Save the Dream has partnered with Aston Villa, one of the founding members of the English Premier League, on an initiative designed to transform the lives of disadvantaged young women in New Delhi, India.

Implemented together with Aston Villa’s corporate social responsibility programme Villa in the Community and The Centre for Equity and Inclusion (CEQUIN), a non-profit organisation working towards the empowerment of marginalised and excluded sections of the population in India, this grassroots initiative uses football as the primary means of engagement to afford young women a chance to improve their wellbeing, with a major emphasis on enhanced access to education and healthcare.

The initiative kicked off with a first-of-its-kind soccer tournament between young women at different ends of the socio-economic spectrum held over four days in December 2014. Titled “Delhi Dreams”, the tournament brought together over 100 participants, with two girls being selected to visit and train at the Aston Villa Girl’s Development Centre for a week in 2015.

The programme further envisages a nine month clinic implemented in the minority-dominated, urban slum area of Jamia, New Delhi. Save the Dream will offer training and expertise on skills, ethics and values learned from sport and extending beyond into every aspect of life during monthly seminars with the girls and their community. Educational workshops on topics ranging from health, nutrition, water and sanitation to government schemes, sport purity and sport integrity, self-help groups, leadership, life skills, and career counseling will form an important part of these clinics.

In addition to identifying girls in need and non-formal education or support classes for out-of-school girls, planned activities also include regular health checks, football coaching, distribution of nutrient supplements and nutritious snacks during practice as well as the identification of ground spaces for sporting activities and the provision of football kits.

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