Children are our primary beneficiary and to engage with them in a safe and conducive environment is our first priority. For creating such an environment it is equally important to aware all the stakeholders of potential issues while interacting with young children.
To address issues around child safety and rights we As a part of our many endeavors to improve the lives of youngsters in constructive and creative ways, we conducted a workshop on children’s rights on the 26th and 27th May (2017) at the Slum Soccer Academy in Bokhara. A total of 15 young leaders from the local communities in Nagpur attended this workshop to increase their knowledge on the subject.
The workshop started off by exhibiting some of the pre-existing games to our leaders so as to give them a better understanding of how games can be designed to make children aware of their rights. The leaders then had to list 10 of the most important rights that any child should know.
The next step was to discuss and come up with original game designs in which the leaders showed outstanding creativity. A brainstorming session was also held to make the games more engaging and fun. The workshop consisted of both on and off-field sessions.
Football is a game that has the power to captivate a child’s attention and that’s why the leaders used techniques like passing, dribbling and heading, to design the games. After all, as Maria Edelman famously said, “If we don’t stand up for children then we don’t stand for much”.
After conducting summer camps in Hinganghat and Wani, we realized the potential of utilising summer holidays to engage and create long term impact amongst girls in these underserved communities. Sports or more specifically football has always been the most productive tool for us to empower and help underprivileged girls in developing their potential.
This summer camp was organised from 25 to 28 April (2017) for girls in Amravati. The programme was supported by the ‘Michael Johnson Young Leader’ initiative and Isha Sipahimalani. The primary goal of the camp was to channelise the energy of girls towards sports and create awareness of women’s rights by conducting engaging activities.
Through this programme we successfully reached out to 50 girls in Amravati. These girls were taught skills in football and were made aware about gender equality, female empowerment, health, wellness and hygiene. They were also taught self development and leadership skills.
We concluded the program by organising a ‘Fair Play’ tournament.
On 8th of June 2017, Roshni and Ganga were presented with their own bikes. For the very first time in their lives they didn’t have to depend on their brothers or parents to go anywhere, from now on they won’t have to arrived late at school or miss out.
The girls received these gifts from Isha Sipahimalani who visited their homes earlier this year and was taken by their plight.
These two girls were unable to attend regular school as it was quite far away from their village. These bikes they can not only get to school on time but also take part in football sessions.
A big thanks to Isha and her family for supporting us.
Summer time means a lot of fun time for regular kids, however for children from slum this leaves a lot of time to engage in mischief or just whiling their time away. Keeping this in mind we conducted “Grassroots Summer Camp” from 8th to 15th May 2017 at 5 different slum locations in Nagpur supported by Anders Hellermark. The goal was to reach out to children from underprivileged backgrounds and train them in football along with teaching them some important life skills. The program was conducted in the following locations Taywade, Gumpthi, Gumthala, Sevanand and Bokhara.
Around 200 children participated in this training program across all locations. We concluded the program at the Slum Soccer academy Bokhara by organising Grassroots Football tournament (4-A sided) to celebrate UEFA Grassroots day.
Children experienced matches as well as workshop on team work, health and wellness.
The winning team from Bokhra lifted the ’Anders trophy’.
A two day workshop (10th & 11th May) on game designing and capacity building for leaders was held at the Bokhara Centre. The goal was to learn to design soccer games that were educative and amusing in nature. The first day of the workshop mainly focused on understanding the art of teaching and learning to connect education with soccer. The leaders were challenged in the classroom to come up with creative ways of teaching Mathematics, English and various other subjects using techniques like dribbling, tackling and attacking. They were taught the process of coming up with a game plan and designing a curriculum. They were also given lessons on soft skills and teamwork. The second day focused more on application and implementation. The leaders were taught many games on the soccer field in order to make them more self reliant to resolve problems on their own using soccer as a tool. They were also given lessons on leadership and empathy which was followed by a feedback session in which the leaders helped each other in improving the structure of the games they designed. The final day ended on a cheerful note with smiles on the faces and unending passion in the hearts.
To really lead is to grow more leaders and to shine lights on people’s gifts and talents – Robin Sharma
Every year since 2007 we have been selecting the best players across India who represent our country in the Homeless World Cup Tournaments. The first selection trials for 2017 took place on April 18 & 19 at Nagpur.
20 best players selected from the National Inclusion Cup participated in the trials. 8 boys and 8 girls were chosen among them. The trails are not only about playing the game of football, but also about having a second chance in life to transform oneself.
The trials began with an introductory session by the coaches and trainers. There were various sessions based on the performances, worldwide strategies of the players & teams, team coordination and so on. Each and every game, performance and player were observed by coaches and trainers. The details were analysed and improvement tactics implemented. Also, the background, the personal and professional details of all the players were checked and verified. This would help them while participating in any international match.
There shall be another selection trail for the Homeless World Cup. The reassessment is useful in taking out the best players and working on them for international games. It is a big responsibility to make sure that the opportunities reach the right people so that every talent is utilised. A player contributes to a team as much as he/she does to a society or a nation. A systematic training approach and consistent efforts create great players.
HWC trails have brought together the most deserving players from some of the most neglected parts of the country who will be representing India internationally. They shall go through rigorous training sessions. The dream team will represent India in the Homeless World Cup and bring home laurels.
Champions always play fair and by rules. They are the real game changers. Slum Soccer’s Module One of Project Game Changers was organised from March 28 to 30, 2017 in Nagpur and April 24 to 26th April in Mumbai. Participants from various areas and locations in Maharashtra came together for the 3-day Youth Leadership Programme. At Nagpur, Taywade College campus was provided for the programme, for Mumbai it was Gyan Darshan in Andheri East.
It was an unusual training session where the expectations of the participants were taken into consideration. This is a rare feat. The first day began with the introduction and induction. Slum Soccer’s concept of Football for Development was the medium of training. Leadership training, Identity and Gender Equality were the topics of focus. The second half was about Effective Communication and addressed questions such as ‘How to communicate effectively?’, ‘The methods of communication’, ‘What, when, where’ and so on.
The next day began with the ‘Reflection of the (previous) Day’ report read by one of the participants. It consisted of the learning of the previous day so as to establish a connection with the next day. A session on leadership and social management was followed by storytelling session on ‘empathy’. Participants were asked to perform or display what they learnt. Their presentations were evaluated and improvements suggested.
The last day of the tournament mainly focused on problem recognition and handling. Gender Equality and Women Empowerment were taught via Sport. The concluding tournament’s highlight was ‘Fair Play’. The magnificent delivery by the teams made the day an enriching experience.
The closing ceremony was a magnificent amalgamation of speeches by thought leaders Dr Sharayu Taywade, Professor Suryavanshi, Pranit Gedam, and Professor Vijay Barse. The positive impact of the programme was training 60 gems, polishing their skills; They shall reach more people. It is about creating leaders who will create more leaders and the chain of development will continue to grow healthily.
Nagpur, Yavatmal and Wardha witnessed the Shakti Girls Summer Camps for women from April 20 to 30, 2017. The programme is supported by Michael Johnson Young Leaders initiative. The main aim of the camp was to channelise the energy of young girls towards sports, train them and through the activities create awareness about their rights.
Through this module of the programme, Slum Soccer successfully reached more than 250 women. These programmes also mark the completion of a year of Shakti Girls Project. The project, specially designed for women and their development through football, is including more and more women everyday. Shakti Girls has helped enumerable young women to come out of their comfort zones and make the full use of their potential & the opportunities.
The five-day camp at each location was divided into morning and evening sessions. The sessions were conducted on field and focused towards the development of women football players by teaching them various skills. Topics like Gender Equality, Leadership, Effective Communication, Health, Wellness and Hygiene were taught via field games and practical training.
The camp is so designed that it becomes a complete process of development. It begins with creating an interest and ends with creating players. It is a cycle of development with each element contributing to its success.
The highlight of the programme was a 12 year old who presented her thoughts in front of everyone without hesitation. Her schooling and vernacular background had not introduced her too well to public speaking, yet she managed to work on it and achieved the goal. The concluding match between girls and boys was a splendid example of Gender Equality in real life.
The next two camps will take place in Chandrapur and Amravati. This endeavour will continue to grow and reach more and more women.
International Day of Sport for Development and Peace is celebrated to honour the power of sport to drive social change, community development and to foster peace & understanding. Based on United Nations’ concept of IDSDP, Slum Soccer celebrates the day with games and learning sessions.
April 6, 2017, highlighted the concept ‘We Play Together’. Slum Soccer’s theme of celebration was ‘Gender Equality’. The compulsory criterion for participation was to have a team consisting of 5 players (compulsorily, 2 boys, 2 girls & an extra player, preferably a girl). The inter-centre matches consisted of 30-35 players from various centres of Slum Soccer. The matches were played in two categories — under 16 and above 16.
Tournaments were held in the morning while the evening sessions were based on learning and problem solving. The trainers in Slum Soccer believe that the problems arise as we define the gender roles. Strength is associated with a gender and another one is considered weak. This mentality has to be changed. Games and sessions to propagate gender equality were organised.
The purpose of celebration was defined for the participants. The clarity gave them vision. Many of their notions and inhibitions came to an end when they played together. It is not limited to breaking gender stereotypes. It is about practicing equality in real life. Many real life issues were addressed.
The surveys before the commencement of the sessions and after the conclusion showed positive changes in participants. A systematic evaluation is always helpful to gauge the impact a programme can have. An ignited mind always influences positive outcomes.