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.