Sunday, December 25, 2011

Kunti's grown from strength to strength and now a national player of Netball!

Kunti’s Background
Kunti is in 9th Grade at Deepalaya School, Govindpuri, New Delhi. She has participated in the Goal programme for the past two years. “She was known to be very notorious in school. She was poor in studies and was always in the bad books with most of the teachers.

Her Experience
When asked about her experience with Goal, she gives a brilliant smile and says that it has been a great experience. She admits that after playing the junior nationals, her confidence level has increased. She says “I am looking forward to make my career in Netball”. She is inspired by one of the Goal coaches, Ms. Deepali, who represents India at the international level. She has now been selected to become a ‘Goal Champion’: to facilitate leadership sessions and teach netball to the new girls in the programme for which she underwent a ‘Train the Trainers’ course.

She trains the young girls at her school who now intently listens to her instructions as they get initiated to the game of Netball. During the sessions, Kunti displays great command on the group that she coaches and shares - “I am proud to be a national player of Netball. I can never thank the Goal team enough for this opportunity.

What she learnt
Kunti says “Through the programme I have learned how to operate computers and internet. I understand the importance of Health & Hygiene and learned about Sex & Sexuality.” She also recollects the fun that she had at the Goal picnics and training sessions with the Goal Team.
Her teachers have noticed significant changes in her after she enrolled in the programme, after she joined the Goal programme, her behaviour has improved greatly and so has her performance in academics. We are happy to see the change and know that she can do something in life” says Ms. Namrata, teacher and community coordinator, Deepalaya School, Govindpuri, New Delhi.

She has now been selected to become a ‘Goal Champion’: to facilitate leadership sessions and teach netball to the new girls in the programme in order to do this she underwent a ‘Train the Trainers’ course. She trains the young girls at her school who now intently listens to her instructions as they get initiated to the game of Netball. During the sessions, Kunti displays great command on the group that she coaches and shares - “I am proud to be a national player of Netball. I can never thank the Goal team enough for this opportunity.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Global News - Empowering girls

  • GNOC- The ‘women in sports festival’ begins. The Gambia national Olympic committee (GNOC) and the Gambia football association(GFA) organises the week of women in sports festival began on Saturday. This is the third year it has taken place and the main focus is to encourage and empower girls by mainstreaming them into the world of football.
    Read more:

  • Programme director of the Girls Empowered is the Triad winner! Time Warner Cable’s National Super Connector Search will give Johnson a chance to star in a $100 million public service announcement to inspire kids to pursue education and careers in science, technology, engineering and math. Read more:

  • Girl Scouts Declares 2012 the Year of the Girl- Girl Scouts is the leading
    authority on girls' healthy development, and builds girls of courage,
    confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. With its 100th
    anniversary coming up in April next year the CEO Anna Maria Chavez has named 2012 the year of the girl.
    Read more:

  • Running organization is helping young girls- Girls on the run was founded by Molly Baker in 1996 Barker she created this national non-profit organization by having expertise in counselling and teaching adolescent issues. It has grown from just 13 girls in its first chapter to chapters in more than 160 communities. Girls on the Run prepares girls from 8 to 13 for a lifetime of self-respect and healthy living; it involves physical and mental issues, including running and lessons to improve the emotional and social aspects that our important for young girls to learn. Read more:

    • Gowri’s graduated with flying colours

      Gowri Mudaliar a 16 year old girl from Mumbai is now a Goal Champion! She successfully graduated from the Goal in April this year. Gowri is from a family of five, her father is not presently working and her elder brother is the only provider for the entire family!

      When Gowri first came to Goal she was shy and quiet although had lots of potential to show her energy and enthusiasm; with regular attendance to the Goal sessions she grew in confidence and interacted and laughed with her peers.

      She grew a love for sport and discovered a lot of life skills, from this she became part of the “train for trainers” programme which has uncovered initiative and the ability to take responsibility which is the future will assist the family, especially her elder brother who has all financial responsibility for the whole family at the moment.

      Train for Trainers” benefits the trainer as they feel more empowered by passing on the lessons they learnt onto other girls who are in similar situations. It is also less daunting for those girls who came to learn as they know the trainers were once at the same stage as them and can relate to the trainers more easily.

      Gowri is in the 5th grade and will complete the state level exams in order to go to college. Gowri’s potential is increasing with achieving one of the top marks in her school, with her budding marks and love for maths and economics her aspirations of being a Chartered account are likely to come true!

      Wednesday, December 7, 2011

      Introducing Goal Zambia!

      We're so excited here at Goal to introduce a new member to our family, Goal Zambia!

      We've partnered with EduSport Foundation who are already doing great work with girls empowerment in Zambia through sport and life skills education.

      The launch was participated by the Acting Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Education as well as Standard Chartered's Chief Exective Office and Managing Director, Mizinga Melu and the Chairman of our new partner, Edusport, Dr J.T.N. Phiri.

      Keep reading the blog for more updates on Goal Zambia and also our other Goal countries!

      Monday, December 5, 2011

      It's here! Beyond Sport's Summit and Awards

      The Beyond Sport Summit 2011 has started! We excitedly shared our news with you in the summer that we're shortlisted for the Corporate of the Year award and the winner will be revealed this week...

      The Summit's agenda looks great and our Goal Nigeria partner, the Youth Empowerment Foundation, is attending... Stay up to date on all that's happening through twitter @BeyondSport.

      Monday, October 24, 2011

      Coach Story: Mayyada and North Badia's Girls

      Mayyada Al-Muafyee, a 21-years old goal coach, lives in North Badia; a Male dominate- conservative community with high percentage of unemployment and community interference in girls lives (who despite their education only have one choice after graduation: marriage).

      Shortly after joining Goal Project in the training workshop with Right To Play, Mayyada' father passed away (the only and main supporter of the family). Instead of breaking down, Mayyada was encouraged to provide girls around her with chances she never had:

      "I wish I had that chance when I was younger! to simply play, and be more aware of my health, body and manage my finances. Even my mom is using the Goal Manual to manage the household finances, especially after the loss of my father. Whenever I have a session you'd find my mom waking me up earlier than usual in order for me not to be late on my goal Champions all because of her belief in the project"

      Totally dedicated and responsible towards her community, Mayyada participated in different activities previously, mainly concentrating on child care and motherhood, but never transferred that knowledge to any of her community members simply because she was shy and isolating herself. After joining Goal project her self confidence increased and through training 13-15 years old girls she no longer feels shy to stand in front of mothers to raise some sensitive issues. Furthermore, feedback from participating girls is that their mothers wish that they had been given the chance to take the training workshop after watching their girls become more expressive about their feelings and more aware of serious health issues.
      Mayyada dreams of becoming a teacher in a rehabilitation centre within two years to help those who need help because of her realization to the inner strength she has and the great effect she can have on other people's lives, all through implementing Goal Project.

      Thursday, October 20, 2011

      Update from Jordan: Two young girls find their inner strength through Goal

      Hana* and Hiba* are two young 9th grade students from Zumlet Al-Amer Ghazi Girls School. Violent and repressed by their communities, these girls had a problem of being themselves and acting like a teenage girls. Yet thanks to efforts by Right To Play's Goal program coaches, Hana and Hiba have managed to find the path to discover themselves and find the beauty within.

      Before the introduction of the Goal program workshops titled "Be Yourself" "Be Empowered", Hana and Hiba believed that they are unappreciated for being young females; they believed that if they were males their lives would be much easier and they could do and achieve any thing they want. In their own words:

      "We don't believe we have a future, males in our society are much more dominant and they always get what they want, while we are always at the bottom" Hana and Hiba

      In their School, Hana and Hiba were hard to deal with and violent with other girls. This was a huge matter of concern to their teachers until Right To Play introduced and conducted Goal workshop sessions in the school.

      Hana and Hiba joined the Goal program coaches in Al Badia Al Shamliah area and started following and interacting positively with what they were being taught. The sessions focused on developing skills for girls to better understand who they are. Initially not thinking the program would change anything, Hana and Hiba saw and learned how to express themselves politely and ask for what they want.

      After taking all "Be Yourself" sessions, Hana and Hiba have become more aware of themselves and how much they can do. They started behaving in a friendlier manner and acting their own age, they learned that they are allowed to have fun and achieve great things too.

      Filled with hope for a better future, Hana and Hiba are now actively involved in the program and are participating in every session. They have improved their social relations with their friends and teachers and are much more attentive in class.

      *Alias names

      Tuesday, October 18, 2011

      Watch the Girls 20 Summit live!

      Can't make it to Paris to take part in the Summit? There's no longer a need to panic... You can now be up to speed by watching it live.

      Starting this morning, watch the panel on 'girls and women as engines of growth' at 10 15am and a debate led by the Nike Foundation at 11 45am.

      This is just the start of an exciting agenda over the next few days!

      Monday, September 26, 2011

      Coming Soon: Girls 20 Summit!

      Standard Chartered - Goal programme is proud to sponsor the Girls 20 Summit this year, a fabulous event that brings together brilliant young women from around the world to debate, discuss and design innovative ideas necessary to empower girls and women globally.

      The agenda for the Summit is now available, but the planners know that you want to have your say. The team wants to hear your ideas for planning the Summit. Contribute on their new YouTube page!

      As we countdown to mid-October, stay tuned for more updates on how we'll be linking Goal in the with this awesome event.

      Tuesday, September 20, 2011

      Welcome CGI readers!

      The Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting is happening right now in New York.

      Standard Chartered’s Group CEO, Peter Sands, is going to be participating at the ‘Sports as a tool for social good’ session tomorrow! You can watch it live on CGI's webcast at 3:45-5:00pm US time- channel 2! The other participants in this session are:
      · Astrid Aafjes, Founder and President of Women Win
      · Tony Blair, Founder of The Tony Blair Sports Foundation and also former Prime Minister for the UK and Northern Ireland
      · Luis Moreno, President of the Inter-American Development Bank
      · Dikembe Mutombo, Chairman and President of the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation, Inc.
      · Robin Roberts, Co-anchor of ABC News and Good Morning America

      If you’re new to the site, welcome!
      Our programme empowers girls through sport and life skills education in India, Nigeria, Jordan and China. Learn more about Goal.
      We also give daily updates on Goal as well as global news on women and girls empowerment through our twitter page @GoalGirlsGlobal.

      Jyoti: “These days, what boys can do, girls can do the same.”
      We have been filming video diaries of the girls in India which were filmed over a year to hear directly from them how their lives have changed. Meet 14 year old Jyoti, and watch the direct changes that Goal made to the lives of her and her family.

      View more of our video diaries on our YouTube channel.

      Tuesday, September 13, 2011

      Calling all men to UNiTE against violence towards women and girls

      Creating a t-shirt to stop violence?

      UNiTE campaign is inviting men aged 18-25 to design a t-shirt which relfects a world where there's no more violence against women.

      Have a look at the entries so far and vote for your favourite!

      What is UNiTE campaign?

      'UNiTE to end violence against women' was launched by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in 2008. The campaign calls upon worldwide action to permanently stop violence against women and girls.

      Sunday, August 21, 2011

      Spotlight: Mamta

      It was Mamta’s sister who first introduced her to Goal.

      Neetu, was one of the first girls to join Goal in our site in Delhi, India. When she was taking part in Goal, Mamta discouraged her, wondering why she was a part of a programme which encouraged girls to play netball in the heat and get a suntan! Neetu’s reply was that her younger sister should sign up and see for herself.

      Mamta decided to join the programme and see what the fuss was about! At first, she was very scared and shy both on and off the netball court. Before she joined, she wasn’t allowed to go outside her house alone.

      One year on
      One year of being a part of the Goal programme and she’s completely changed. She’s one of the best netball players and is a great team leader. After learning life skills from the Goal curriculum, Mamta feels confident that she can deal with any situation that comes her way.

      In December 2010, Mamta was recruited as a Goal Delhi assistant coach as well as being a Goal Champion. She now teaches other Goal girls the valuable life skills that helped her.

      Unfortunately her mother passed away earlier this year. With her sister now married, she has to look after the house herself. However, she still makes time to follow her dreams of working in the police force and was one of the first girls in her neighborhood to pursue a graduate degree.

      In Mamta’s words: “My mother had a dream that I would always play sport and ultimately become part of Delhi Police service. I am striving hard to get selected into the police. I have got so much confidence from Goal, that now, I am sure of fulfilling my dreams.

      Learn more on how Goal changed Mamta’s life by watching her video diary.

      Friday, August 19, 2011

      Goal Girls: Training on Migrant Girls Case Study 2

      Genping Xiang, High School Graduate, Green Leaf Volunteer Association meeting room, Jiangbei Region, Chongqing

      I didn't really understand the Experiential Learning Cycle methodology before the Goals activities. However, after a few discussion sessions with the trainers, I started to understand the Kolb learning styles.

      I really like this learning style because not only does it apply to the knowledge we gained from the Goal activities, it applies to everyday life.
      My favourite discussion concerned human rights and responsibilities. What the trainers told us was very impressive. For example, one of the trainers talked about the right of self-disclosure, which I did not know about before. For people like us, from the countryside, it is very hard to communicate with others.
      Although we have the urge to learn about everything around us, we are not confident enough to ask. Thus, we lose the chance to learn. I think after this experience, with everything I've learnt, I will no longer be afraid to express my opinions and express myself to other.

      Tuesday, August 16, 2011

      Great article on our friends Magic Bus

      We love Magic Bus, a great organisation working in India to promote sport with girls and boys who wouldn't normally have access. In fact, some of our Goal Champions have gone on to become staff or coaches at Magic Bus. We saw this on World Pulse and thought you would like it. Click here for the original article and a great slide show.

      Transporting a youth soccer team from the poorest slums of Mumbai, India, to the Bay Area has its challenges. Passports, for starters.

      A few months ago, the girls of the Magic Bus soccer team barely existed on paper. No IDs, no birth certificates, no addresses recognized by the government. Some learned during the passport process that they had different last names.

      Flash forward to this week, when those same girls found themselves palling around with U.S. women's soccer stars Julie Foudy and Aly Wagner on the lush playing surfaces of Saint Mary's College and Stanford University.

      Many of the dozen players had never left their communities, let alone India.

      When they booted a ball across the manicured grass fields of a college campus, it marked the first time they'd played on anything like it.

      The biggest culture shock was realizing that it was OK.

      "In the community we come from, we're not used to hearing we can do whatever you want. And that gets frustrating sometimes," said right defender Sheetal Pal, 16. "But when we came here, the message every day was: 'You can do whatever you put your mind to.'

      "It was nice to see other people have confidence in you."

      The players are here as part of a nonprofit mission to expose Indian girls to an alternate reality. It's a cross between "Slumdog Millionaire" and "Bend It Like Beckham" (with a dash of "Field of Dreams" -- the girls took in a Giants game on Wednesday).

      At home, these girls, ages 14 to 17, live in cramped quarters, often without clean water. As soccer players, they are often told they bring shame to their families. An unmarried teenage girl in shorts is an affront to traditional culture.

      Matthew Spacie, a former India rugby player, founded the Magic Bus organization in Mumbai in 1999. His goal was to improve the circumstances for the country's poor through sport -- with an emphasis on gender equity. "In India, we're working against hundreds of thousands of years of preconceptions about what a girl should be allowed to do," he said.

      Taking an entire team to the United States is a first. Rahul Brahmbhatt, the general manager for Magic Bus USA, teamed with the Julie Foudy Leadership Camp, the soccer training ground founded by the former Stanford player who later spent a decade captaining the U.S. women's team.
      The girls arrived at Foudy's camp at Saint Mary's about two weeks ago where they met Wagner, who served as a coach. Wagner recalls how the girls clung only to one another and seemed almost too shy to speak. "They were subdued, almost like they were wondering what they got themselves into," Wagner said.

      Foudy and other coaches split the Mumbai girls up in drills so that they would be forced to mingle with the 100 or so U.S. players at the camp. "And within a few days," Foudy said, "they had the American kids doing Hindi cheers."

      As their trip winds down -- the girls leave town Saturday -- that shyness is long gone. A handful of the best English speakers took the stage at the end of Foudy's camp and fielded questions from the U.S. players about life back home. A hand shot up from the back of the room: "What's a slum?"
      The Mumbai girls took turns detailing their densely populated neighborhoods where dwellings could be bulldozed at any minute by the government. They told of the mafias that control water and electricity. They told of waking up as early as 4:30 to handle the washing and cleaning before going to work. Before going to school. Before going back to work. Before helping cook dinner for the household. Before doing homework. Before going to bed about 9.

      Soccer is a luxury reserved for a few hours on Saturdays and Sundays. It's rare for girls to play -- and even rarer for them to be allowed to play past puberty.

      Some of the U.S. girls cried when they heard the stories. Wagner, the former star at San Jose's Presentation High and Santa Clara University, hasn't stopped thinking about it. She called her time with the Magic Bus team "one of the greatest experiences I've had, outside Olympic medals and national championships. Just to hear their perspective and then by the end to see the smiles on their faces was incredible."

      Not all of the visit was so deep and serious. The girls giggled their way through a trip to AT&T Park on Wednesday, where the Giants provided them with free tickets to a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

      After working their way through the turnstiles with trepidation (some of them tried to scoot around it before being admonished by a security guard) the girls caught on quickly to U.S. baseball customs. They cheered for Pablo Sandoval's run-scoring single in the third inning, chomped on cotton candy in the fifth and gyrated to "Bust a Move" in the sixth.

      But the conversation kept drifting back to Foudy and her camp. Accustomed to India's caste system, where there are distinct lines between the rich and the poor, they remained stunned by such a hands-on approach from one of soccer's most recognizable names.

      "Julie has played at the highest level in the world, but she was always asking how we were doing," said Pal, 16, the defensive player who helps her parents run a snack shop back home. "Julie wanted to know how we were feeling. She is such a big woman, but she treated us with respect."

      The only thing that could rival Foudy on this trip: Amber India. The girls made a trip to the popular Santana Row restaurant and reveled in the familiar sting of a spicy dish. The girls consider U.S. cuisine so bland that many have been toting bottles of hot sauce around in their gym bags. They store it in the bottle holders, as if it were Gatorade.

      The girls also made stops in Oakland, where they participated in a Soccer Without Borders game. And on Thursday they visited the Bay Area Women's Sports Initiative.

      As the girls head for home, they pack a valuable souvenir: Validation.

      "It's about leadership qualities -- how to communicate with other people. How to be confident," defender Gulafsha Ansari, 15, said. "It's about how to stand up."

      Wednesday, August 10, 2011

      Updates from Goal Nigeria


      Our 2010-2011 programme year is winding down in Nigeria which means lovely photos from graduations and events!

      With all graduating GOAL Champions in Abuja
      Graduations were held in Abuja for Goal Champions from the Cherryfield School –Jikwoyi, Junior Secondary School- Mpape, Junior Secondary School- Kubwa and Junior Secondary School- Pykasa in Abuja on the 7th July. Another graduation ceremony is planned for the girls in Lagos before the end of the month.

      SCB Nigeria Staff with GOAL Champions

      Nigeria also held a Goal Empowers!! Event on 29 and 30 June with students from the High Achievers College in Ajegunle. This two-day empowerment workshop was presented presented by Standard Chartered staff volunteers on topics such as Choosing the right career, Living with HIV, Money management and developing a Savings Culture, Achieving Academic Excellence, Leadership, Public Speaking and Building Self Confidence. Many thanks to speakers Aramide Ola-Jackson, Dagun One, Dayo Aderugbo, Diran Olojo, Jaiye Titiloye, Ogo Ezenwa, Oguche Agudah, Ono Williams, Segi Laoye, Sena Logo, Sidi Belo-Osagie and Taiye Faloju, and coordinator Joke Adu.

      GOAL Graduation- Abuja, June-2011 

      GOAL Graduation- Abuja 2, June-2011

      Friday, August 5, 2011

      Guest Scholars Wanted

      News flash from the Brookings Institue: They've just launched their Global Scholars Program: Promoting Girls’ Education in Developing Countries, which offers guest scholars from developing countries the opportunity to pursue independent research on global education issues with a specific focus on girls’ education.

      During their time at Brookings, the scholars will work with Center for Universal Education staff to develop their specific research project. They will also participate in a variety of workshops, meetings and conferences, as well as have opportunities to network with the broader development community. You can find more information about the program and the application process on their website. Applications are accepted until 31 August.

      Thanks to Jessica Stannard-Friel for passing this along!

      Friday, July 22, 2011

      Spotlight: Precious

      From Nasarawa State, Nigeria comes Precious, an outspoken 12 year old girl from a family of seven. Precious often felt very uncomfortable at school and at the risk of being bullied by her peers and seniors because she was smaller than them. Unfortunately she missed out on the first selection to become a Goal Champion, but when other girls could not get parental consent, Precious’s resolve and determination shone through.

      She told the school Goal Coordinator, Mr. Mayaki: “Sir give me my own consent form as my father will support me. Just tell me what the programme is all about and I’ll promise him I’ll put in ma best”. Unsurprisingly her consent form was signed!

      Precious has proven herself to be ambitious and driven. When presented with paper or writing material she will immediately make designs and drawings. When sessions were taken on self identity, leadership and academic excellence she stood up and said: “My role model is my father and I want to be an artist or architect like my father”.

      Mr. Mayaki also identified Precious as one of the girls Goal has positively influenced in her conducts. During the first quiz competition she asked: “where are the journalists I want them to interview me- I need to speak on Goal!”

      Precious’s challenges in life were solved from the outset of Goal in the school. She has learnt a lot of life skills and claims: “now that I know how to better communicate and handle disagreements, it won’t lead to conflicts and I will get into lesser troubles”. She will be writing her Junior Certificate Exams next year and hopes to go into sciences to enable her achieve her dreams. Good luck Precious!

      Tuesday, July 19, 2011

      Goal Girls Spotlight: Changes in Chongqing

      Li Qian, student at Yuzhong Vocational Education Institute, Chongqing, China

      I came from a remote rural area in China to study in Chongqing. I had to leave for Chongqing because I failed the entrance examination for senior middle school due to my poor Mandarin. I have always had low self-esteem and refused to communicate with others. In their eyes, I was different.

      When I participated in the Goal Activities, the atmosphere had a strong impact on me. I actively expressed my own opinions and experiences with other participants and the leader. My ability to communicate has improved and now I am an active student; even others are seeing the change! I am very happy to have this change. Although my Mandarin is still poor, I believe that it will progress as long as I make an effort. I will take every opportunity to practice and to talk, and I firmly believe that I will succeed.

      I have also learnt a lot on female physiology and pregnancy, such as the girl's menstrual cycle and sexual health. This knowledge is very useful for girls to protect themselves. I remembered when I experienced my first menstrual period; I was scared so I secretly told my mom. She only told me how to deal with it but not why it happened. Also I was afraid my brother would find out. Before the training, I was even embarrassed to buy sanitary napkins in the supermarket, especially if the shop assistant was male. After participating in Goal activites, I now know it is the girl's normal physiological response. We have grown up so we should have the right attitude and approach to deal with these things.

      Additionally, I want to be one member of the Goal Champion team. I will work hard to learn this curriculum and these activities, and strive to pass the assessment to be a leader.

      Monday, July 18, 2011

      We're honoured :)

      It's no secret that we love Beyond Sport in these parts. We've even found new and soon-to-be partners through their network (more on that later). So we were tickled pink to find out we had been shortlisted for the 2011 Beyond Sport Award for Corporate of the Year.

      We'll find out if we've won at this year's summit in December in South Africa. In the meantime though, check out our application and feel free to comment!

      Friday, July 15, 2011

      Welcome to Mpape

      Nestled on the rocky hills of Abuja sits a town called Mpape, an underdeveloped satellite settlement, heavily populated by the native Gbagi tribe.

      Due to exorbitant house rental prices many low income earners, often uneducated farmers, opt to live in the more affordable underdeveloped communities where education is highly undervalued. Although they do enrol their children in public school, since they are either free or highly subsidised, there is often little or no supervision and teachers are so stretched that it’s hard to spend a decent amount of time with them.

      It is this very environment the Youth Empowerment Foundation discovered at Junior Secondary School Mpape. Determined to make a difference, Goal was implemented at the school and produced excellent results. On introducing the programme they faced a few constraints but these were soon overcome. The principle, Mrs Kuburat Yabasi, believed Goal to be hugely beneficial to the school; “The children are getting better by the day in terms of their leadership characters. They organise themselves to hold meetings, develop programs and ideas among themselves”.

      As part of the intervention programme the Goal champions implemented their ‘service learning project’ which focuses on academic excellence, peer pressure and HIV/AIDS and girl child education. The programme was a huge success and attended by over 100 participants! In his closing remarks, the vice Principal, Mr. Crown Olagoke, stated: “In the history of JSS Mpape, and since my transfer to this school over five years ago, students have never organised and coordinated a programme on their own without the input of teachers or adults, and with this I know Goal indeed has a goal”.

      Photo: Goal girls graduating from the school

      Monday, July 11, 2011

      Female warriors of futeball

      Meet the Guerreiras or 'female warriors' of Brazil football.

      The Guerreira project started last September and is a documentary of 40 female footballers who play for the Brazilian club Santos F.C.

      At the start:
      "These female players have not only represented a threat to Brazilian masculinity, but have also been perceived as encroaching in a disgraceful manner on one of the nation’s primary sources of pride and collective identity."

      Only very recently are attitudes beginning to change. You could view this as a small step towards gendre equality because these female warriors are getting noticed and stadiums are beginning to fill up. However, with this increasing publicity comes another pressure. Image. These players are expected to wear "slim-fit uniforms, grow their hair long, wear make-up on the pitch, and put skirts on after the game." It seems that there's still a very long way to go.

      Stay updated with the latest project news.

      Thursday, July 7, 2011

      Spotlight: Juliet

      Before signing up to the Goal programme in Nigeria, 10 year old Juliet was very shy. Now, she’s become a lot more confident. She’s already respected by all the Goal girls- even those who are older than herself. She is a natural leader and is great at coordinating football sessions as well as encouraging other Goal girls to arrive at the life skills training on time.

      When asked to get permission from her parents to continue Goal in the school holidays, Juliet replied that this would not be a problem as her parents are great supporters of the programme.

      Her parents have noticed that since enrolling in Goal, Juliet has changed. In her own words: “I’m now less offensive” towards others. They encourage their daughter to participate in as many Goal sessions as possible. Juliet has learnt not only how to avoid conflicts but also how important this life skill is.

      Juliet is ambitious and determined when it comes to her future plans:
      "My father is a driver for one of the private schools in the neighbourhood and my mother is a full housewife, I don’t in anyway want to be like my mother. I want to be a medical doctor and nothing will stop me in achieving my dream".

      Wednesday, June 29, 2011

      Global Girls news: 29 June

      Latest bite-sized news just for you!

      • The Women’s Football World Cup has kicked off in Germany! Check out all the latest results.

      • One of the world’s top women’s footballer, Marta Vieira da Silva from Brazil, has spoken out: “I have been given opportunities to succeed in life, but I constantly think about the ones who did not have this chance... Only through women’s full and equal participation in public and private life can we hope to break poverty cycles”. Read more!

      • Girls love their bodies!’- World YWCA New Zealand are on a mission to change the way girls think of their bodies: “Young women face intense pressure to look perfect but perfect is an impossible ideal to achieve. [We] teach young women to love their own body and stop comparing themselves with others” says Kathryn Doughty, Team Leader of the YWCA Auckland Future Leaders programme.

      Friday, June 24, 2011

      Spotlight: Sangeetha

      Sangeetha, was just a shy girl in the 9th grade in Thoraipakkam School, Chennai, when she joined Goal in January 2010. Her father worked in a pharmaceutical factory, fitting the covers on pills, and her mother worked as a helper: sweeping, dusting and cleaning for a pittance of a salary. Within a year of the Goal Program, Sangeetha has come out of her shell, and become a Goal Champion, in more ways than one.

      A year ago, no one would have suspected that this skinny girl, from such a modest family background, would go on to play in an International Netball Tournament against teams from Sri Lanka, as she did in December, 2010.
      Up until now I was always told that girls must not jump, or play or move their bodies so boldly. But here, with Nalamdana, through Goal, I have learnt to move and play and be confident about my body. I have learnt about the female body, what the various parts are, what their functions are, how to take care of them, etc. This I would not have known anywhere else.

      Totally dedicated and responsible, she helps with organizing events at her school, taking pictures for the Goal programme and now, in 2011 as a Goal Champion she assists the Coaches, and delivers netball sessions to the new recruits. She sees her role as a Champion as an additional opportunity. She is excited that she has been selected as a Champion. She sees this as a chance to share all that she has learnt with others and ensure that the transfer of skills and knowledge doesn’t stop with her!

      In April 2011, her father died of cancer, leaving Sangeetha’s family devastated. Her mother has the household expenses, her fees and her younger sister’s school expenses also to take care of, on her almost negligent wage. Yet, within 4 days of her father’s death, Sangeetha was at the Goal session, organizing the girls, conducting warm up exercises and taking attendance. Her commitment to the programme and the girls is astounding!
      Sangeetha dreams of becoming a photographer. She has been taking many of the pictures during the Goal sessions and events with the Goal Camera.

      Sangeetha has been exposed to the Standard Chartered Bank Employee volunteers through Goal and she says: “Seeing the volunteers from SCB come and interact with us, I observed their way of dressing, their way of talking, and the confidence in their attitude. I hope that some day I too will be able to dress like that and talk to others, instilling confidence in them, like these people do.”

      Thursday, June 23, 2011

      Ending Violence Against Women through Men

      The UK organisation End Violence Against Women has released a serious and hilarious (it's seriously hilarious), but really fantastic viral video addressed at young boys with the aim of making sexual violence unacceptable. We applaud this fantastic effort! Visit their website for more on their campaign, and try not to laugh too hard at the video!

      Tuesday, June 21, 2011

      Diran Olojo - the Soul of Goal Nigeria

      Earlier this year, our Nigeria Goal partner, the Youth Empowerment Foundation, reconised Standard Chartered Nigeria Head of Corporate Affairs, Diran Olojo, with the Soul of Goal Award.

      Iwalola Akin-Jimo, our national coordinator in Nigeria, had this to say about Diran:

      He has being there for Goal, the girls and us. Diran always sets aside time for all Goal meetings and all events both within Lagos and outside. His level of enthusiasm and concern for Goal was such that he gave his personal phone numbers to all the School Principals in Lagos, to call him if they want him to come and meet with the students and spend time with them. Only one principal made this request and he was there. He spent close to 2 hours with not only the Goal girls but other girls. He shared his story with them, life going through a public secondary school, how this impacted on him and where he is now. This actually lets the girls know that they can aspire to be like him.

      Thank you Diran for your super commitment!

      Friday, June 17, 2011

      What's Father's Day got to do with girls empowerment?

      The best example that I can think of is for another of our spotlights... This time on CAMFED. Did you know:

      Every child has the right to be educated, right? CAMFED has fought poverty and AIDS through the education of girls and young women. Read about Marian, a girl who has been given the financial support to follow her dream and become a doctor.

      So what’s this got to do with Father’s Day?
      In Zimbabwe, a Father Support Group, under the umbrella of CAMFED, has spent months building two boarding houses where girls can stay while at school, rather than walking desperately long distances to attend school every day. What's even more amazing is that many of the men who built these hostels are farmers who need to put in as much time on their land as possible in order to support their family... And yet they still found time to make sure that as many girls as possible could be given a good education. "We see what a difference we are making so we keep making the effort," says one of the men.

      I can't think of a better way to celebrate Father's Day than to think of these amazing Dad's, can you?

      Friday, June 10, 2011

      Video diary: Nisha

      Check out our first Mumbai video diary, Nisha. Happy Friday!

      Monday, June 6, 2011

      Spotlight: Dorcas

      We’re very excited to share our first case study from Goal Nigeria with you! Watch out for more coming your way!

      At 14 years old, Etetuk Dorcas has already decided that she wants to be a doctor like the famous neurosurgeon, Ben Carson, so that she can help her community in Lagos, Nigeria.

      Dorcas initially saw Goal as being one of those after-school clubs. After joining the programme, she realized that this one was different.

      She was taught about the importance of life skills, being healthy and working hard at school so that she has the leadership skills to face any challenge in life. In her own words: “I have improved physically, morally, socially and am now very careful on how I spend money because of my new knowledge on financial literacy”.

      Being encouraged to work hard at school has helped Dorcas realize that she could transform her dream of being a doctor into reality. “It is my dream to become a doctor and do my best to save lives. I wrote and directed a play and I played the role of a medical doctor. I love the way the stereoscope and white apron appeared on me!” Dorcas realizes that she needs to work hard to fulfill her dream: “I am now at the top of my class. I used to struggle before Goal but I came first in my exams.”

      Dorcas has also learnt about how important it is to be healthy: “I take my personal hygiene very seriously- menstruation and other natural body changes are no longer a taboo for me”.

      A large part of being healthy is doing regular exercise. In Nigeria, our Goal girls play football rather than netball- something which Dorcas, as captain of her football team, is great at. She’s learnt that being a captain also means that she has to take on more responsibility to encourage her teammates to play as a team and try their absolute best to win.

      Dorcas’ teacher says: “Dorcas is hard working and always ready to sacrifice her time to help others to learn”.

      Friday, June 3, 2011

      Liu Lingling and Wang Jing train as Goal Trainers for migrant communities in China

      Lingling is a staff member of Plan International. She took part in Right To Play’s Goal Trainer Training with Wang Jing, a Student at Nanging University to learn about the Goal Girls curriculum and how to train Goal Champions in her community.

      Lingling and Wangjing both enjoyed the training and intend to use lessons learned in the future. They took different things away from the experience but both liked the participatory methodology employed during each session. As Wang put it: “the previous trainings I participated always discussed the students answer and then provided a correct and standard answer from the point of view of the trainer/teacher. This way always damages and reduces the enthusiasm and the self-esteem of students/participants.” She is looking forward to trying these training methods which focus on listening to participants and allowing them to share and to promote accepting multiple points of view to the Goal trainings she will conduct with migrant girls/youth.

      Lingling agreed, saying that “prior to participating in the training, I thought the training would be a trainer-led discussion and that the participants would discuss the topics and the trainer would give a summary of the results and conclusions. But the goal trainer training provided other ways of participatory training, such as participant-led discussions, discussion and learning through games, role playing and other interactive teaching/learning methods. These training methods can increase the participation of girls as well to participate in discussions and also mobilize everyone and encourage participant enthusiasm.”

      Wangjing also enjoyed learning about HIV/AIDs as part of the Be Healthy Goal Curriculum. She says that “before the training, I had limited knowledge about HIV and AIDS and girls protection. After having participated in the trainer training, now I know much more knowledge related to AIDS and girls’ protection, such as the infection source of HIV, transmission mechanisms and prevention measures. Moreover, I have taught and shared this knowledge with my peers, and told them how to protect themselves and prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS.”

      Wednesday, June 1, 2011

      Video diaries: Mamta

      Are you enjoying our video diaries? By now you may have figured out you can see them all on our YouTube channel (if you can't wait any longer) but perhaps you're enjoying seeing them presented here with comment. And let me just take a moment to comment on Mamta and her story, which you can see below.

      I have had the very great pleasure to meet Mamta on more than one occasion - she has a quiet confidence that is really striking, and although language is a barrier, she's just as forceful sounding to a non-Hindi speaker!

      Mamta now runs sessions for her peers in Delhi, in addition to attending school. She came to our Goal Partner Summit in February to run the Body Image exercise for the whole group, and did an amazing job. She's below, third from left.


      A lot of what she discusses in the video was thrown into relief for me that earlier this year, her mother passed away, leaving her with a larger share of household responsibilities, on top of Goal and school. Her father has been incredibly supportive of Mamta's education, and she hopes to be able to continue.

      Monday, May 30, 2011

      Girls on the run

      This organisation is great! Girls on the run was founded by Molly Barker in 1993 and trains girls from 7-15 years old to run 5k. However, its much more than a sports camp. Girls on the run focuses on girls empowerment.

      Their mission: "To educate and prepare girls for a life time of self-respect and healthy living".

      During the 5k training, girls are being taught certain life skills so that whatever the future holds for them, they'll know how to make positive decisions. Girls on the run is located all across the US and Canada.

      Friday, May 27, 2011

      Video diaries - part 2

      We hope you enjoyed the first two video diaries from our series. We've got more goodies for you today (what better way to spend a Friday?). Meet Neha, whose confidence and sass is enough to make anyone smile and Jyoti, whose growth over the year was astounding! Pay close attention to how she defines a girls' role in the home before and after her year with Goal.

      Monday, May 23, 2011

      Spotlight on Reshma

      Reshma is 14 years old and joined the Goal programme in Delhi in June 2010. Reshma has three brothers and although her father has work as a tailor, he cannnot afford to educate all four of his children. What's more, being the only girl meant that Reshma had to help her mother with all the household chores and she was left with little time to herself, especially time to study. She was therefore worried about her poor grades.

      Thanks to ABHAS, the NGO running the Goal programme, Reshma has been able to continue her education and learn to play netball for the first time.

      When she first arrived, Reshma was rather shy and, thanks to the influence of her father and brothers, did not think she was capable of playing any kind of sport. Reshma was initially unsure of herself, but as time went one, she gradually began to gain some self-confidence and her physical fitness also started to improve. She was among the first in her group to master passing the ball correctly and she earnt the respect of her peers and coaches as a result. Although her fathers and brothers disapprove of Reshma's involvement with Goal, her mother has been very supportive and encourages her to stick to the programme and her studies.

      Reshma's hard work and dedication to the programme was rewarded when the Commonwealth Games came to Delhi as she was selected to go and watch a netball tournament at the Thyagaraj Stadium.

      Reshma is now very keen to stick to the programme and prove the people in her family her doubted her wrong.

      Friday, May 20, 2011

      It's all about the girls...

      We have been SO busy here at Goal these days. We're working hard with our partners Women Win to develop economic empowerment guidelines for girls' sports programmes that we can share with you all. We've been managing our fabulous programmes in India, Nigeria, Jordan and about to launch China, which are going from strength to strength.

      And there's more great stuff to come - in the coming weeks and months, expect some news from us on Goal sites in possibly FOUR new countries, an exciting new partnership to help build girls' leadership skills globally, and an official announcement about how we're getting our India Goal Champions jobs and skills for life.

      However - our reason for being here, day in and day out, is to support the amazing girls who come through our programme every day. Who take time out of their busy lives - they go to school, support their families, and help at home - to come and play some netball and learn some lessons with us. We're so appreciative of the opportunity to touch their lives just a little bit. So we wanted to share with you some of our stories.

      For over a year we've been filming our girls to hear directly from them how their lives have changed. We'll be showing you a lot of these videos in the coming weeks, but here's a sneak preview of two of our brand new video diary series. Meet Pooja and Aarti and hear their stories!

      Monday, May 16, 2011

      UN chief encourages men to champion gender equality

      One of the main barriers that can get in the way of women's and girls' empowerment is the attitude and mentality of men towards women. You can do great work helping to increase women's self-confidence and esteem, and thereby enhancing their independence and participation in the local community and wider civic society, but so often it is the case that women and girls are still subject to violence and discrimination at the hands of men. Changing how men view and treat women is another challenge that must be faced and overcome on the way to achieving gender equality.

      This is a view that the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, has also voiced. He was recently presented with "The Women's Leadership Award" by the Global Summit of Women for his work in promoting gender equality. He is the first man to receive this award in its 21-year history.

      At the summit, he challenged men to champion the cause of gender equality, saying that women and girls still often remain 'second-class citizens' despite some advancements made for women in social, political and economic arenas. He said: "Men, I believe, have a key role to play in overcoming these stereotypes, changing mindsets and proving positive role models. After all, men are also devastated by violence perpetrated against the women they care deeply about".

      In his address, Mr Ki-moon also commented that there are other areas that require focus and would help to improve gender equality. He outlined how empowering the world's poorest women and girls, giving them greater access to land, credit and markets, could not only reduce poverty, but it could increase gender equality as well. Furthermore, countries could do more to narrow the gap in women's political participation and increase their influence in decision-making. Plus, businesses also have a major part to play in recruiting more women and placing them in influential positions.

      It's great to hear someone like Ban Ki-moon supporting gender equality so vocally and powerfully- his message about getting men involved in supporting women's and girls' empowerment is especially important. Gender equality has to be recognised by men as well as women.

      Wednesday, April 27, 2011

      Spotlight on: Girls' Empowerment Center

      JoHanna Jones started the Girl's Empowerment Centre as a community resource for families and organizations to unite over raising healthy happy girls. It's not just a focus on girls, but also their families. Girls are encouraged to find their inner strength so that they can grow up strong and empowered in whatever society that they live in.

      Here at Goal we LOVE reading other blogs on girls empowerment so you must check theirs out. There's some great words of advice for girls growing up.

      Here's my top 3 from their blog- what are yours?

    • No one likes a drama queen so admit when you are wrong or overreact. It builds on their trust that you have the ability to be rational

    • Nothing shows the respect towards others better than the willingness to communicate

    • To face fear is to trust in who we are at a level we didn't know we were capable of
    • Thursday, April 21, 2011

      Global Girls news: 21 April

      Latest bite-sized news just for you!

      • In a recent conference in Pakistan, Neva Khan, Oxfam Country Director said: “education for girls in particular is the key to building economies and overcoming social problems”. Pakistan Education Minister agreed that it’s “high time the government prioritised education”. Read more!

      • The Girls’ Empowerment Centre- Check out their facebook page for regular words of wisdom to girls. Keep tuned and I’ll give you more on this great programme next week… Watch this space!

      • Can empowering women end poverty? Gender equality can only be achieved when women have the opportunity to participate in making decisions. Can there be development if only half the population is prevented from fully benefiting from, and contributing to it? What do you think?

      Wednesday, April 13, 2011

      Women helping women

      Check out this inspiring article on how empowering women to work for themselves is making a difference to women's lives in India.

      Happy reading!

      Monday, April 11, 2011

      Spotlight: Deepika

      At 16, Deepika is determined to make something of her life. She wants to be a leader, inspire others and play netball professionally.

      Newly selected as a Goal Champion, Deepika came into Goal in Chennai a year ago, very shy and lacking in initiative. However, in the last year, she has not only picked up the game really well and made friends with girls from other age groups, but also assists the coaches whenever possible. As the coaches were stretched with multiple sessions at all the Goal sites, she took it upon herself to train the team from her site, to play in the International Netball tournament held in Chennai in December 2010! Deepika is determined to excel in netball, play tournaments, and teach it to others

      The coaches and Goal staff have noticed her natural leadership abilities, and the way she is able to instill the same confidence in others, even though she comes from very humble family background. Her father is an autorickshaw driver, and the sole wage earner in the family. Deepika has a younger sister, whom she hopes to be a role model for.

      It isn’t only the sport that inspires her. She quickly absorbs all the information in the life skills sessions too! In her words, “I would like to say that Goal Classes are the best! These classes are very useful in learning about taking care of our environment, hygiene, how to control our anger, and how to communicate and behave with others. I really like these classes.”

      Not only have her friends and the Goal facilitators and coaches noticed these changes in her, but she has seen the change in herself: “Earlier I used to speak my mind to everyone, without wondering if it might hurt them. But now, I have learnt to think before I speak. I also learnt not to keep thinking about what we don’t like about ourselves, or our shortcomings, rather to think about what all we have and make the most of it.”

      In June, Deepika goes to the 12th grade, and will have to put in a lot of hours studying and the program staff wondered if she would be able to do justice to being a Goal Champion as the academic pressure would be immense. However, her father came up to the team and assured them of his support- saying that he will be proud to send her to the Goal sessions, and even drop her and pick her up himself, in his auto!

      Aspiring for a great career Deepika says “I want to become a software engineer. I want to work, and help others. Especially the aged. If I earn well, I will give some donation from that to an old age home.”