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.