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01/02/2024 - 16:32

#PEACEMAKERS PROJECT – Celebrating girls empowerment through sport with Naandi Foundation in India

Last week a delegation from Peace and Sport traveled to India to visit the Naandi Foundation, an active member of the #Peacemakers Project international coalition.

The visit was organized in the framework of the Toofaan  Games’ National Finals, an annual series of athletics events from villages to national levels aimed at empowering girls through sports. The 4th edition brought together 180 000 girls from 6 000 villages across India, and was marked by the presence of Champion for Peace Marlène Harnois inspiring and motivating girls and educators.

The French-Canadian Olympic medalist described « the Toofaan Games as an heartwarming experience promoting the positive values of sport for women and youth empowerment ».

The Naandi Foundation is one of the largest and fastest growing social sector organizations in India working to make poverty history and providing instruments for a better tomorrow to the girls, youth, and farmers of India.

As part of its long-lasting “Nanhi Kali” project, aimed at educating underprivileged girls across India, the organization launched “Sports for life” a multi-sports grassroots program with the objective to break the cycle of physical poverty for girls, giving them the opportunity to live active and healthy lives. The program is driven by 6500 women “sport allies” that are empowered to implement sport-based activities for girls.

Building on the success, Naandi Foundation launched the “Game Changers” initiative, training women to become football coaches, impacting over 1,000 girls with plans to create 10,000 female football teams in the next three years.

Recognizing Naandi Foundation’s work, Peace and Sport awarded it the “Development-and-peace-through-sport Program of the Year” in 2019. In the words of Lisa Murawsky, Sports Director for the Nanhi Kali Project, this international recognition boosted Naandi Foundation’s conviction of leveraging on sport as tool to empower women and girls.

As part of Peace and Sport’s “bottom-up” approach, the visit provided an opportunity to gain insights and powerful testimonies from the field actors and beneficiaries, to further strengthen the impact of sport-based programs across India.

Looking forward, Peace and Sport aims to strengthen collaboration with Naandi Foundation, focusing on advocacy, monitoring the Game Changers Program, and inspiring the youth through its Champions for Peace.

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