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Atakpamé Programme Unit

atakpame programme unit

Girls football project boosts leadership skills and self confidence

Area: 2,474 sq. km
Population: 81,000
Communities: 52
Sponsored children: Around 8,000

In Atakpamé, Plan’s main work is to help communities protect the environment, promote girls’ leadership through football and improve the situation of children living with disabilities.

Programme highlights

Protecting the environment

Plan has helped communities build waste disposal units, so they can safely throw away their rubbish and stop the spread of disease. We have trained children and adults to recycle some rubbish into fertiliser for their farms and to use new bins and incinerators. Community members say that the area now looks and smells cleaner.

Promoting young girls’ leadership

Plan is using football projects to help give young girls a voice in society. The projects help reduce gender equality issues by encouraging leadership and educating girls about their rights. We have organised several football matches and the tournaments have allowed girls from different villages to meet and share their experiences.

Girls involved in the project find that they are more self-confident thanks to the opportunities they have to lead a team, as well as improving their skills in the sport.

Yutu, an 11- year- old girl from one of the football teams, said: “Now I have a voice in my family and this allows me to put the knowledge I’ve gained of being a leader into practice.”

During the sessions, girls also raise awareness on issues that affect their lives, such as sexually transmitted diseases and how to avoid them.

Assisting children with disabilities

Plan, in partnership with local non-governmental organisation Envol, is helping children with disabilities receive medical care. This includes children suffering from neurological disorders, such as epilepsy.

A total of 425 children were identified and consulted by the specialised physicians in hospitals in the region or at national level. Some of them were sent for treatment in Benin, others were given specialist physiotherapy sessions. The children who could not continue school are directed to vocational training.

Children with disabilities are often neglected by their families, and Plan is training the children’s mothers and community volunteers to help them fit their needs.

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