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Message from a soccer diva - You MUST go play in the GGWCUP!

"To the Wonderful Women in New York City
You must go play in the GGWCUP  on Manhattan, September 19th if you can, and this is why!"

Blog by  Mariam Mpaata (Captain, Soccer Divas, Mombasa)    
See also: Soccer Divas talk to Nikolaj Coster-Waldau about sport and peace

My team: Soccer Divas and I had the opportunity to play in the GGWCUP Nairobi in March and up to this day we still marvel at what an amazing experience it was. Here is a glimpse of our story.

I remember how we all were very excited about the invitation to play in the ggwcup, the imagination that we would be facing other teams in Nairobi was awesome. It was unbelievable because our team is made up of women who have never played football before, amazing women and girls trying to network and have fun.

However we soon discovered that this tournament was no ordinary tournament. We were asked to pick on some of the global goals to advocate for. This sounded like a new and fun way of being part of a global mission. It got us thinking and acting. It was natural for us to choose goal 16: Peace, Justice and strong institutions because of the Kenyan elections taking place in August. We also chose goal 2: zero hunger because of the ongoing hunger that had hit parts of the country.

The coolest part was bonding as a team because we met almost every day forging ways in which we could accomplish the tasks ahead.  We took to social media to create awareness of the global goals. It was overwhelming to see the response and support. I remember this one time that we walked through town with our peace posters and headed straight to the Governor’s office to talk about our cause.  It was humbling when later he posted our story on his facebook page. It was overwhelming seeing so many people congratulating and wishing us well. The point to create massive awareness was driven home when the post received 7,000 likes and over 50,000 viewers!

One other memorable moment was taking an eight hour bus ride all the way from Mombasa to Nairobi we giggled and laughed like little girls all the way. It was so refreshing for all of us. When we arrived in Nairobi, the best part was meeting all the other 27 teams advocating for the different goals. There were so many young girls and women all pursuing common global goals. Taking part in the ggwcup also gave our youngest player the zeal to master all the 17 global goals. The experience has indeed been priceless. We continue to deliberately look for ways in which we can speak about these global goals. We have become global goals ambassadors without knowing it.

I want to urge women in New York to take on the opportunity to register for the global goals New York, not just for the fun but to be able to join other voices that are speaking the global goals language."