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Yuwa girls meet US Ambassador Nancy Powell

Modified 19 Nov 2013, 10:48 IST

US Ambassador Nancy Powell with the girls from the Yuwa village. Franz Gastler, coach of the football team, is seen in the backdrop

The Yuwa girls’ football team from Jharkhand, which created ripples by taking the bronze at the Gasteiz Cup in Spain and another fine showing at the Donosti Cup, played host to US Ambassador Nancy Powell during her maiden visit to the Indian state on Monday.

The meeting with the Ambassador came with some good news as the girls could soon be heading to the United States for a football tournament. The US Consulate office in Kolkata has also revealed that two of the Yuwa girls have been invited to the US as part of the government-funded Youth Exchange Programme.

It was a proud moment for everyone associated with Yuwa, especially their American coach Franz Gastler, when Ambassador Powell decided to make the NGO her first stop of the trip. Powell spent her time interacting with the girls while expressing her delight at the work done by Gastler.

“Through team sport, Yuwa has provided a platform for the young women to gain confidence and make a change in their world,” said Powell’s statement which was read out by an official from the US Consulate.

It went on to add: “Team sport serves as a powerful platform to promote health, education and improve livelihoods among the hardest-to-reach, most at-risk group in the community, the group that has the least opportunity, but is the most important agent for change-young women. Yuwa uses soccer as an instrument of social change.”

Powell is said to have been impressed with the way the movement had brought about a change in the lives of the girls and promised to do her bit to take the project further.

(Quotes Courtesy: TOI)

Published 19 Nov 2013, 10:48 IST
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