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.
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.