Play Like a Girl, Break The Silence | Against Family Violence
Singapore, 8 December 2016 – Through the influence and reach of football, SportCares had an important conversation today about family violence to a group of girls and young women.
In partnership with the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) and the U.S. Embassy Singapore, SportCares hosted a one-day football camp themed “Play Like a Girl, Break The Silence / Against Family Violence” for some 130 low-income girls and young women from various community groups.
Donning orange jerseys in a show of solidarity with the United Nations #OrangeTheWorld initiative, the girls and young women participated in a series of football activities and games led by Chris Yip-Au, SportCares Saturday Night Lights coach and national women’s football player. They also participated in a sharing session on cultivating self-confidence and self-respect involving AWARE and Team Singapore athletes, Dipna Lim Prasad and Micky Lin.
Present at the football camp to lend their support to this significant event were Mr. Baey Yam Keng, Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth and Ms. Stephanie Syptak-Ramnath, Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy Singapore who both shared words of encouragement with the attendees.
Said Mr. Baey, “Sport has the power to improve lives and make a difference in our communities. Through this SportCares camp, we are helping the girls develop confidence, resilience, and camaraderie with one another. These attributes will go a long way in giving them strength to manage and overcome adversities in life.”
As Ms. Syptak-Ramnath said “Gender violence doesn’t take place in a vacuum. It’s often an extension of existing gender barriers and stereotypes that confine men and women to pre-determined roles and harmful relationships. That’s why programs like SportCares are so important in changing this paradigm as they teach girls the skills and inner strength to succeed on and off the playing field, and at the same time they remind boys and girls alike that teamwork and mutual respect knows no gender. That’s an important first step in building strong communities for the future, with empowered and informed citizens who can stand up together against family violence, wherever it occurs. U.S. Embassy Singapore is proud to join our partners in shining a spotlight on this important issue.
MSF’s collaboration with SportCares on the football camp is an important outlet for their campaign Break The Silence / Against Family Violence to reach the wider community. “When girls feel afraid of their partners, they often share their fears with close friends and family members first. Our collaboration with partners like SportCares can drive the message that those close to the victims, and even bystanders like neighbours, have an important role to play in preventing family violence. Simple acts like keeping a closer look-out for early warning signs or sharing the helpline numbers can help save lives. We hope more will realise that family violence is not a private matter, and that we can all help to prevent, detect and report abuse,” said Ms. Jasmin Lopez, Senior Assistant Director, Rehabilitation and Protection Group of MSF.
National track star Dipna Lim Prasad hopes her journey as a sportswoman can inspire the girls to have a voice and speak out against family violence. “I want the girls to know that like me, each of them is strong enough, skilful enough and capable enough and that they are worthy of the accolades they deserve. I hope whatever I’ve shared earlier can help instill worth in the girls because if someone doesn’t feel worthy, they might be subjected to something that they don’t deserve, just because they don’t have the courage or strength to say otherwise.”
Ong Shixuen, 10-year-old camp participant shared, “I had a lot of fun and made many new friends at the camp. What surprised me was that I learnt so much from the sharing session on family violence. I should not be afraid of speaking out if my friends or I are facing any form of violence. The violence does not define me as a person, and it should not stop me from striving to become better.”
This Media Release was originally published here