SheFootball Festival – by women, for women

Haneen Hashim

One of the most interesting and important event that I have attended this year in Helsinki has been the She Football Festival. Many might be wondering what makes an event that important? From my point of view, as a woman with refugee background, I can see how it is difficult and hard for migrant women to find their places here in Finland, especially places where they can do sports with other women and they can feel comfortable with their bodies and the way they dress. It is not easy to find a festival made only for Her to support her. The staff working there were women, the food has been made by women, the henna painting was done by women for women, the bracelets have been made by a woman to support Nigerian girls, because it is not easy for girls in Nigeria to do sports. In one of the projects that Monaliiku is planning they do just that, support girls by creating girls’ football teams in Nigeria to give them the opportunity to make their dreams true. The atmosphere of the festival has been so amazing and warm even though the weather was so cold in Helsinki!

I greatly liked to see all the women and their families with different backgrounds enjoying their time, eating, dancing Salsa, young and old women and men, volunteers, employees and She football´s visitors together.  We didn’t even need to have a common language, the skin color, age or religion was irrelevant. We were all happy and that could be seen on everybody’s face. Sports can make people´s life healthy, longer and happy. I believe we all need to support that kind of events/groups by participating ourselves, or by sharing posts on our social media accounts or by buying the bracelets.

Sports for everyone is very important and supporting women to start doing sports is what Monaliiku is all about. Women are not limited, they can fly and dream and one day their dreams will come true. Thank you all that participated!

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