Girls Football Program

“As well as football we are learning leadership, responsibility, friendship, enjoyment and English” Mansi, 13

Growing up in Dharavi, many girls take on a lot of responsibility in the family home from a young age. Helping with the cooking, cleaning and other household tasks often mean girls get fewer chances to participate other events happening within the community and there can considerable social stigma surrounding them when they do.

The Girl's Football Program aims to make it acceptable for girls to play sport within their community, to offer them escapism, fun, the opportunity to compete and the chance to broaden their own personal development. We are proud to be delivering this program in partnership with Nimaya Foundation who assists in providing space for the girls to play and promoting the program throughout Dharavi, and with Oxylane Foundation who provide quality kit and resources to the program.

The program engages with girls in five separate age groups, Under 12, Under 14, Under 16 Under 18 and Over 18. Each age group has two sessions a week for practice and they are entered into local tournaments and regular matches against other girl's teams in Mumbai.

From its inception, the program has taken guidance and support from the YUWA Girl's Football Program in Jharkhand, incorporating their philosophies of 'don't talk too much', 'don't tell too much' and positive reinforcement. Through their model we also ask the girls to contribute cash toward the cost of their kit, giving them a sense of ownership of and commitment to the program.

But, it's not all just about football, the girls are encouraged to regularly attend their school and further education; they are encouraged to participate in other Reality Gives programs and also attend workshops on teamwork, health and hygiene, and communication. Through their football training sessions they're also learning about teamwork, leadership and responsibility. The girls are playing alongside team-mates from different communities and religions, they're growing in stature and in confidence. Where once the older girls were shy and embarrassed about being seen running and playing sport in their community they are now standing tall, and telling bystanders off when they walk through the middle of a training session!



Awards & Recognition

  • 3rd Place in the U16 Mumbai Games 2014 Girls Football Tournament.
  • Named amongst Vogue India's #VogueEmpower 'Heroes' in the seventh anniversary edition of the magazine, October 2014.

ROLE OF REALITY GIVES

GiftReality Gives raises funds for kit, coaching and tournaments.
DonateReality Gives runs the program with guidance from YUWA
Volunteer Reality Gives helps to raise awareness of gender issues in rural and urban underprivilged communities.
IMPACT
  • Since the Girls Football Program launched in Dharavi May 2012 the program has reached 59 girls
  • The program aims to reach 70 girls by June 2014
GET INVOLVED
  • Attend one of the practices
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