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The uptake on adolescent girls, however, has not been so mainstream. Girls are still seen as victims or beneficiaries, not economic agents of change. Yet the evidence points to a simple fact: If you are looking for high return on investment and maximized gross domestic product growth, you have to invest in girls.
Why we need more women on development issues in Tanzania as organization TWYDS we decide to add more efforts to make sure we advocate for women empowerment and make sure after 2015 as development goal stipulated In 2012 we did the math. How can we encourage economic growth by addressing development gaps? The answer: adolescent girls, a highly vulnerable group in our markets but one with massive economic and leadership potential.
As a result, we started Goal, our leading education program to empower and equip adolescent girls with the confidence, knowledge and skills they need to be integral economic leaders in their families, communities and societies. At the time and perhaps still today, Goal was unique. Unique because a un organization we manage to bring courage to teachers, children to work as a team in order to bring change.
The connection between sports and adolescent girls isn’t obvious. But having witnessed it first-hand, I can attest to the power of sports. First and foremost, sports are fun; the fact that sports is used in conjunction with educational modules means the girls stay engaged, excited. It also serves as a safe place for girls, many of whom are at risk of physical and sexual abuse; you can’t learn if you are physically vulnerable. Moreover, playing on teams gives the girls a sense of community but also provides a channel for the girls to practice the skills they have learned in the Goal curriculum, such as leadership or communications. And lastly, utilizing sports allows us subtly but effectively to challenge social-cultural norms and gender stereotypes.
Another game that was focused on HIV prevention. A group of 10 girls formed a circle; one girl stood in the middle of the circle. The girl in the middle tried to avoid being hit by a soccer ball being thrown by the circle of 10. The ball represented the HIV virus. Then, a second girl was invited to join the girl in the middle. The second girl could block balls for the girl in the middle. The second girl represented a condom, the lesson being that condoms can help prevent HIV infections. A third girl joined the middle and contributed to the blocking; she represented abstinence. The game continued and while the girls were playing, you could see their brains working and making sense of the lessons. They left that game exhausted, but they also left with the knowledge they needed to make educated decisions about their sexual health and well-being.
The data we have consistently demonstrate that sports and education is an effective combination. We recently completed the measurement and evaluation for 2013; we saw an increase of 88 percent of girls who became confident in their voice, a 109 percent increase of girls who believed they had the power to influence their future, a 70 percent increase in the number of girls who believed they should control the number of children they have, and a 24 percent increase in the number of girls who aspire to work or start a business.
We still have a ways to go, however. For example, our data showed us that a majority of girls still think that they must tolerate violence for the sake of the family. This is a huge issue and not one that can be ignored.

We need to share to many girls about what we are doing by using Internet and mobile phones because our country is very bid we cant reach the whole count country in a time due to lack of resources,
The mobile phones and computers will be set in primary schools and girls share what they learn from us to schools where we did not manage to go

This story was written for World Pulse’s Women Weave the Web Digital Action Campaign. Learn more »



Kristina M's picture

Girls participating in sports


I participated in sports while I was in school and I really enjoyed it. It really helped boost my self esteem and I was able to make lifelong friends. I wish you continued success with your Goal group.


travelpoet's picture


Thank you so much for this wonderful piece that demonstrates positive, actionable change for girls in Tanzania! I love the comments that you have made about Goal bringing courage to teachers and children working in teams to be agents of change.

The idea of combining sports with schooling has so many great benefits. Building physical strength, community, confidence, and engagement while at the same time challenging gender and social stereotypes is GREAT! I was especially intrigued by the circle game that helped teach about the girls' empowerment of their own choices and bodies while preventing HIV. That's very innovative and encouraging.

Sending best wishes, congratulations, and sisterhood support from across the globe. Thank you for your dedication and great work!


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