Our Ayo! platform just launched another ambitious project that will aim to raise the crowdfunding platform to a higher level of engagement in Armenia’s social issues. GameChanger will help the Girls of Armenia Leadership Soccer (GOALS) initiative to build a girls soccer league in Kotayk Province, which will be used as a tool to empower a new generation of independent and self-confident young women.

The spark that started GOALS was first lit when the Football Federation of Armenia (FFA) disbanded the women’s national team program in 2013, citing budget cuts. In reaction, GOALS was created in 2015 with the aim of establishing safe spaces to play soccer as a way to empower young girls from underprivileged and underserved villages to become leaders, speak their minds, and challenge social norms. With the help of Armenian volunteers across the country, they opened the first female soccer league in Armenia, based in Goris. Today, GOALS has soccer leagues in Alaverdi, Goris, Dilijan, and Yeghegnadzor, which impact 284 girls in total.

During 2018, they plan to launch a female soccer league in Kotayk Province and Ayo! plans to help raise money to cover some of the costs. The program will also include trainings and a summer camp for 60 young women. As a result, they will identify a local coordinator and five coaches who will sign a one-year contract and build teams in their communities. Each team will consist of 12 to 15 girls, aged 12-17. The first league season will be launched in September 2018.

“This project is not just about learning how to play soccer. Giving girls the chance to play soccer is not only an opportunity for them to be part of a team and lead a healthy lifestyle, but it will also increase their decision-making skills, leadership skills, self-confidence, and enable them to find their voices. Through this program, we will be able to empower more young women to become future leaders through the power of sport!” said Laura Gevorgyan, Ayo! Program Director. “We love this project. I hope others will love it too.”

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