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.

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NOWSPAR Supports International Day of the Girl Child

The International Day of the Girl Child is an important platform for each of us to take account for our responsibilities to girls in our country. For the sport sector, we ask ourselves, have we delivered for girls? Have we listened to the girls in our programs? Have we sought out the girls who are excluded?

We also use this day to celebrate girls, the girls who are playing sport, who are being active, girls who are leading their peers, girls who are committed to their dreams and who stay in school or get back into school.

We continue to advance the understanding that physical education for girls is significant to girls’ development and contributes to reinforcing their education in other core areas that are focused on by our education system. But a brilliant mind in a physically inactive body will be limited in what can be achieved and the quality of life.

On this day, we remind ourselves of the work ahead of us, to secure the girls’ future by securing their girlhood. Vulnerability to abuse remains a key concern in our sector and community; we join with the rest of the world in taking a stand against child marriages and pregnancies. We are doing this by equipping girls to speak for themselves, to stand for their rights and to act towards their empowerment.

On behalf of NOWSPAR we call upon all stakeholders in sport to act for and with girls, to acknowledge their aspirations, voices and needs and to protect their girlhood.

Happy Day of the Girl Child- Matilda K. Mwaba