Kids Play International
Promote gender equity through sport and the Olympic Values in post genocide impacted countries.
Build a global community in which the power of sport enables boys and girls to positively challenge and shift gender, social and cultural norms that reinforce gender inequality
Rooted in the belief that sport can be a powerful catalyst building better, more equal, relationships between boys and girls, Kids Play players and coaches are asked to conduct themselves inside and outside our program by these Olympic values:
Excellence: always doing your best, especially when no one is looking.
Friendship: being tolerant, kind to all and listen to one another.
Fair Play: respecting the rules in the game, in life, respect yourself and others
Kids Play International (KPI) has been working in one such rural community, Gatagara, since 2012. Here, in addition to the typical poverty-related challenges, girls contend with pervasive gender inequality that permeates all facets of their daily lives. Impeded by negative gender stereotypes, rigid domestic responsibilities and cultural expectations, girls and women lack access to education, reproductive health care, and participation in the country’s growing economic system.
Shifting such deep-seeded norms requires sustained commitment and interaction. Recognizing that there are no shortcuts to behaviour change, KPI has elected to work deeply within a single rural community over an extended period of time. Youth enter the program at age seven and stay engaged through age eighteen, when they “graduate.” This unique, long-term, and deep interaction has been proven to advance leadership skills and build sustainable gender equitable behaviours in participants and the broader community. While the majority of programming targets girls and boys, KPI also engages with parents, caregivers, teachers, and other custodians of behavioural norms. Only through such holistic, long-term community engagement can we achieve true gender equity for the next generation of Rwandan girls and boys.
KPI is primarily working towards reducing negative gender stereotypes and improving the leadership skills of women and girls so they can forge their own paths. Our programs methodically encourage both girls and boys to challenge harmful gender stereotypes; and they help girls find their voices in order to transcend restrictive conceptions of femininity, become confident leaders and self-advocates, and ultimately attain better educational, employment, and healthy living outcomes.