This is a day that aims to raise awareness of many factors relating to the world’s rapidly increasing population crisis and includes the topic of reproductive healthcare and gender equality.
FACT: The World’s population currently stands at 7.8 billion*
Gender equality and sustainable development are just two of the areas that I am involved in with my work as a Trustee to the charity Kicking Off.
FACT: Kicking Off works in line with the UN’s main development goals – No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Clean Water & Sanitation, Gender Equality, Quality Education, Good Health & Wellbeing – we do this by initially bringing communities together through sport.
Kicking Off + Gender Equality =
One of the ways we’ve promoted the importance of gender equality is through hugely successful football tournaments arranged in Ghana. Predominately this game is played by boys and men, yet from the outset Kicking Off tournaments have encouraged girls to enter. Hugely competitive female teams come together, supported by all members of their communities, and are able to compete in the same way as their male counterparts.
During the tournaments these children and young people receive a good, fresh meal, clean water, receive a thorough medical check and goodie bag of essential health and education supplies.
FACT: At these tournaments Kicking Off has identified many cases of malaria and saved lives as a direct result.
The charity is now also hosting netball tournaments – a passion for young girls in Africa. As a direct result Kicking Off gains trust within communities and we can encourage girls and young women to continue education and look to future career opportunities.
Whilst education is hugely important to both boys and girls, girls traditionally will be expected to take on responsibilities within the household, and many leave school before graduating. With guidance, education and the trust that’s developed with Kicking Off representatives, it’s our aim that more girls are encouraged to go to school to get an education. Covid unfortunately halted the building of our first school in Ghana, we hope to resume work shortly, and as this will be the first school in Ghana to be built using recycled bricks it will be another fantastic achievement.
It’s these seemingly simple steps – by championing female football and netball tournaments – that can make an impact and take some steps towards achieving gender equality.
Kicking Off + Sustainable Farming:
Just before the COVID pandemic lockdown in Ghana, Kicking Off embarked upon the planting of a peanut farm on some wasteland in conjunction with a local school. This initiative will teach the children about farming and the importance of community action. When the peanut crops are ready they will be sold – the profits will be used to then create the next sustainable peanut farm and in addition we will be able to renew the medical insurance of the up to 400 children in each village.
100% Reliant On Donations
As a result of the charity’s hard work - funded entirely through donations, fundraising and sponsorship, carried out by dedicated volunteers - clean water, education and medication has been brought to many communities across Ghana.
In the last 12 months Kicking Off has started to build a school from bricks made from recycled plastic bottles, drilled a number of boreholes in rural communities – one of which will support a disabled school whilst serving 1,500 in the local area, and hosted a number of tournaments that saw 1,500 children and young people receive a good hot meal, clean water, a medical check and goodie bag.
You can help Kicking Off by donating £10 per month – simply text KICK to 70577. Alternatively, you can make a one off £10 donation by texting KICK to 70800.
100% of your donations go to the charity to continue their ground breaking work.
Twitter: @kicking_off_org Instagram: kicking.off
* as of July 2020