Little girls with dreams become women with vision
“Investing in women is smart economics, and investing in girls, catching them upstream, is even smarter economics” – Ngozi Okonjo Jweala
“Girls have the power to transform their own lives, their families, their communities and the world” – Denise Dunning, Let Girls Lead
“Little girls with dreams become women with vision” – Unknown
“In WCAR, 23.2 million children of primary school age are out of school. 52% are girls.
∙ The number 1 reason parents cite for having their children out of school is poverty.
∙ A poor girl form a rural area is 2 times more likely to be excluded from education than a boy from a rich urban household.
∙ 36% of children in rural areas never enter school. 27% drop out”
(African little girl is learning English language)
Empowering girls and ensuring equity with respect to opportunities given to girls and boys is still a global issue and very much prevalent in Ghana. Culturally, boys grow up thinking certain jobs, games and stature in the community are best suited for them because of their masculinity and not dependent on their qualification or whether they deserve or are best suited. Our girls, on the other hand aren’t given the same platform to blossom, aren’t encouraged to take risks, be independent and pursue career goals since they are expected to marry, procreate and keep the home.
Play and Learn Foundation therefore sought to help in its small way in empowering girls in the Okpongolo community where the organisation operates. Our Yaa Asantewaa Princesses football team gives girls’ within community the opportunity to come play and learn football, a game usually played by boys. The dedicated coaches made up of both male and female volunteers teach the girls patiently the basics and with time they grow in confidence in themselves. Football becomes a means through which the girls learn a lot about themselves, the importance of perseverance, learning a new skill, hard work, teamwork, critical analysis and problem solving skills and discipline. Through play and interactions it can be observed that more of our girls have become more confident, outspoken and opinionated as well.
Also, our Sunday mentoring program helps create a safe circle where the girls participating in the program can open up about their strengths, weaknesses, goals and aspirations. When the interactions are more consistent, there is familiarity and trust which leads to more candid discussions about the above mentioned issues. This makes it easier, more efficient and effective to guide and direct these girls with respect to pursuing their goals and dreaming big.
Our Yaa Asantewaa Princesses.
Another of our models seeks and identifies girls like Habiba and getting them enrolled in school through academic scholarships. Habiba has been with Play and Learn for the past year participating in all our programs. However, she has never been to school due to her parent’s inability to afford the cost involved. It becomes inherent to help such an intelligent, outspoken and smart girl benefit from a scholarship scheme from PAL that will give her an equal opportunity to pursue her dreams. Find below adorable Habiba:
PAL believes that there are more girls like Habiba and will like to charge everyone in Ghana and around the world to help create an environment where equity exists, where one is not looked down based on gender, where we stop telling boys “don’t be a girl” when they expressing hurt, pain or other emotions, where we stop saying “a girls place is in the kitchen” and encourage girls to pursue career goals and excellence. Such a world would be beautiful and awesome to live in.
Play and Learn Foundation is an organization based in Ghana that provides help and guidance to underprivileged children who love the game of football. We provide opportunities in education, career counseling and mentorship to enable participants to develop themselves professionally while pursuing their dreams to become national soccer players.
These kids are longing for a chance to realize their dreams of becoming an athlete or a
professional in a certain area hence,Play and Learn Foundation enables them grow to achieve their full potential, giving them a chance to shine. This will be achieved through giving them access to educational assistance and funding, career counseling and guidance and mentorship.