Galz & Goals
Empowering young girls through football and healthy lifestyles
What is the initiative about?
Although football is by far the most
popular sport in Namibia, there is a lack of opportunities for young girls to
partake in organized sports. In addition women and young girls are
disproportional affected by the HIV epidemic.
Galz & Goals targets girls from the ages of 10-14. As one of the
motto’s of the programme states: “girls can play too!”
We would like to see girls given the space
to grow as individuals in a safe and nurturing environment and to enjoy
themselves through the sport of football. We know that young girls are at a
particular sensitive and crucial phase of their development, as they make their
way from childhood to adolescence. Thus, it is especially important to support
the girls to navigate through this tricky stage of their lives so they can grow
into confident, self-respecting and responsible women. In this respect, the
Galz & Goals project is about much more than just playing soccer!
Since G&G launch at the end of 2009, around 2,600 girls have been exposed to the programme and healthy lifestyle
activities through football festivals. The number of girls in the programme has increased and
now stands at over 3,000 girls who now regularly play in
the Galz & Goals league. G&G leagues are currently conducted in 8
regions across the country.
In the last quarter of 2010, the Galz &
Goals initiative gained international recognition when it was awarded the ‘Sporting
Federation of the Year’ award at the Beyond Sports Summit in Chicago. Receiving
the renowned S4D award has raised the profile of the initiative at both the
national and international levels.
Inspired by UNICEF’s work on promoting children’s rights through sport and play, UNICEF Namibia joined the global #teamUNICEF collaboration around sports, during the time of the 2014 World Cup, by producing a video focusing on the Galz & Goals programme and the experiences of adolescent girls on and off the football field. This placed the global spotlight on the Galz & Goals programme and gave further visibility to the successes Galz & Goals has seen over the past 5 years.
The video features the song ‘Goddess’ by the up and coming US musician BANKS. Most of the girls who take part in Galz and Goals come from vulnerable families experiencing lots of social challenges. Indeed, many of the scenarios in the video are real challenges the respective girls have had to overcome in their own lives. Filmed on location in Windhoek, Namibia - including the Katutura where the football scenes were filmed.
The Galz & Goals video produced in 2014, was nominated as a finalist for The Shorty Awards in the Best Social Good Campaign category.
Find out more about UNICEF's work on sport and children's right to play: http://www.unicef.org/teamunicef