How football changed this Kenyan teenager's life

United Purpose’s partner organisation, Moving the Goalposts (MTG), uses football as a tool to transform the lives of disadvantaged girls and young women. Operating in two of Kenya’s coastal counties – Kilifi and Kwale – MTG trains girls and young women to become leaders by organising league activities and peer education programmes.


MTG participant, Mariam Mapenzi Changawa (pictured below), explains in her own words how the beautiful game has enriched her life by bringing her opportunities, joy and success:

I joined Moving the Goalposts in 2008, when I was still in primary school. My football skills improved within two years, and I became more confident, which led to my selection to join the MTG United team in 2010.

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It is very special to be a part of this team because other girls look at you as a leader, and you become proud to be among the best 30 girls who play football in the annual league.

Playing football and inspiring other girls has enabled me to get several opportunities. I have travelled to regions within East Africa. I still recall going to Moshi in Tanzania in 2015 to participate in the East Africa cup tournament for the under-16 category. I was very proud to be a part of that team and to bring the champions’ cup home.

I was privileged to get a football scholarship from MTG for secondary education at a school in another county called Waa Girls High School. It has the best football team for girls in the country.

[At the school], I had fun, learnt a lot and got inspired by others to pursue my dreams. When I went back home, everyone in my community was proud of me because they’d watched me playing football on television.

Playing football has changed my life! I am famous, and my leadership and football skills have also been enhanced.

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