Addressing Gender Inequality through Sport and Community. Let's play Football!
What better way to teach boys and girls about teamwork and treating each other with respect than through soccer. Komera staff recognized that in order to build healthy relationships in the future, we could start by engaging boys and girls in soccer at a young age. This past year we launched the School Empowerment Program with Primary 5 (5th Grade students) and we want to share with you how the incredible impact of the program.
Students attend training once a week that is lead by Vestine (a Komera graduate and now Program Officer) in partnership with school-based mentors. Komera works in partnership with 4 local primary schools. After attending one year training program, the pupils were able to improve on hygiene, setting goals, love of school and respect for one another. Parents testified that Komera lessons impacted the lives of their children in a positive manner.
“At the start of the program boys and girls would not play sports together. So I started getting them to play “games” together where they felt they were learning. Slowly by slowly the boys and girls started playing more and more together. By the end of the program boys and girls were playing football together!! Now the girls even know that they can and should try to beat the boys in sports!”
Here’s where the magic really starts. Students also started clubs at their schools to start savings groups. They agreed to save small amount of money basing one’s capability. They always met and recorded their books of accounts with the help of elected committee made up of both gender, 2 boys and 2 girls. It was really amazing to see how pupils are very coordinated and how they listen to the guidance of their school-based mentors.
They are not just saving for themselves but they are also giving back to their community! This past holiday one school group met to support building the house of an elderly lady. Another school group convened to help make bricks for their classmates home.
During the graduation day of first intake Komera gave each club a contribution to support these clubs. They were very pleased of the support and they bought money wooden boxes to help them keep saving. The school accountant helps them to keep the box of money they save and she ensures that their money are safe and the pupils carry the box keys for themselves.
The pupils shared that, before getting skills about saving from Komera, they wasted even the little coin of money they got from their parents but today their minds changed and they hope to save it and reach far in development.
The mentors of G.S Gihinga also shared that savings started to bring solutions among pupils in that, they borrow and pay back. They have used this money to buy books that are required during exams. They no longer face challenges of being chased out of schools due to lack of essential school requirements.
Not only the children have gained skills from Komera, but also their parents. There is a great improvement in community support and leaving peacefully and harmony among families as a result of interaction of their children
We are very grateful for such contribution of the school empowerment program to the lives of pupils and families at large. Without the program, a little would have been done.