A different type of ball: Reducing teenage pregnancies through soccer

IMG_8212One of the best things about being a lady in Uganda is that you are the in charge of a home; as an adolescent you are trained to have a high sense of responsibility and critical decision making skills. A typical day is to wake up and prepare for school, and prepare the little ones (young brothers, sisters, cousins) as well. After school is a routine of house chores and home work.

Raising a lady in Africa also includes tackling gender biases that are seconded by the myths and misconceptions surrounding areas of sexual reproductive health. Take for instance that a girl cannot shake hands with other people during menstruation or that a girl cannot ride a bike or play soccer because it may affect her virginity.

Having spent time at three Grassroot Soccer centers over the last few weeks, my view has completely widened on how sport and gender can bring about gender equity and influence mindsets to reduce the transmission rates of HIV and other sexually transmitted illnesses as well as unintended pregnancies amongst adolescent girls and young women. Continue reading “A different type of ball: Reducing teenage pregnancies through soccer”

Experiential learning: more than words

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We have just finished a brilliant fortnight working with Grassroot Soccer, an organisation that aims to harness the power of soccer to connect young people to the information, health services and mentors they need to thrive. The workshops took place in South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe to support the expansion of the focus of Grassroots Soccer to include a comprehensive approach to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), and adolescent health and well-being.

Sport can be a powerful tool for personal development, and also tackling some wider social and interpersonal concerns for young people.  Continue reading “Experiential learning: more than words”

This girl can… row!

FullSizeRenderCombining individual motivation with team participation, rowing is a sport that can facilitate personal and social growth.

Today at the Lea Athletics Centre in North London, 2,304 young people took part in the National Junior Indoor Rowing Championships (NJIRC) organizing by London Youth Rowing. Fifty per cent of the young people participating were girls, from all over the country.

Continue reading “This girl can… row!”