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Rwandan girl-led charity wins international award

Rwandan girl-led charity wins international award for outstanding work

Local charity Organisation of Women in Sports (AKWOS) isone of just 20 organisations from around the world to receive an inaugural With and For Girls Award.

The With and For Girls Awards is a global initiative to identify and support strong local organisations working with and for girls.

The charity – based in Kigali, Rwanda – is recognised for its work to help build the confidence and self-esteem of young women by encouraging them to take part in sport.

AKWOS will receive the Award at a London ceremony on Monday 16 November 2015, where representatives from the winning organisations will attend along with people from a range of foundations, multilateral agencies, INGOs and prominent influencers within the sector.

In 1994, Rwanda was torn apart by a destructive civil war. The subsequent genocide left many surviving girls raped and abused with a desperate need to rebuild their lives and their confidence.

Founder of AKWOS, FeliciteRwemalika, saw football as a powerful instrument to re-engage and empower girls and women. Since 2003, AKWOS has successfully introduced football for women in all provinces of Rwanda. By playing football on an ethnically mixed team, the women learn to depend on each other in order to achieve victory and ethnic division are reconciled in the camaraderie.

AKWOS focuses on educating girls and young women in rural areas about their rights, their health and the effects of early pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, harassment and sexual abuse. With its impressive reach throughout the country, AKWOS has managed to increase its number of members ten-fold since 2003.

MunaWehbe, CEO of Stars Foundation –“Despite the critical role that women and girls play in sustainable development, the World Bank estimates that less than two cents of every dollar spent on international aid is directed towards adolescent girls. The With and For Girls Award provides flexible funding to grassroots girl-focused NGOs, empowering them to invest their funds where they need them most. We want to shine a spotlight on these outstanding local organisations and encourage more funders to support girls in their role as vital agents of change within our sector.”

As part of the award package, AKWOS will receive US$15,000 of flexible funding and capacity building support.ENDS

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