Christian, Muslim, Jewish and Yazidi girls playing football together? That is integration. That is Scoring Girls. Implemented in Cologne Germany, Scoring Girls uses football as a tool to empower refugee, migrant, and underprivileged young people. When the girls take the pitch they become more than team members, they become friends. Teamwork, communication, reliability and multicultural understanding are the attributes our leaders need. At scoring girls we are working to develop such citizens.
GIRLS OF DIVERSE FAITHS TAKE THE FIELD
Sufficient exercise, contact with peers, and education are the basis of the physical well-being and a positive social development for children. Sport allows young people to not only be healthy but to develop important life skills.
In Germany, girls from underprivileged backgrounds and refugee families are often excluded from sport activities. Both financial constraints and cultural concerns limit the ability of girls to participate in organized trainings.
Based on the belief that girls of all backgrounds should be afforded the same opportunities as their male peers and based on the understanding of the role that sport can have in the development of young people and their social integration, HAWAR.help established the project Scoring Girls.
In April, 2017 German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited a Scoring Girls training and praised the project stating, “Great work is being done here with integration through sports to support refugees. Moreover, this work enables the girls to connect with their peers and to find their way in life” (full text and article on visit).
Prominent German TV host Anne Will also enthusiastically praised Scoring Girls, visiting the project in June 2017 and remarking on the impact, “The girls are learning a lot about fairness and tolerance, I felt very welcome and would like to visit again.” (full text)
On July 13, 2017, Martin Schulz, the former chair of the Social Democrats in Germany, visited the Scoring Girls exclaiming that, “We cannot overestimate the power of sports!”
EDUCATION ON AND OFF THE PITCH
Led in German, the free-of-cost football trainings bring together refugee, migrant and German girls to form a team where it no longer matters what your background is.
Professional Bundesliga player and winner of the Cologne citizens (link),Tugba Tekkal, the daughter of refugees from Turkey, begins and ends each training with a group discussion, where the girls talk about what is going on in their lives in Germany. Everyday the young people develop team spirit, fairness, confidence as well friendship and reliability. As Scoring Girls participant Hajen described, “Scoring Girls is a small family we are all friends and siblings. Scoring Girls motivates me in School and motivates me in my everyday life.”
Beyond the pitch, the Scoring Girls visited a farm in the Cologne area where they learned about nutrition and collected produce to distribute to those without access to healthy food. Having fun together and learning at the same time ensures that the girls become active citizens.
Sports can not be underestimated as a tool for social inclusion. Scoring Girls is showing that girls can play too, no matter their faith, social status or background. The Scoring Girls are the next generation of leaders.
PARTNERING WITH SCORING GIRLS
Scoring Girls is growing! Through word of mouth and continual outreach, the number of girls interested in joining Scoring Girls continues is increasing. Plans are in place to scale activities in Cologne and spread to other German cities to ensure that every girl has a chance to play! Join us.