A remarkable girls football team, G.S Remerarukoma, which was established by students from the district of Kamonyi to raise awareness of and fight gender based violence (GBV) in the community, is hoping to fulfil a dream of a lifetime and travel to the United States to represent Rwanda in the Continental Cup. The team was formed in response to a GBV programme organised by SURF in local schools, funded by the Sigrid Rausing Trust, and since then have received support from an array of SURF donors, including Joy Childs (who sourced Cambridge United kits for the girls) and the Good Gifts Catalogue (which funded the purchase of football boots).
Below is an excerpt from an article from the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission, ‘Gender Based Violence’ Girls Soccer Team from Rwanda hopes to Compete in Continental Cup for Dream Opportunity:
There is one arena in which a child of any background may experience life on a level playing field regardless of socioeconomic background, race, religion and gender – the sports arena. Sports have proven to be an instrumental tool in bringing communities together, empowering youth and teaching crucial social and life skills like teamwork and self-confidence. An example of this is the Continental Cup International Youth Sports Festival presented by Cleveland Clinic Sports Health which is becoming one of the largest, most respected international sports festivals in the nation offering athletes from across the globe an opportunity to compete against one another in an exciting, cross-cultural environment. This summer, an estimated 4,000 athletes from 25 different countries will participate in the sports festival scheduled from June 30 – July 3.
For some of these teams, travelling to Cleveland and competing in the Continental Cup tournament is a once in-a-lifetime opportunity that does not come around often. One of these international teams trying to raise funds to participate is a girl’s soccer team from Remerarukoma Secondary School located in the little town of Kamonyi, Rwanda.
The Remerarukoma Secondary School girl’s soccer team is made up of 21 girls aged 14-17 years old who live and study at the school. The players are chosen from talent scouts all around Rwanda and have been recognized as the best in the country despite the modest school conditions that lack a sports field. Recently, the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission has teamed up with Survivors Fund (SURF) who has been working to raise funds to bring the Rwandan girls to Cleveland so they can participate in this summer’s AC Milan Continental Cup soccer tournament. SURF exists to promote the needs of survivors of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, many of whom are women and children including the majority that comprise the soccer team.
To assist the Remerarukoma Secondary School girl’s soccer team with fundraising efforts, please contact Jessica Smolow at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 1-617-599-5972. By doing so, you can help them with kicking out GBV from Rwanda!