Tuesday, August 31, 2010

How we find new Goal partners

You've been hearing lots of exciting news about Goal launching in new countries - we are launching next month in Jordan and looking to sign on partners in 1-2 more countries before the end of the year. But perhaps you wondered how we do this and what we look for - let's demystify that process for you!

Step 1: Identifying potential partners
The first step to launching Goal in a new country is determining who is working there that could be a potential partner. To do this we hit the phones and scour the web, looking for organisations running programmes that are complementary to Goal - for example, our Nigeria partner, the Youth Empowerment Foundation, has a long history of working with boys and girls on HIV and reproductive health education, but hadn't ever run a sport and life skills programme directly for girls.

We reach out to our networks - everyone, everywhere! - looking for organisations big and small that might fit our basic criteria. They should:
  • Already be working in urban areas in a Standard Chartered market
  • Include adolescent girls (approximately ages 15-19) in its existing programming (however programming does not need to be exclusively focused on adolescent girls)
  • Reach a large number individuals with existing programming and have capacity for growth
  • Maintain very strong, longstanding relationships with local communities and community based organisations
  • Be, at its core, committed to the empowerment of women
  • Have working relationships across sectors
  • Be financially stable with diverse revenue streams
  • Be considered a leader amongst its peers and in its fields
We don't often fund start up organisations, although some of them are outstanding. Sustainability is important to us and we want to make sure that we don't build something from scratch that can't continue beyond our involvement.

In the past, we've gotten help from friends in the Nike Foundation, EMPower, Beyond Sport, and others who know about great people and projects working to empower girls. Even Twitter and yes, people who read our blog, have thrown us some viable prospects.

Step 2: Figuring out how to make Goal work
Now we have a big list of names so we start the long process of introducing ourselves - over and over again! We tell people who we are and what we do, share our materials and criteria. And we ask the most important questions of potential partners: Are you interested in doing this? Does this dovetail with plans you already have for expansion or programming? Does this complement your existing work? Will this benefit you?

Lots of fuss is made about "mutually beneficial" partnerships, with good reason. We never want to force Goal on a partner; we like it when they tell us this was just the kind of thing they were waiting for. There have been amazing organisations who have told us they love the programme but that it doesn't fit with their existing plans or priorities. And we love that kind of candor and honesty.

We ask potential partners to come to us with a brief concept paper - just a few pages - that talks about how they would envision building Goal into their programming, who they could reach and where, and how they could use the Bank's assets to support it - not just funds,  but maybe our staff, or our banking services. At this stage we're open for considering any and all ideas.

Step 3: Discussing a Goal launch with the business
Goal is a partnership and our NGO partners are half of that - the other half though is our business in the countries we want to roll out. Different to a straightforward NGO programme, or a "donor/recipient" relationship, our global businesses need to feel that Goal can help them achieve their objectives, whether they be engaging more staff, reaching an underserved community or sometimes building the brand in a particular market. We're not shy about that fact that Goal has to deliver social AND business impact - so we work closely with our amazing teams in corporate affairs, wholesale and consumer banking, and the CEOs offices in a potential Goal market to figure out their feedback, needs, and requests.

We introduce our country offices to our NGO partners and let them brainstorm ideas about events, employee volunteering, and ways to work closely together. Some really exciting stuff comes out!

Step 4: Reviewing proposals and signing on partners
NOW! We've got business support, a solid idea - then we make it formal. We have a rigorous due diligence process and review lots of different materials: annual reports, audited financials, board member and leadership biographies, references. We ask lots of questions and get concrete timetables, reach numbers, plans for sustainability and communications. And of course budgets - Goal prides itself on being efficient, and we already have great models in India, Nigeria and soon Jordan. So we share those best practices with countries, and learn from them how market differences effect costs. It's an arduous and time consuming process but it's worth it for the result - a new Goal partner!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Goal girls at the Commonwealth Games

Earlier this month, Carmel Wright and Dr. Bimla Pawar, 2 of the competition managers for this years Commonwealth Games in Delhi, visited the Goal girls of Delhi . They had such a great time and were so impressed by the girls that they invited the girls for a netball coaching clinic at Thyagaraj stadium, Delhi’s newest state-of-the-arts stadium constructed solely for netball. Last Saturday, the 21st of August, 25 Goal girls, the entire Goal Delhi team, as well as coaches from Goal Chennai and Mumbai, hopped on a bus and headed over to the stadium for a truly once in a lifetime experience!

Thyagaraj Stadium
Once we arrived, the girls walked off the bus and were greeted like champions. All along the entrance were staff members of the stadium waiting to greet the girls and welcome them into the stadium. The girls (and the entire Goal team!) were literally awestruck by the pure magnitude of the stadium and the fantastic reception they received. As soon as the girls settled in to the room, the first thing Dr. Bimla Pawar said was how fantastic all the girls looked. For the special event, all the girls had worn matching Goal uniforms and not only did they look great, but some of the girls exclaimed that they “felt like champions,” and “professional players,” in their uniforms.
Col. OP Bhatia inspiring the girls.

The girls were welcomed by Col. OP Bhatia, venue commander of the stadium, Dr. Pawar, and Ms. Carmel Wright. Col Bhatia welcomed the girls into Thyagaraj and told them that he hopes that in the next couple of years it will be other girls sitting in the bleachers watching the Goal girls play on the court! Ms. Wright and Dr. Pawar had created a presentation about the history, development, and rules of netball for the girls. The presentation was really helpful as many of the girls and coaches were able to learn international level netball rules first-hand from international level officials.

Dr. Pawar and Ms. Wright demonstrating netball rules
The girls were then taken on a full tour of the stadium. The girls were so excited at seeing the team changing rooms and getting an idea of the “behind the scenes” lives of professional players.

Now if that wasn’t already enough excitement, after the tour, the girls were taken to the actual netball courts. On a side note - from an outsiders’ perspective, I have to say that seeing the looks on the girls’ faces when they walked on to the court was a fantastic experience in itself. Their eyes lit up more than the massive stadium lights shining across the court! Before visiting Thyagaraj, most of the girls’ idea of a sports ground was a bumpy dirt ground covered with patchy grass (and even glass sometimes). Walking in and not just seeing, but actually playing on, one of the best netball courts in the world was spectacular to say the least.

After some warm up exercises, the girls were split into groups of 4 for some netball training practice. What was amazing is that even with 25 girls, plus coaches, each and every one of the girls was given attention from the Commonwealth staff. Ms. Wright saying “Good pass,” or Dr. Pawar yelling “Nice catch,” was equivalent to receiving a badge of honour and the girls‘proud smiles were clear evidence of this.

After practicing for some time, the girls got a chance to play a match amongst themselves. The girls scrambled for bibs and positions and finally they were ready to play. Ms. Wright acted as umpire for the game and quickly understood individual girls’ playing styles. It was so fantastic to see that despite the language barrier, Ms. Wright and the girls understood each other perfectly – sports after all doesn’t need a language!

The girls played their hearts out; if they slipped they would be up and playing again before the camera shutter could snap. At first the girls on the sidelines sat quietly and properly trying not to disrupt the game but soon their cheers echoed throughout the stadium. Everyone working around from construction engineers to the Thyagaraj management stopped to watch the match, adding their own cheers to the resounding choir of the Goal girls.

At the end of the match, everyone was scrambling trying to figure out who won the game, but in all honesty no one even cared. Smiles were abundant and laughter could be heard from every corner of the courts. The girls were taken back to the meeting room and awarded drinks and snacks. Carmel Wright thanked the girls for coming remarking how proud she was at how much their game had improved since the last time she saw them. One lucky girl, Gulabsha, was awarded an Honorary Diamond from Netball Australia for excellence in her game. The girls thanked everyone, whispering amongst themselves about how nice everyone at the stadium had been and about the fact that they had just played on the Commonwealth stadium!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Photo of the Week: Turkey vs. Iran at the Youth Olympics

This is such a great photo of an exciting football match at the Singapore Youth Olympics 2010.

Fans were loving the girls football and the first game attracted over 3,000 people! Turkey beat Iran 4-2 but the noise from the stand was apparently deafening! Read more on this exciting match here.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Goal at the GBC conference

Editor's note: Sorry for the delay on this event summary! Must have gotten lost in the summer shuffle, but we're happy to share now!

Global Health Action, the 2010 Global Business Coalition (“GBC”) Annual Conference on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, was held on June 7-8 in Washington, D.C. It had a gathering of practitioners, strategists, donors, and government leaders for a hands-on meeting that blends the knowledge and practical skills of corporate and non-corporate leaders.

The 2 day conference saw multiple sessions dealing with the issues that GBC addresses. Chandni Lamba from Middle Market, OCC and Leading Country HIV Champion, India represented the Bank as a speaker on a panel “Tackling the Root Causes that make Girls and Women Vulnerable to HIV”, where she also showcased the bank’s Goal program on girl empowerment. The session was attended by over 100 GBC members.

The GBC’s Awards for Excellence in Business Action which gathered international leaders, corporations, governments and international agencies around a common objective of joining together to improve health and foster economic development around the world. Other attendees included U.S. Secretary for Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, recording star and activist Annie Lennox and PSI Board member Ashley Judd  (with Chandni in the photo above). Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice also was honored for her commitment and leadership in the creation of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the President’s Malaria Initiative and the Millennium Challenge Corporation.

Chandni encapsulates “It was a humbling experience , interacting with and listening to the likes of Ms. Rice , Ms Judd and Ms. Lennox . The phenomenal work they have taken upon to do , to make a difference to the lesser world around them, is inspiring.”

The Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (“GBC”) honored Standard Chartered, the Coca-Cola Africa Foundation, and ExxonMobil for NetsforLife with their ‘Business Excellence Award for Partnership.’ Vibhuti Sharma, Global Head of Development Organisations, accepted the award on behalf of Standard Chartered at the 2010 Business Excellence Awards dinner in Washington DC on Tuesday, June 8th.

Friday, August 20, 2010

"There's no greater gift you can give a girl than the permission to be herself"

Do you know the rules of Girlworld?
To me, it's inserting the word 'like' in the middle of a sentence, normally before an adjective... posing and remaining 'cool' at all times is a must... always being embarrassed by what your parents do.... Sounding more familiar?!

Well, the Girl Leadership Institution (GLI) wants to step away from this world of strict rules. It challenges this facade of 'sef control' and inspires girls to just be themselves. The brains behind GLI is Rachel Simmons. She believes that "a connected girl is a happy girl". She's written books and is a teacher on bullying-prevention amongst young girls at school, and believes that GLI programs, such as their very popular summer camps, are the key to teaching girls to be strong and independant. They consist of playing sport, self discovery workshops, making films, going on field trips- the list seems to be endless!

Using Rachel's words: "There’s no greater gift you can give a girl than the permission to be herself."

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Ghusbeti - Goal Delhi's newest site

This past Wednesday, the 10th of August, the Goal Delhi team visited their newest site in Ghusbeti. Ghusbeti is a small town about 80km outside of Delhi. The Goal site, in particular, is located in a girls hostel for students of the Deepalaya school of Ghusbeti. The Deepalaya school is tucked away on top off a hill, surrounded by beautiful, rolling green fields (quite a shock to the eyes after the largely urban landscape of Delhi!).

The view from inside the Deepalaya school at Ghusbeti.
We first arrive at the school itself where the kids have just been dismissed for lunch. They swarm around our truck cooing calls of "Good morning maam,"and "Maam, shoot me please! Me!" To understand that it might be helpful to explain that the camera was out at this point! We gather the girls participating in Goal and head over to their hostel, where their Goal session will be held.

Here's some of the girls from the spontaneous lunchtime photo shoot:

Once we get to the hostel, most of the girls quickly shed their 'dupattas'and don their netball gear ready to hit the field. Coaches Sonali and Sandhya hold warm ups and drills, which the girls thoroughly enjoy. They cover basic netball passes and then line up for shooting practice. They then play a great game where the girls try and hit the person in the middle of the circle with the netball, while that person tries to dodge and make a record for how many times they can avoid the ball. Everyone gets involved, including the entire Goal team! Here's some pictures from the netball session:

Finally, the girls pack up and head inside for their life skills session which deals with: "The Story of Violence." Many of the girls do not even know what 'violence' is, but by the end of the session they have learnt the different types of violence that can be committed against them and what they should do if they are the victims of any of these acts. The girls are enthusiastically listening, despite the sweltering heat, and volunteer ways of protecting themselves from any kind of violence.

For more pictures of the afternoon, you can visit this link.

Monday, August 16, 2010

English Tutoring at Aali Gaon

Last Monday, 2nd of August, Standard Chartered Bank employees from Delhi started visiting the Goal site at Aali Gaon to help tutor the girls in English. The girls were ecstatic about starting the program and honored that volunteers from SCB would be the ones coming all the way out just to teach them. The first few weeks of the program have been really successful so far. Some of the girls had never attended school and some did not know how to read or write even basic Hindi. But already, in less than two weeks, those same girls are now writing the entire alphabet and know that "A is for Apple, B is for Ball, N is for Netball etc..."

Yesterday, the bank volunteers wanted to do something special in honor of India's Independence Day, which falls on August 15th, this Sunday. They bought the girls Indian flags, snacks, and drinks for a mini celebration. After the girls' grammar lesson the last half of the class was spent reciting the Indian national anthem and munching on chocolates and 'pakodas.' The girls had a great time and both the volunteers from SCB as well as all of us at Goal are really excited about watching the girls progress even more with their English in the following months.

More pictures can be seen here.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Goal hits the Commonwealth Games

As we mentioned on the blog last week, the Commonwealth Games fever has definitely struck Goal Delhi! Earlier in the month, three of our very own Goal Delhi coaches, Richa, Amrita, Sonali, and one of our Goal champions, Anjali Mishra were invited to volunteer at the Test events for the Commonwealth Games 2010 in Delhi.

They all got a chance to first hand experience the 7th Asian Youth Netball Championships held in Thyagraj Indoor Stadium, which has been built solely as a state of the art auditorium to hold netball games. Sonali and Anjali volunteered as Umpire assistants while Richa and Amrita were team liaison officers, for Hong Kong and Malaysia respectively.

Here’s some of their thoughts on their experience:

Sonali: “I was so happy that I was chosen as a volunteer for the Asian Youth Netball Championships. I was amazed to meet all the international technical officials of netball. The entire week was very motivating for me, now I aspire to play netball at the level of these international players that I saw. My aim is to play for the Indian team in next years championships!”

Amrita: “It was my first experience as a liaison officer of an international team (Malaysia). I learned how to manage a team, maintain discipline, keep scores, identify fouls, and manage time. Malaysia’s coach was happy to know that I am also a coach and am coaching community girls. She really appreciated the work I am doing in coaching netball to the girls. I was happy when the Malaysian team, my assignment, won the final! I feel great that I got this wonderful opportunity because it will help me in life and in my own netball game.”

Goal girls at Thygraj stadium

So not only did some of our coaches and a Goal champion get the chance to shadow international netball officials and players, but 25 girls from the Goal program in Kalkaji were taken to the semifinals at Thygraj stadium where India played against Singapore (my two home countries!). Even though India lost the match in the end, the girls had a great time. Here’s what some of them had to say:

“I was happy that I got chance to witness an International event! It was so nice to see that there was no shouting or disrespect shown to fellow members.”- Anupama

“I hope that even I will be able to play like them. I will now put in my best effort to play with this kind of energy!” – Chaya

“I hope that the Goal program runs for another two years so that soon we can reach up to the level of (Coach) Sonali and (Goal champion) Anjali!” - Nandini

All the girls involved in this event in some way or another were inspired to improve their games by watching these international level tournaments. Hopefully soon it will be our girls on the court inspiring countless others around them!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Photo of the week: India Goal Girls practising their netball skills

Our Goal Girls in Chennai are becoming really good netball players. It looks like the boys want to join in!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Girls Inc.

I’ve found a really great new site called girls inc. which is an organisation that “inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and bold”. It encourages girls to become independent and has a camp called ‘Corporate Camp’ which supports girls who want to become entrepreneurs. Girls as young as six years old learn about the being financially independent.

Watch a Girls Inc. video where lots of girls tell us how they are inspired to follow their dreams:

What’s really cool is that the First Lady Michelle Obama is on the Honary Board Chair of Girls Inc. Read more about how the First Lady is getting involved.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Global Girls News: 4 August

Latest news in bite-size just for you!

  • Women and girls attended the annual International AIDS 2010 conference in Vienna. World YWCA, a global network of women leading social and economic change, organised a few sessions and invited 24 young women either affected by or living with HIV, to fly in for the conference. Read more on World YWCA at the conference.

  • All the top South African sports women gathered for the Annual gsport Awards. The event was full of women who are dedicated to promoting sport for women and girls in South Africa. As I’m sure you’re aware by now, we love netball. Well, the sports activist Motlatsi Keikabile was at the awards and she runs a community sports club for netball in South Africa.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Rain stops play?

Here’s a photo of the Goal girls at Elphinstone Road in Mumbai caught in the rain.

Coming from Britain, I thought I was used to rain. But comparing the drizzle at home to the Indian monsoon is like comparing a dripping tap to a burst pipe. Over here, the skies open up and the rain explodes upon us.

The people of Mumbai seem well-adjusted to the disruption, which delays trains for an hour or more most days, and brings the already gridlocked traffic to a stand-still. As an observer the rain may be atmospheric and exciting, but its impact on people’s lives is immense. Roofs leak, roads flood, clothes are drenched and cars break down.

However, as you can see, the Mumbaikers seem to just up their umbrellas and get on with it!

While the Goal girls aren't playing much netball in this weather, they're still attending their regular sessions, learning about topics such as personal hygiene, peer pressure and communication.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Goal and the Commonwealth Games

Commonwealth Games fever is already starting in India and we here at Goal couldn't be more excited. Of course you know our star Goal Champion Deepali will be representing India (and Goal!) on the national netball team. But we also had a visit from Carmel Wright, the netball Competition Manager for the Commonwealth Games to our Delhi site last week. Here's what she had to say about her experience:

I visited one of the Goal programmes earlier this week. Four of our volunteers for the Commonwealth Games are from the Goal program and in the photo (two of them are Goal Champions, training the girls and teaching them netball skills as well as other life skills).

The girls look so forward to just the netball.I was very impressed with this group and, being an umpire, I could not help myself from giving a helping hand.

The enthusiasm of this group was amazing and discovering the difficulties some girls face to be a part of this group is astounding. Parents are kind of untrusting ( for want of a better way to put it) as they do not want their daughters to become involved in a program they think might be detrimental to their daughters. One girl recently got married and she has the support of her husband to attend this program. We do not realize how much we take for granted in our lives when you consider the plight of these girls.The young ones are sisters of some of those in the group and they are as keen as mustard to join in.

The people who run this group are obviously very special people and I take my hat off to them , for their dedication and giving of time to bring so much joy and spirit to these girls. I can honestly say the four girls we have as volunteers and who are coaches for this program are just a delight .