Yuwa is a Jharkhand, India-based organization; registered both as a Society in India and a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization in the U.S. Yuwa uses girls’ football to promote health, education, and improved livelihoods.
Yuwa’s mission is to spark youth-led, grassroots solutions to social development among the world’s rural poor.
Where they work:
Yuwa operates in the poorest, least literate, and most lawless region of India – a place where NGOs typically fail because they have trouble engaging and organizing the local population. The state of Jharkhand is also the top source of human trafficking in the world – an estimated 30,000 people are trafficked from the state every year.
Soccer serves as a powerful platform for promoting health, education and improved livelihoods among the hardest to reach, most at-risk group in the community, the group that has the least opportunity but is the most important agent for change—young women.
As Jharkhand is India’s top source state for human trafficking, teamwork is also a powerful force to combat the three primary causes of a young woman’s vulnerability: lack of opportunity, gender inequality, and lack of confidence. In Yuwa, a girl gains confidence to challenge inequality, and is introduced to opportunities she might not have dared consider for herself.
The idea is to develop an atmosphere in villages which creates a sense of belonging, that builds a girl up, and that makes parents aware of a girl’s rights and value.
What they do:
Yuwa created a model that effectively engages the local population – by developing high-quality, organized girls football leagues and using them as a platform to promote health, education, and livelihood. The model engages the community in a non-threatening way (via sports), challenges the local social script of gender inequality, and targets the group that has the least opportunity and is the biggest potential agents for change – young girls.