Futebol dá força
What we do
We engage, train and support leaders within local football clubs in their communities giving girls opportunities to play on equal terms in a safe space with female role models that support them far beyond the football field.
Empowering leaders
We recruit leaders in local communities with the potential to lead change. We believe that anyone can be a leader with the right knowledge, methods and support. We offer research-based leadership training equipping leaders with the knowledge and tools to create safe meeting places, improve girls' cognitive and social skills, self-esteem and knowledge about their rights. All leaders receive personal coaching and support, and a national community and support network of leaders with a shared purpose and mission, enabling them to develop their full potential and apply methods with high impact in their local context.
Safe spaces for girls
Leaders create safe meeting places for girls both on and off the football field, where they get improved self-esteem, knowledge about their rights and tools to improve their own future prospects. By playing football with supportive leaders that also create room for vital conversations, girls' physical and psychological health improves and allows them to make informed decisions about their future. Leaders work together with local stakeholders to change attitudes and structures that today prevent girls from reaching their full potential.
Mutola Cup
In Mozambique we run a national football league for girls - the first and only girls' football league ever in the country. It's just like any other football league, but instead of the regular two halves, we play with three. The first half is always a workshop about girls' rights, as well as sexual and reproductive health and rights. Then during the second and third half, during the actual football game, we have the same workshops with the audience around the football field. This way we make everyone part of the change; both the girls who learn to stand up for their rights and the community that learns to acknowledge girls' rights.

The league is played in 45 districts all over the country in one age group: U15. The league starts with district play-offs, followed by provincial play-offs, and finally ends with regional and national finals. Currently, 27 510 girls play games and participate in workshops every weekend, and on the sidelines we reach thousands of people - also every week!
FDF Mozambique
Why Mozambique?
Futebol dá força was founded in Mozambique's capital Maputo in 2012 by Cecilia Safaee and Sara 'Sarita' Jacob Simone, and since then we have built up programs all over the country. It was in Mozambique that our methodology developed to then spread to other countries in the world. The development and the programs in Mozambique are led by Sarita who works hard to promote and strengthen the rights that she was not given herself as a young girl.

Mozambique at a glance
After almost five centuries as a Portuguese colony that ended with independence in 1975, Mozambique has faced large-scale emigration, economic dependence, severe drought, and a prolonged civil war that is still on-going. Mozambique has consequently had a hard time developing and is still among the poorest countries in the world. Traditional social structures and attitudes restrict girls' rights and opportunities.

Being a girl in Mozambique
More than 50% of all girls get married before they reach the age of 18, with many unwanted and early pregnancies and school drop outs as some of the consequences. Only 34% of girls complete primary school. Sexual abuse and domestic violence is widespread, which has a direct correlation with the high amount of young women infected by HIV. Few girls know their rights, and especially their sexual and reproductive rights. Traditional hierarchical structures also prevent girls from exercising their rights when they are aware of them. By empowering girls and the communities around them, we're changing this.

And change is possible. Futebol dá força's Mozambican co-founder, Sara, "Sarita" Jacob Simone, was kicked out by her own family at the age of 14 because she wanted to play football although her parents forbid her to. She always continued fighting and believing in herself, and today she supports the very same family through her job as Country Director working to promote and strengthen the rights that she was not given herself.

How we work
All our programs are run in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Youth & Sports, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Welfare as well as with the Mozambican Football Federation. In each province, we work with local youth associations and women's rights organisations.

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