We’ve spent much of the past three years developing our PLAY4PURPOSE model. Bit by bit, we worked to create an approach to community-centered, educational soccer leagues that appeals to youth, upholds our 7 core values, and strives to create positive impact in every engagement. One thing that we learned early on is that the model really works for boys in Cameroon – way more so than for girls. Why?
There’s many cultural dynamics to consider when preparing an answer, but the most obvious and succinct is this: girls between the ages of 10-16 have responsibilities at home. A lot of responsibility. Girls are tasked with cooking, cleaning, laundry, and caring for younger siblings Boys, simply, are not. They are often free to run and play, and easily get in trouble without structured activities. We knew that girls programming took some additional work (and required additional investment of financial and staff resources). That limited our ability to facilitate consistent programming for girls.
We chose to invest in the PLAY4PURPOSE model and it’s paid off. Youth-led, neighborhood-based leagues are launching in 7 communities, engaging 500 boys in positive, educational activities and will run through March 2019. We can’t wait to measure our progress over these next few months and lay out a strategy for expansion in other communities.
All this being said, we’re more than excited to announce that the girl’s PLAY4PURPOSE tournament that we launched last month will continue through mid-December and mark the beginning of our commitment to a year-long focus on women’s empowerment and gender equity.
In January, we’ll launch a monthly series of workshops for the 50+ girls who are engaged, in addition to at least two girls’ competitions in 2019. In line with the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup happening in France in the summer months (we’re hoping the Lionesses from Cameroon will secure their spot this weekend, playing in the 2018 Africa Women Cup of Nations in Ghana). Regardless, our 2019 Commitment is to the 50 girls who are registered in our competitions right now in Kumba. This commitment is to a comprehensive and transform-ative year-long experience our girls.
To support our 2019 commitment, visit our website (www.cameroonfdp.org) and make a contribution.
Check out what we did with our girls back in 2016 when Cameroon hosted the AWCON!
CameroonFDP is dedicated to changing lives through the beautiful game. This video highlights our efforts to go above and beyond to reach and engage young women in Cameroon in productive activities on and off the soccer field. Enjoy!