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The International Day of the Girl in Boston, MA, and Kampala, Uganda


Our SWB programs in the US and abroad celebrated the Day of the Girl, which was on October 11, 2013. They marked the occasion by honoring girls and women in their communities and throughout the world in different and exciting ways! Here are some highlights of those meaningful celebrations that were held in Boston, MA and in Kampala Uganda:

Boston

By: Hana Chamoun

East Boston had a fantastic time celebrating the Day of the Girl! We had both girls and boys gather at the WIC to learn about this global movement. I was so incredibly proud of the individuals who showed up The Day of the Girl was created by the UN and it is a day meant to recognize girls’ rights, understand the unique challenges girls face around the world, and celebrate girls for all that is special about them! The theme for our day was Celebration! The 3 learning points we focused on were: Why are we here today? Who are we celebrating? Why are we celebrating Girls?

As part of our celebration, we watched videos about girls who are brave, strong, and bold. Katy Perry started us off with her UNICEF video, to the tune of her hit song ROAR. This video showed girls from all over the world, many of whom were in classrooms celebrating this important day. Katy Perry is actively involved in the movement. Even though we couldn’t get her to come to East Boston for our celebration, it was fun to have her for a little time. Next, we watched a video from Girls Inc, an organization that promotes girls rights to be themselves. Each girl on the video describes who they are, and why they are strong, smart, and bold. Our girls felt like they were very similar to the girls, and it was cool to see these girls express such self-confidence. Last, but certainly not least, we learned about Malala, the 16-year-old Pakistani girl who is an activist for female education. She bravely stood up against the Taliban and asserted her belief that girls deserve the same right to go to school. The man who interviewed her was so impressed by her that he even asked to adopt her! We saw how proud and supportive he was and then talked about how boys and men are absolutely crucial in the support of girls and women, and should be equally appreciated!

Next we made collages about girls and women that have inspired and touched our lives. These collages were meant to show why the selected woman was chosen, why she was special, and what she had accomplished. Many people chose their moms, but other people chose women they thought were inspirational, such as Ellen DeGeneres and Harriet Tubman. The collages were all well done and we then shared in groups the similarities and differences we saw. For a lot of us, it helped us to understand and appreciate the woman that we chose better than we had before. Everyone got to take home their collages and share them with their families. Finally, the special surprise treat was Coach Larkin’s Day of the Girl themed cookies that were totally delicious. Overall, it was a really important and special day, and I am glad we got to celebrate it together!

Kampala:

By: Amy Howard

Happy International Day of the Girl from Soccer Without Borders Uganda! For the past 3 weeks, we have divided our Life Skills classes into a boy's class and a girl's class. We thought it would be very crucial to create a space for our girls to discuss with them the importance of being a strong woman, a confident woman, and the importance of education. During each Life Skills lesson with the girls, we discussed different topics that are important for women today. Our girls were split into groups, with the oldest leading talks about a healthy lifestyle, the importance of education, and what it means to express yourself. We also has the girls write, draw, and sketch about their individual passions, and things they want to accomplish during their lives. To top it all off, we worked together to find words that describe themselves, as well as words that describe female role models in their lives. We used these words and the excitement of our girls to create our own "Day of the Girl" video, which we showed to the entire organization! In our boys' Life Skills classes, Coach Turner discussed some of our great leaders in society, both men and women. He allowed the boys to discuss the traits of admirable men and women, as well as express themselves and their own passions through art.

All of these things led up to what our girls had been waiting for… DAY OF THE GIRL! On this beautiful Thursday, our girls came in their "smartest" outfits, and were ready for a day all about them. The girls started by reading "The Girl Declaration." The declaration was split up, and each of our girls read a section of the declaration in English. This was a very powerful moment, as the girls had taken their individual parts home the previous two nights and practiced with their friends and family. It was a great success, and we have never been so proud of our girls for standing up confidently and speaking loudly in front of all of the coaches, teachers, and boys!

After, we were very honored to have Dr. Alice Kagoda, a professor at nearby Makerere University join us. She delivered our students an incredible message on the importance of hard work and education. Directly after Dr. Kagoda spoke, we played our "Day of the Girl" video, which was put to the song Brave, by Sara Bareilles. Our girls and boys loved the video, and had a blast watching it on a big screen using a projector! Finally, we ended our group activities by playing a "charades" type of game in which the girls acted out different scenarios, and the boys had to guess what was happening! All of our participants had a great time, and girls did a great job stepping up and working together to make it easy for the boys to guess.

Although the Day of the Girl for 2013 has passed, we hope to continue to remind our participants of these important lessons, and to continue to help them grow and learn as people using both education and sport!


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