How Data Made My Weekend

No, it wasn’t a date that made my weekend. It was, in fact, data. At Girls & Football SA, a not-for-profit organization I founded, we are implementing a series of workshops, tournaments, and life skills based trainings for 60 girls in South Africa. This weekend, one of my colleagues shared forms our participants had filled out. The girls were asked to share their goals and list out how they were going to achieve them.

Doctor. Accountant. Designer.

Knowing that these girls, who in the eyes of some have limited opportunities, set goals for themselves and are able to highlight the steps it takes to get there is beyond inspiring.

Take Lydia, for example, at Chapel Street Primary School. She wants to be a soccer star. And, she knows this means she has to go to training every day and bring energy to succeed. Or, Sibulele, who wants to become a doctor. She’s going to work hard, pass her classes, and study for seven years to get her medical diploma. Why? So that patients come to her and say she is an excellent doctor who helps people.

Sometimes, during the implementation of projects like the ones we roll out at Girls & Football SA, the logistics, delays, lack of communication and infrastructural difficulties really pose challenges.

But, seeing this data and knowing one day Sibulele might be a doctor and Lydia might be a part of the national football team, makes it worth it.

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