Ten year old Samyra – a natural leader
Ten year old Samyra is one of the children who participate in the activities at CF Gothia sports school. Samyra is above all interested in soccer.
– Everything with a ball is fun, she says.
Samyra lives in Mfilou district and that means that she can walk to CF Gothia sports school in Congo-Brazzaville. After her regular school she often hurries to join the activities. She always brings a pair of orange soccer shoes that her mother’s bought.
– I feel at home here, the school takes good care of us, she says.
Her favorite sport is soccer and in her age group, which is children from nine to eleven years old, she is the only girl. But despite that and regardless of the fact that she is very shy, she is a natural leader in the group and the other children look up to her. Samyra is also the appointed team captain and she makes sure that the younger children understand the exercises. And she always shares her water if anyone has forgotten to bring their bottle.
During the days Samyra attends regular school and when it comes to grades she is in the top five among the over 100 children in her age group.
However, this week she hasn’t been to school since her parents didn’t pay this month’s tuition fee, which is around 10 000 – 30 000 CFA (15 – 45 USD). It’s not unusual that the children miss a few weeks every now and then when their parents have problems coming up with the fee.
Samyra and her friends head to CF Gothia as often as they can. When they’re not playing soccer or volleyball they attend the social activities that are also offered to the children.
– We get to learn a lot of important things. My favorite teacher is Fred, he’s kind and listens to us, Samyra says.
But for Samyra playing soccer is without a doubt the best thing about CF Gothia. One day when her own team didn’t have practice she approached one of the volunteers who was going to lead the training for the older children later that day. Samyra braved to asked if she could join their practice. She was more than welcome and although the boys, who were 12 to 13 years old, were bigger and older than her, she managed to fit in more than well. And as if that wasn’t enough, at the end of the practice they played a game and Samyra managed to score a goal.
Facts about CF Gothia sports school in Congo-Brazzaville
The work with building the school started 2003, with Gothia Cup and Equmenia church as founders. The purpose was to help build peace after years of civil war in the Republic of Congo. As of now, the situation in the country is stable and CF Gothia sports school has been running for over 15 years. Children and adolescents comes to the facilities after their regular school to meet in social activities and to play soccer, beachvolleyball or to do gymnastics. There are also lectures on important subjects such as physiology and puberty, gender-based violence, hygiene, discrimination – subjects that are taboo in many households.
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