Annet came up with the idea of sending a girls' football team to Norway Cup and aired the idea with the rest of us. We were excited about the idea and we had our first meeting under a mango tree in January. This was the start of establishing the project in the rural village of Nyawa.
The project team travelled to Nyawa for the first time to have football tryouts for all the girls born between 2004 and 2006. We also arranged a session to appoint the coach.
After the football tryouts, a team of 10 girls were decided, as well as a local coach.
In close cooperation with the Nyawa community members, it was decided that we would support the local mothers' shelter, as this was an expressed need. Upgrading the Nyawa Mothers' Shelter was therefore added to the project as one of its main activities.
We started the process of applying for birth certificates for all the ten girls, in order to get passports. During this process, we discovered the high illiteracy rates in Nyawa, especially among females. We therefore decided to add a final activity to our portfolio - establishing a community library.
After many months of waiting and working with the Zambian authorities, the birth certificates were finally processed in November! This was a huge milestone, not just for the project, but for the girls and their future. We were also one step closer to applying for the passports.
The girls and one of their legal guardians came to Livingstone for their interview at the passport office in December. A very long day with interviews and waiting!
The passports were done in January! In addition, during January we were joined by journalists from Times of Zambia, Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation, as well as the National Council of Sports. The project made it on national Zambian tv, in several newspapers, and on the local radio in Livingstone.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Norway Cup was cancelled. Our focus is to maintain good health and well-being for the community members. We therefore organised an information meeting in Nyawa, where we talked about the virus, its effects and how to prevent further spreading.
During the month of August, we distributed wash basins, soap, masks and hand sanitizers to the females at the mothers' shelter, the girls and their families. The scarcity of these items are high in rural areas and we are glad we can help the community members on staying safe.
We launched our beautiful logo, made by the talented Ghanaian female Princella Seripenah (check her out on IG: @artbyprincella).
The logo symbolises the power of rural African females. In order to achieve growth and prosperous communities, women have to not just be included in the process, but be in charge of leading those processes. The colours brown and green symbolises growth and the grassroots movement in local communities, which this project is all about.
Our website was finally launched - on the International Day of the Girl Child! We are very proud of how far this project has come. We are all working on this project voluntarily in our spare time and are excited for the future.