools in Chongwe, Kasisi, Ndola and Petauke Districts.

For more updates on NOWSPAR’s work during the International Day of the Girl, keep up with the organization on our website,, and follow us on Twitter @nowspar. #DayoftheGirl

NOWSPAR teaches girls to ‘Be Independent’ at Goal Event.

On Saturday, 23 September 2018, NOWSPAR held a community event celebrating the organisation’s long-running Goal programme, a sport- and life-skills programme designed to facilitate the empowerment of adolescent girls and young women.

Reaching 345 girls and young women between the ages of 10 and 24, the event served as the launch of ‘Be Independent’. Be Independent is a new component of the Goal curriculum designed to contribute to enabling young women to develop skills to access income generating opportunities.

Dorcas Kashinda is one of participants who has developed to be a Goal Champion. She gave a speech at the launch event in which she thanked NOWSPAR, Standard Chartered Bank and everybody who showed continuous support of the girl child, for the opportunities Goal has created to empower girls.

“I stand here today as a living testimony of the impact that Goal has on girls’ lives.” Dorcas stated. “Through Goal, I have learned to be a confident girl and take up challenges I would otherwise never have thought of. Goal has enabled me and thousands of young girls to make informed decisions about our futures.”

The participants were also excited to have been a part of the event, expressing happiness and excitement about having learned about their power as young women. “The experience was great!” said 22 year-old Sharon Phiri. “I’ve learned a lot, especially about communication. Whenever you want to achieve something, it’s important to communicate your needs so that everybody can work together.”

Other young women were grateful to have been able to spend a day away from their every day community activities to spend time to think about and plan for their futures. Pauline Lungu, 15, said, “Being here means I’m not in the compound, where I would’ve have likely gotten into trouble. I’ve left a bad place to come to a good place.”

Pauline also added that she felt she’d taken a lot of useful content from the Goal lessons. “I’ll follow everything that I was taught at this event,” she said. “I’ve learned about cleanliness and teamwork. I’ve made some good friends, and I now know how to deal with different people.”

Officiating at the event were Ms. Grace Soko, a representative of the Ministry of Youth and Sport, and Guest of Honour Mr. Simon Kapilima, Zambia’s Ministry of Gender’s Assistant Director. Additionally, the girls’ and young women and NOWSPAR also received full support from partners, Standard Chartered Bank and Women Win, as well as representatives from the organisation’s own Board of Trustees.

Throughout the day, the girls participated in various sports-based life-skills sessions–sessions that have been successfully running in schools around the country since the program’s inception in 2014, handled by trained Facilitators from NOWSPAR that focused on Goal’s four core modules: Communication, Health and Hygiene, Rights, and Financial Literacy. Furthermore, the girls had the option of participating in either a Football or a Netball match, as the event’s main sporting activity. By day’s end, the event saw many satisfied and happy girls, armed with brand new, valuable, and life-changing knowledge and experiences.

NOWSPAR would like to thank our partners, the schools, and everyone that contributed to ensuring the success of the Community Event. The organisation continues to work on facilitating opportunities to reach and empower even more girls in communities throughout the country.

Young Women Play It Forward

NOWSPAR launched its new project called Play It Forward to facilitate young women’s economic empowerment. The project is an extension of the current Goal Programme and is being funded by Comic Relief, Standard Chartered Bank (UK and Zambia) and Women Win. The project is designed to create pathways to economic empowerment for  young women and adolescent girls within the sport sector.

Play It Forward

Leveling the Field: Empowering Young Women through Sport Project: Play It Forward

As part of the recruitment process, NOWSPAR held two information sharing meetings, on 21 and 27 September 2018, in which 52 young women attended. Speaking at the opening of the session, Ms. Mwambwa (NOWSPAR Adviser and Board Member) said “NOWSPAR is keen to ensure the support they provide meets the needs of the girls and young women. Therefore this element of the project was developed in consideration of young women’s needs for economic independence”.

When asked how they felt about the project, the candidates said they were excited and felt ready to be a part of a program that would support their efforts towards economic independence.

“I’ve been waiting for a project like this for a long time,” one candidate stated. “I’ve been working on my own. I wake up early every morning and prepare scones, fritters and munkoyo to sell. I’m happy that a program that will teach me how to take that further exists.”

At the meetings, the young women were informed about the project and the opportunities to gain training on entrepreneurship and employability life-skills.  The training includes  a camp-style week-long training session, vocational training, start up grants, as well as work attachments and internships with a selection of some of NOWSPAR’s organisational partners.

Later, Ms. Mayuni (Board Member and Goal School Coordinator) voiced that she was happy to see so many girls be so responsive to the new program. She encouraged them to continue being positive about their lives and their value, noting that no aspiration was too high. Sharing her own testimony of how she started out as a housemaid to support herself through High School, Ms. Mayuni expressed that she hoped that having the young women see her stand before them as a degree holder would be the driving force to keep them working hard for everything they hope to achieve.

Also in attendance were NOWSPAR Board Member Ms. Carol Chiyassa, and representatives of Asikana Network, a local organisation who offer ICT training to young women in Zambia.

The Play It Forward program is currently reviewing candidate applications, with the training workshop expected to begin in November 2018. NOWSPAR is thrilled to be a part of opening new avenues for girls and women in sport to empower themselves and transform their lives and communities for the better.

For more events and news you can follow our website and our social media: Twitter: @nowspar or facebook 


Goal: Learn and Play!

On Saturday 22nd September, we where learning and playing with 345 girls in Chipata compound, Lusaka. The girls aged 12 to 24 years were doing different exercises in groups through which they learned about topics on communication, health and hygiene, rights, and financial literacy. They also played football and netball activities according to their preferences. The activities where led by our young women who are trained peer leaders in the Goal programme, a play based methodology for facilitating rights, leadership, and sport education.

A successful event with a lot of satisfied and happy girls, and a day for getting new valuable, life changing knowledge and experiences. Present was also the events guest of honor, Mr. Kupilima, the assistant Director of Ministry of Gender, together with the representative of the Ministry of Sports Ms. Grace Soko, representatives from Standard Chartered Bank, and most important the many community members that cam to watch and support the girls. We thank you all for your presence, your speeches, participation, and for your contribution to make this a valuable day for all the young girls.

Girls with Goals in Kazungula

We had a great time with over 170 girls and young women at a sports day in Nyawa Village in Kazungula District of Southern Province. Together with Response Network, a community facilitation organisation, our Goal Leaders ran sport based awareness sessions with participants aged from 10 – 22 years old. The event focused on play and some sports activities within the framework of Goal Programme. The girls played games used to facilitate discussions on health, hygiene, and financial literacy.

Some discussions included reflections on day to day life that make up the local culture and how this makes it possible or not for girls to participate in sport. The girls had fun and learnt some new information and fun games. It was equally a great experience for the organisations and the facilitators to work with the girls and communities in Nyawa, which is different from the urban communities we often work in.

An important issue that was made apparent to us was that there are few sports programmes and activities available in many areas of Kazungula. For example, most the girls had to walk distances of about 10km from the neighbouring villages to reach Nyawa Village Football Field where the event was hosted.

One of the participants said they “look forward to such programs being introduced in other villages because it’s of great importance that young girls see the value of education and how sport can be used to learn”.

Organisations such as Response Network focus on supporting local residents in the villages to learn to run sport activities and clubs so they can have activities locally.  Having sports events and facilities within a short distance of residences is important as it then makes it easier to fit play and sport into the day to day activities of girls as well as minimise safety concerns.

NOWSPAR continues to cooperate with Response Network through programmes including the Youth Sport Exchange Programme as well as mutual sharing on practices in sport for development in Zambia.

International Women’s Day 2016

This year’s International Women’s Day commemoration was about sharing the vision of getting to equality by the year 2030 and celebrating the partnerships that we have and are building to sustain this work. And of course some physical activity!

Getting Fit to Step Up for Equality

In collaboration with the National Sports Council of Zambia (NSCZ) we held two (2) hours of aerobics sessions on 7th March to promote physically active lifestyles. The sessions were provided free of charge to all and we had about 200 women, men, boys and girls participating and experiencing the joy of movement.

Celebrating our work taking Girls to Higher Heights 

Our partner Standard Chartered Bank (SCB)  held a Women’s Day celebration event at their London office on 8th March. The event was hosted by the SCB Women’s Network and our International Adviser Ms. Lombe Mwambwa was one of the Guest Speakers. She shared with the staff present what the Goal Program is about in Zambia, the influences it has on girls’ lives and the community.

The Bank’s Group CEO Mr. Bill Winters opened the event and spoke of the Banks commitment to achieving parity, within the Bank and by supporting programs such as Goal. The other guest speaker was Ms. Ebony Rainford-Brent who was the first black woman to play Cricket for England, winning the Ashes and the World Cup, she spoke of the power of sport to provide opportunity and positive life experiences and choices.

Standard Chartered Bank supports us through Women Win to deliver Goal, this year we are reaching 2,500 girls and young women with sport and life skills.

Building a Women Sport Africa Network 

The Working Group of the Women Sport Africa Network (WSA) held it’s second meeting in Uganda on 9th – 10th March 2016 to move forward the effort to build an Africa wide network of women in sport. The Working Group is chaired by NOWSPAR founder and Executive Director Ms. Matilda Mwaba in her capacity as Africa Representative to the International Working Group on Women and Sport (IWG). The Women Sport Africa Network is supported by the IWG and will be hosting an Africa, Women and Sport Conference in October this year.

Playing Free in Choma!

‘It takes a village to raise a child’ so the community of Choma gathered to celebrate the launch of the Play Free! Project at Choma Children’s Development Programme. The project is aimed at contributing to the protection and safeguarding of children’s rights through sport.

Brave Hingombe, one of the children in the programme, gave a speech saying:

I am very happy to participate in this event, we should play more sports and games. I encourage all children to report any abuse to their family, school or coaches.


The Children presented a poem about the rights that both girls and boys have to sport. Another poem was about the effects of HIV/AIDS on the community.

Speaking on behalf of NOWSPAR, Ms. Mofu Kandondo highlighted the importance of the partnerships within the project that includes the CBOs, government department and media organisations as all are part of the society in which children develop.

In his speech declaring the opening of the project, the representative of the District Education Board Secretary Mr. Makani  said:

Sport is a key aspect that broadens the child’s education, the Ministry of Education is very pleased with the move by two organisation to work with the education sector in helping fight for the rights of children.

The guest of honor, all the officials, and parents were invited to play two games from the project so they can have a feel of the children’s activities and the information in the games.

Play Free- Parents Playing Goal Game


Newly trained Goal Facilitator Mrs. Barbra Malawo said:

This programme is important because children need their rights protected. I am glad we have this training to help us work with the children to play and protect them.

During the Sport Policy Forum held in Choma in September 2015, NOWSPAR had agreed to support sport and lifeskills development programmes in  the Southern Province.

The Provincial Sports Coordinator from the Ministry of Youth Sport and Child Development Mr. Kennedy Mubanga said:

The Ministry is supportive of community sport development programs and is pleased that Choma District is starting this project. It is part of the Ministry’s work to encourage such developments and provide the  policy support as needed, so keep calling on us.

To close the event, we had musical performance by a local artist, and prayers.

The project provides sport and lifeskill development for children and youth using Goal activities. Facilitates engagement of community members, government and civil society in the local community.

The Play Free! Project activities in Choma are supported by Kindernothilfe (Translated: Supporting Children in Need), a development cooperation organisation based in Germany. BICC-CCDP is a Community Based Organisation in Choma that works to promote children’s rights and development.