For a decade, PlayOnside has been harnessing the power of sports to transform the lives of vulnerable Burmese migrant children on the Thailand border. The organization’s efforts have gained widespread recognition, including a recent nomination for the FIFA Diversity Award.

Traditionally, Burmese girls have been confined to household chores, but PlayOnside recognized the need for equal opportunities in sports. What began as a simple tournament has evolved into a structured initiative aimed at educating and empowering displaced Burmese migrants and refugees through football.

Initially, the participation of girls was low, hindered by parental concerns and societal biases. However, through persistent community engagement, PlayOnside has broken down these barriers, leading to a significant increase in girls’ involvement.

PlayOnside provides girls with access to tailored programs, such as the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) initiative, addressing social issues like gender-based violence and early marriage. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization adapted by offering emotional resilience programs and leadership opportunities for young people.

Through these efforts, PlayOnside continues to empower Burmese migrant children, creating lasting positive change and fostering a sense of community and hope.

Source: Soccer is Empowering Burmese Migrant Girls on the Thai Border – The Diplomat

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