Long Read
9 January 2020

Dutch soccer player Leonne Stentler visits girls empowerment project in Malawi

Sports as an entry point for illustrating gender equality and sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR) 

Social inclusion: breaking stereotypes
The goal is for the children to learn mutual respect, develop self-esteem and start a process of resilience. By playing soccer, girls are empowered and are a step closer to breaking gender stereotypes, inside and outside the field. The aim is to reduce the inequalities and power imbalance between boys and girls and thus enhance social inclusion. 

Youth & Sexuality: information based decision making 
Next to sports, the project provides the youth information on Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights tenhance awareness on their rights and support girls in making informed decisions. Further, the programme provides them access to SRHR materials, such as birth control and condoms. 

 By playing soccer girls combat gender stereotypes, that women are inferior to men.


  • 9.000 youngsters taught awareness of teen pregnancies and gender equality  
  • 30 girls trained in leadership skills  
  • 15 girls and 15 boys trained, key figures in different communities, on Sexual & Reproductive Health (SRH) anGender Equality 
  • International campaign on social media on female empowerment with the support of international female football players 

Key activities in the programme “Malawian Youth Kick Back” 


  • Support girls’ football tournaments to raise awareness on gender equality, Sexual Reproductive Health and Child Rights 
  • Train girls in sports and health coaches 


  • Conduct open discussions with adolescent girls and boys on Sexual Reproductive Health Rights 
  • Train traditional leaders, parents, religious leaders and initiation counsellors on Comprehensive Sexuality Education while attending sports events 
  • Train boys as male role models on Sexual Reproductive Health Rights 


  • Training of boys and girls in leadership skills  
  • Conduct career guidance talks through role modelling to ensure independence among girls 


  • Train boys and girls on the importance of Gender Equality 
  • Conduct training of boys and girls as youth counsellors in relation to Sexual Gender Based Violence 
  • Conduct community meetings to popularize child protection and Gender Equality laws 
  • Raise awareness with parents and local leaders on child rights and gender equality 
  • Raise awareness with adolescent boys and girls on child rights and child protection policies 

 Read more about the programme 

About UEFA Foundation 

UEFA established an independent foundation that uses sport to support humanitarian projects linked to children’s rights in areas such as health, education and integration. 

Learn more 


Programme Manager: Rens Saat
Producer video: Sabine Brusse
Camera and Edits: Ben Reisman
Presentation: Leonne Stentler 

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