After a long break from December to March the Yuwa Girls Football Program finally started again with full power. The two new coaches Kalawak (17) and Anita (18), both village girls from the Yuwa program in Jharkhand have started to give daily training sessions on March, 19th.
At the beginning just ten of the initial 20 players strong team returned to the training. But the reason wasn’t lack of motivation or problems at home. It was much simpler and positive: they were in the middle of the annual exams and studied hard!
Now around 30 girls attend regularly the training which takes place at the Mahim public play ground from 6 to 8pm during the week and at 6am on Sundays.
Thanks to the girls and new coaches’ strong recruitment efforts with posters and flyers a lot of new girls come to start playing every week. As soon as the school starts again in June we hope to have enough players to host two training sessions per day as the girls have different school timings.
Another good news is that the safety of the girls improved enormously after Franz, founder and director of Yuwa and some girls visited the local police department to request a guard at the daily training. This was necessary as many boys came to harass and insult the girls while they were playing. This also improved the self-confidence of the girls a lot.
But the biggest recent development is our new connection to the Manchester United Soccer School Mumbai. Together with the OSCAR Foundation our girls are currently participating in a six days summer camp at the cooperate football stadium in Churchgate, Mumbai.
The head coach Chris O’Brien teaches the kids for three hours a day what all talents chosen from around the globe are taught in the Manchester United Football Club. That means that each participant imbibes the philosophies on technical, tactical, social, psychological and physical aspect of football and life.
This isn’t just a one-time exciting opportunity but rather the first step to a longterm relationship with the MUSS. “We thought it’s ideal to start off in our short term summer course so that everyone gets an orientation of each party’s work. We look forward to having them on board on our regular courses”, says Rainer Nair, Manager of MUSS.
We also recently started to connect with Magic Bus to host tournaments and friend matches soon so that the girls will get a feeling for competition and team-work.
Another development option will be the new public high school our English Language Support Program will work at soon. We hope to recruit many more girls from a total new area of Dharavi. Watch this space for more information soon.
Finally we would also like to get your attention for the recent developments at the Yuwa program in Jharkhand. Eighteen girls were chosen to attend the Donosti Cup, Spain’s biggest soccer cup in July. That is a great chance for the girls whose families live with less than $1 a day.
Unfortunately the local bureaucrats put obstacles in the girl’s way towards fame by refusing to give birth certificates. Read the whole story in Hindustan Times. Nonetheless the girls and Yuwa fight for their rights to stand out while society tells them to fit in.