"I learned about my rights... my right to play and to choose what I wanted to become." Furaha Pascal Karimiko

Panel Discussion: Spotlight on Progress "Securing the Way to Healthy Adulthood and Leadership for Girls"

Context: This presentation is from one of the 14 "Spotlights on Progress" video-recorded sessions from the Girl Summit 2014, London, United Kingdom (UK). The sessions were organised to share best practice between practitioners, grassroots activists, and government ministers across the issues of female genital mutilation (FGM) (also FGM/C - female genital mutilation/cutting) and child, early, and forced marriage (CEFM). Girl Summit is a project of the Department for International Development (DFID), UK.

Profile of speaker: A featured panelist of this Spotlight session was Furaha Pascal Karimiko, Moving The Goalposts (MTG) Coach, Woman Win, Kenya, whose presentation was entitled "Building young women’s leadership through sport".  A video, "How Football Changed My Life", on Furah Pascal Karimiko's early life and her involvement in sport is available here on the Women Win website. She made the video and states: "I learned how to create a good story and how to edit pictures which was something that I didn't know."

Ms. Karimiko was one of 23 children in a large Kenyan family whose father was unable to send his girls to school beyond their primary years. She played football (soccer) daily, with the object of being stronger and more capable. Her persistence and skill led to being part of Moving The Goalposts (MTG) as a player, referee, peer educator, and a coach. From the peer education programme, she learned about reproductive health and rights. She was given a full scholarship to secondary school as a result of her skill, finished, and is now coaching, including coaching athletes who compete at the national level. She is contributing financially to her family. A younger sister is following her path and is captain of her secondary school team. She feels that, through training and mentoring in sports, girls learn how to change their communities.

Strategy overview: Furaha Pascal Karimiko wa as founding member of MTG in 2002, which provides a space for girls to play sport and gain life skills. It is a community-based organisation located in the rural Kilifi district of the Coast Province, Kenya. MTG started as a sport and development project in 2001, with fewer than 200 girls.

Participants are encouraged to be active in leadership roles such as committee membership, coaching, refereeing, first aid, peer educating, and counselling. These opportunities give girls the chance to be leaders and to change their communities. MTG is part of the Building young women’s leadership through sport programme run by Woman Win and funded by DFID. Leadership training includes planning, public speaking skills, and teamwork. As of 2014, it had more than 5,000 adolescent girls participating in weekly practices, tournaments, and ongoing leagues.

Overview of this Summit Session: From the Girl Summit summary document: "This spotlight highlighted initiatives that have piloted ideas or taken them to scale with measurable, positive results. From sports and financial literacy to reproductive health education and citizenship, these programmes are empowering girls with the life skills and leadership opportunities necessary for long-term success. Speakers will give specific examples of how their programmes are equipping girls with the right tools during this critical developmental period to deal with economic disparities, violence and harmful practices."

The speakers for this session are:

Dr. Rema Nanda, Founder and Trustee, JAGRITI Youth, India.

Iwalola Akin-Jimoh, Executive Director, Ovie Brume Foundation.

Karen Austrian, Population Council.

Furaha Pascal Karimiko, Moving The Goalposts Coach, Woman Win, Kenya.

Sheepa Hafiza, Director of Gender, Justice, Diversity and Migration, BRAC.

The session is moderated by Mike Thiedke, Director of Public Engagement, Plan International UK.

Footage of this (available below) and other "Spotlights" are available on DFID’s YouTube channel.

The Girl Summit is a project of DFID. Click here and scroll down to see the full list of individuals and organisations committed to working on girls' issues, as well as a list of Girl Summit Charter signatories.


DFID Girl Summit Outcomes website and Women Win website, accessed on August 26 2015.

See video