Michelle’s Friday Project Update: Just for Kicks

Today I am going to tell you about an exciting project which is empowering girls in India.

Organization: Just for Kicks (JFK)
Location: Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, and Hyderabad, India

Context: In a country where only three out of four children finish high school and only 44% of primary schools have a playground, GO Local Heroes are challenging the status quo. Through a school-based soccer program, JFK is empowering students from under-resourced schools with life skills that create new opportunities for their future.

Background: GO Local Heroes Vikas Plakkot and Neha Sahu were Teach for India corps members looking for ways to motivate their students, bolster their academic performance, and unify students of different religions and castes. Independently, they started using soccer to engage and inspire their students. Looking for a team for their students to compete against, they joined forces, and Just for Kicks was born. Now, the program has expanded to four locations in India, running in 60 schools, and directly impacting 1,600 children. Last year, Just for Kicks set an ambitious goal of expanding their Girls Soccer Program to reach more than 2,000 children.

Current Status: In June 2016, GO Campaign approved a grant for $12,212 to JFK to help them expand their reach by 900 girls. The project is well underway, and the girls are so excited to challenge themselves on and off the field.

Meet Avantika
Avantika is 13 years old and in the 8th grade. Avantika lost her mother when she was young and took on the additional responsibilities of caring for her younger siblings. Prompted by her teachers, Avantika joined JFK’s soccer program. JFK’s program introduced her to the joy of playing, brought out her innate leadership skills, and honed her natural athletic ability. Avantika has shown tremendous growth and even won the MVP in her girls’ division. Now knowing that there are no limits to what she can achieve in life, Avantika is excited to continue to work hard in soccer, school, and life.