08. Feb. 2022
'Girls Saturday' is held the last Saturday of every month in 10 of the most marginalized communities in and around Freetown in Sierra Leone and the concept is simple – a full day where training pitches are dedicated to girls who wish to try to play football.

Come as you are, the local communities will make sure equipment and water for the training is accessible for every girl who wants to play. Local coaches from the FANT clubs host the training consisting of football related exercises as well as other sports activities and last but not least, dialogue with the participating girls about topics in relation to being a girl.

Why include girls into sports?

The activities create a free space for the girls. A place where they are encouraged to talk about difficult topics such as the female body, menstruation, female empowerment and where the girls become part of strong and healthy community changes their lives and makes the girls believe in themselves.

Group photo, Girls' Saturday

Group photo, Girls Saturday

One of the observations that has been inspiring is to see how the communities have been able to target the activities to what is needed in the specific community. This means that both young girls and older women have been included into the activities. To see women at the age of 50 playing stick ball, laughing together with like-minded is priceless.

Rope skipping

Rope skipping, fun and games are also part of Girls Saturday.

Aminata Jalloh (32), a participant living in the Goderich community, has a clear idea:

” The activities at Girls Saturday make me feel very lively and healthy. It makes me happy to share precious moments with other girls and women and makes me forget all my burdens.”

Aminata says Girls Saturday is something she really looks forward to and that she hopes Girls Saturday will continue forever.

three women talking and laughing

The activities create a free space for the girls and women to talk about issues of importance to them. Aminata (left) with coach Kadi (center) and FANT project coordinator Cynthia Johnson (right).

Girls Saturday is organised by FANT and local communities with funding from the Foundation’s Community Engagement Grant, allowing Grundfos departments and companies to support their local communities.