Founded by Khalida Popal in 2014, Girl Power is an inspiring initiative that aims to use sport as a tool for empowerment and integration of refugee women. Popal, a former captain of the Afghan women’s national football team, established Girl Power with a vision to overcome the barriers that ethnic minority and refugee women face, such as language barriers, cultural differences, and restrictive social norms.

Girl Power’s holistic approach focuses on creating inclusive spaces where refugee women can find empowerment and a sense of community. One of the key initiatives, the Girl Power Leadership Academy, has been instrumental in this mission. This program offers refugees, asylum seekers, and vulnerable communities opportunities for personal growth and development. The recent cohort of 30 young women acquired valuable local leadership skills and enhanced their mental health awareness, providing them with the tools to thrive in their new environments.

Participants in the program leave with newfound skills and confidence, ready to return to their communities as agents of change. With the support of Girl Power mentors, these women implement their own sports projects, fostering a ripple effect of empowerment and integration.

Events like the Youth Conference in Yorkshire, England, highlight the transformative power of Girl Power’s initiatives. At this conference, participants shared their personal journeys, redefining narratives, and challenging the stereotypes surrounding refugees and asylum seekers. Through these stories, Girl Power not only uplifts individuals but also fosters a broader understanding and acceptance within the wider community.

Girl Power continues to inspire and empower refugee women, using the universal language of sport to break down barriers and build stronger, more inclusive communities.


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