This week’s blog post is written by Edniesha Curry.
In addition to bridging divides between Palestinian and Israeli kids, PPI – Middle East (PPI-ME) also pursues the goal of creating a positive sports environment for the young Palestinian girls. Girl Power, a program supported by the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem, does just that by engaging girls from Ramallah and surrounding communities in regular basketball clinics. At the clinics, PPI-ME runs a host of drills that not only teach these young girls the game of basketball, but also teach them life skills that allow them to have the confidence to become the future leaders of their communities and beyond.
This past weekend, the PPI-ME team hosted a basketball clinic for 50 girls, ages 10-14, where we also had the opportunity to show our friends from the U.S. Consulate, Cultural Affairs Officer Cindy Harvey and Senior Cultural Affairs Specialist Suzan Nammari, what Girl Power looks like in action.
During one of the breakout sessions, I had the opportunity to speak about the life lessons that sports teaches, and what girl power means to these young girls. What impressed me most about this clinic was the passion and power these young girls had in their voices when talking about what girl power means to them. This is Girl Power, the Ramallah way:
- It is everything to us
- It is our confidence
- It is becoming stronger together, so we are stronger in our community
- It makes us feel healthy
- It makes us happy
- It unites us
There was one answer in particular that received an ovation. Even I had to give this young girl a high five for her answer, despite the fact that she was speaking in Arabic and my colleague Nissreen was translating for me. It was her passion as she answered the question that did it. She was looking at all the girls and clinching her fist tight and then these beautiful words flowed from her voice:
“Girl Power gives us the strength to go in our communities to teach others basketball so we all can become stronger and future leaders.”
“Wow,” I thought. This young girl gets what the power of sport is about. It’s not always about winning or losing. It’s just as much about the lives you can change. I want to end this week by letting everyone know what Girl Power is to me: “Girl Power is the ability to use the game of basketball and my voice to inspire and motivate the next generation of women leaders.”
GIRLS RUN THIS WORLD!