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Cordaid NL
Humanitarian Aid

Breaking the silence using football

Cordaid-partner HODI from Kenya has won a prestigious Beyond Sport Award for their program ‘Breaking the Silence using Football’. Through sports, girls are given a safe space to talk about issues like female genital mutilation (FGM), early forced marriages and cultural restrictions for women. Cordaid congratulates HODI on their achievement!

HODI’s program was selected as winner of the ‘Beyond Sport – Sport for Social Inclusion’ category out of 330 submissions to the Awards. The award will include a support package and entry into a powerful network of organizations.

In addition, HODI founder Fatuma Adan is added to the ‘Beyond Sport Inspirational 50’- list of this year.

Breaking taboos

Female Genital Mutilation, early forced marriages, beading and girls dropping out of schools are some of the major challenges that Northern Kenyan girls have to deal with on daily basis. “In Marsabit, where the project is based, girls and women have no voice or choice. They cannot be seen or heard and the culture is so deeply rooted that even talking about the issues that affect women and girls is a taboo,” Noor Abdulkadir, program coordinator of HODI states.

“The use of football is a statement in itself, because girls are not allowed to participate in sports”

HODI uses football to create a safer space for the girls, where they can discuss some of the issues away from the elders and community. “We engage young girls to help in breaking the silence on the issues that affect them, where the harmful cultural practices are still undertaken by community members,” says Noor. “The use of football is a statement in itself, because girls are not allowed to participate in sports like football, due to cultural restrictions and stereotypes. Therefore, HODI uses football as a powerful tool to say NO to restrictions on girls in Marsabit.”

The sessions are used to help the girls raise their voice. Armed with facts, they will be in a position to make an informed choice in life.

Cordaid congratulates HODI an their achievement!