By Goal Five
In this issue of Forward Mag, we highlight one of our mission partners, Seprojoven. With the help of Ailin, one of Seprojoven’s veteran participants, we look at how this Costa Rican organization is bringing more girls to the game while creating strong leaders off the field.
Seprojoven is a Costa Rican organization that uses football to promote the personal development of disadvantaged girls, equipping them with the skills they need to be project mediators and community leaders. Born in 2004, Seprojoven has supported multiple projects to impact local communities, including Project Liga FEM.
Project Liga FEM specifically supports two local communities combining soccer with social justice initiatives to create better chances and opportunities for young women living in the area. The program trains young women as mediators to plan and organize at least 6 community projects within their communities. We sat down with Mediator, Ailin to get a better look at the work being done for Project Liga FEM.
Ailin now 18, has been playing soccer since she was 7 years old. Off the field Ailin loves to read because she enjoys learning anything that provides her benefit. As a footballer, Ailin has a love for the game and told us, “I feel free and with good vibes inside me [when I play].”
Within the communities of Guarari de Heredia and Los Cuadros de Purral, Project Liga FEM works to add more female leaders to the community with the ability to inspire and help strengthen women’s rights. As a participant of Liga FEM since 2011, Ailin is now a trained mediator herself. “I am proud to have the opportunity to be a good example, to be part of the leadership for the girls and to empower them.”
Seprojoven has found that Liga FEM has impacted both female mediators like Ailin (ages 14-20) and participants of their initiatives (ages 8-13). 60 percent of children and adolescents expressed having a better attitude toward their future after going through the program. “The biggest impact in this community is that through the education as a mediator we can promote social change and deal with conflicts differently and with innovative strategies. Also we can promote the confidence of women,” Ailin explained. Ailin continued stating how Liga FEM has helped her accomplish her goals, “I want to be an empowered woman who is able to empower other women as well.”
In her community, Ailin hopes “that the girls are confident and love and accept their selves.” Seprojoven works with mediators to train them in football, sociocultural animation techniques, human rights, and offer specific schooling in topics like the origin of the women’s union. With this knowledge they are able to develop and implement large sports events, weekly trainings, tournament, bi-monthly artistic-cultural workshops and psychological support for participants. Liga FEM gives mediators the tools to lead in their community and ultimately design what their impact will be. “I think that each person is a mystery to resolve,” Ailin told us when describing what she’s learned through the program.
As a proud partner of Seprojoven, we believe their work to empower young women brings more girls to the game making them confident on and off the pitch. Check out more about our partners here and how you can support getting more females in the game.
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