Girls can fight for their dreams through football

Irintsoa , a young reporter, interviews Sarah, a female football player.
Irintsoa interviews Sarah at the "Live your Goals" Festival during International Girls Day.

In Madagascar, many girls suffer from harmful violence, are out of school, marry under the age of 18 and become pregnant. We often have fewer rights, we are not being treated equally, and we are targeted by bullies and their hurtful insults.

However, some of the girls here have big dreams and are on their way to reaching them it only if they just have confidence in them. So, girls need to have more education and support to make this world a better place. Young women have great abilities within them and they need their rights realised to show it to the people around them.

Live Your Goals festival is a girls’ football event, which took place during the International Day of the Girl Child last week. Malagasy people celebrated the Day of the Girl, with around 300 girls participating in the “Live Your Goals Festival”, and a concert by Stephanie, a Malagasy singer. It took place in Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar it was organized by UNICEF in partnership with the Malagasy Football Federation (FMF).

The goal of the day was to make girls love football, as a form of play. But beyond football, it was also about providing them with positive tools to set goals in life and to overcome challenges. The day was also celebrated to promote the position of girls in society, and to make their lives better in society.

Most of the participants of the Live Your Goals Festival said that they learned important lessons for their lives from the football game, such as: how to set a goal and reach it no matter what the obstacles are, how to stay strong even though it was raining that day, how to live with equality and fairness, how to have a good team spirit, and how to learn from a failure and look for the positives in life.

Some of the participants in this celebration already have a big dream, like becoming a famous footballer. They believe that they can fight for their dreams through football. This is the case of Sarah, 16, who is on her way to becoming a professional football player. She has been playing football since she was 8. Football is her passion, she said, and all her family plays football. She currently plays in a neighbourhood club, the SabNam Football Club and hope to continue as far as possible in football as a professional player.

“Boys don’t always have the same way and skills at playing football than girls, but I believe that girls also have a strong ability to be as good as boys,” says Sarah.

All fun activities performed and presented during the “Live Your Goals” festival inspired girls to participate in football games. Events such as this one help young talented girls to reach their full potential. Girls can fight for their dreams through football. 

By Irintsoa RAKOTOMAMONJY, an aspiring young journalist from Madagascar. She recently represented Madagascar in Russia to cover the mini-World Cup 2018 for Children as a young journalist.