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.
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.
Congratulations to the Zambian National Judo Team for their shining performance at the Africa Union Sports Council Region 5 Tournament in Manzini, Swaziland happening this week. They so far have 5 gold medals by Nokutula Banda, Lungowe Chindele, Naomi Zungu, Simon Zulu and Joshua Nyondo and 3 silver medals by Florence Mupeta, Taonga Soko and David Chisenga. These Games are also qualifiers for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
NOWSPAR in partnership with the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) Women’s Football Department conducted a Safeguarding Workshop with the members of the Women’s Under 17 National Football Team.
The workshop explored issues of gender relations, women’s rights, dealing with increase in income and popularity, vulnerability and power and recognising and dealing with gender based violence and codes of conduct.
Through a mix of presentations, discussions, question and answer style sessions, the workshop engaged both players and technical staff of the Team to provide information on gender based violence, on reporting facilities including Life Line 116 which is toll free, being a support network for one another as a team and the duty of care that technical staff have.
Key issues that arose include low allowances for players, limited camping time, insufficient training equipment and apparel, verbal abuse and requests for sexual favours from male players and technical staff not just of the team but around the facility where they are and in their communities as well.
One of the players said, ‘Sometimes you find that when a girl refuses to give in to sexual favours to a coach, he will tell her to be on the bench. He will even tell you that you will be on the bench for the rest of your life’
The discussions also raised issues of players also making sexual advances at coaches and managers. The ambitions and desire to be on the national team can be so strong that some will want to take this high risk to be on the team. Other factors include the attraction of money that is offered by men acting inappropriately towards girls.
‘Sometimes you really want to be on the team and if you are offered money you get tempted to make yourself available to coaches or other male staff who want to have sex with you.’ Another girls said.
The team manager was pointed out as a key person in the reporting system in cases of vulnerability or impropriety.
‘I always tell the girls that coaches are not interested in powder [beauty] but in football. I point out to the girls that if the coach wants to harm you, report to the team manager but if you wrongly accuse the coach, the coach will take you to court. I often tell the girls that they have the power within them to resist.’ One male coach said.
Some agreed steps for moving forward include another workshop to cover some of the topics in detail and taking forward the results and issues raised to the Women’s Football Committee for action.
The workshop had 23 players and 7 technical staff 4 of whom are male.
The technical team said this was a good initiative as they too are learning some of the practices that they may have are inappropriate and are also encouraged because safeguarding the welfare of the team was a collective responsibility.
The girls were presented with T-Shirts labelled Sheroes – Shepolopolo to encourage them and support them in their role as national flag carriers, sport ambassadors and contributing to breaking the stereotype that football is men’s sport.
NOWSPAR is part of the FAZ National Committee on Development of Women’s Football, the Football Association has been actively engaging with NOWSPAR on promoting women’s football, addressing gender issues and on safeguarding in particular.
This workshop is part of the strategies towards education of players and technical staff agreed in the 2011 Guidelines on Addressing Gender Based Violence in Sport, the 2013 Integrity of Sport Conference and the FIFA Com-Unity Seminar.
The Shepolopolo Team are in camp getting ready for their friendly match to be played against Zimbabwe on Saturday 24th May in Harare.
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
The NOWSPAR 2012 ‘She Leads Survey’ has found that the percentage of female board members on National Sport Associations in Zambia has slightly decreased since 2010. There has been a decrease in the number of associations represented by 50% or more women. And an increase of 12% in the number of associations without any female members. Read more about these findings here: SHE LEADS