The contents of a backpack that Pascaline keeps under her bed offer a glimpse into the aspirations of the young Nigerien girl. For years, Pascaline has been collecting football jerseys, socks and boots, even though most of them are still too big for her to wear. She’s a fan of the Barcelona Football Club – she knows the names of all the players.
Pascaline’s mother, Biba, chuckles as her daughter talks enthusiastically about her dream of playing football in Spain or the United States. But Pascaline remains defiant: “Whoever says that football is only for boys, well my friends and I are proving them wrong.”
For Pascaline, football is about much more than just fun. When her parents had to take her out of school age eleven because they could no longer afford to pay the school fees, playing football was the only thing that kept her happy.