One day I went for a meeting in a school. When I entered the compound I saw a group of schoolboys, in their uniforms, playing football with a proper leather football. The boys were playing, joking and laughing. As a football lover I always have to stop and watch the game for a while. Outside the field three girls were standing and watching the boys playing.
And as a football coordinator in an organisation that empowers girls through football I didn't like what I saw. Hundred and sixty girls are playing league matches at the field that I was visiting. It is one of our most vibrant fields. And what did I see? Boys playing football and girls watching! Was this what we had achieved after working for six years with these girls?
After a few minutes the school bell rang and the students returned to their class. When the boys left the field they gave the ball to the girls.
Wait a minute!
The girls own the ball and have lent it to the boys!
This changed the story. As I remember from my own youth: when you have the ball you have the power. You can decide who can play, you have a lot of influence about who is selected in which team and you have a big say in how the game is supposed to be played.
In this situation the girls had the power and they allowed the boys to play.
Something has changed in this community in Kaloleni.....
But that was not it. When the girls entered the classroom they noticed three children from the unit for children with a disabilty. The three were longing for the ball.
One of the girls turned around and gave the ball to the children. That's what girls's power can be!