Matšukulu shares her learning
Matšukulu is a 16 year old girl from Ha Tsolo in the Maseru District. She has been a Kick4Life participant since 2016 when she was first attracted by the chance to play football. Since then she has embraced many opportunities at Kick4Life – on and off the pitch. Last year this included taking part in the Good Health & Wellbeing Curriculum and Girls United at the Kick4Life Centre, projects funded by the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, BT Sport, FIFA Foundation and the Australian High Commission in South Africa.
We asked her what she learned and how she is putting her new knowledge into practice in her everyday life as well as helping her to pursue her goals for the future.
What first attracted you to Kick4Life?
“I play football because it keeps me busy to even think of using drugs, disrespecting my elders and being involved in criminal activities. It also gives me a chance to meet new people in my life. I am a shy person but football is really helping me cast away all that. “
You tell us you are shy. How have the courses helpED you to build confidence?
“I feel confident after the sessions because we learned more about challenges we can face in life. For example, I used to listen to my friends and didn’t know how to make my own decisions before I attended. However, after the sessions, I learned how to make my own choices.”
“I also used to be poor at working with other people. I would have a problem and not talk to anyone about it. After going through the sessions I learned how to ask for help where I need it.”
What is the biggest thing you have learned?
“I used to tease people living with HIV and not playing with them. In the sessions I learned that we have to support them. I have learned how to not discriminate against other people especially people with HIV.”
The course also includes a strong focus on gender equality. As a girl growing up in a male dominated society, what did you learn?
“I learned to respect boys because here at Kick4Life we play together regardless of sex. That has encouraged all of us to not discriminate because of sex, but above all to learn from each other and to grow.”
What did you learn about your diet and how are you putting that into practice?
“I learned a lot from these sessions because nowadays I know the proper food to eat. I have to eat healthy food as it is good for my body. I used to eat junk foods, now I try to avoid them.”
And have you changed your hygiene practices?
“I wash my hands all the time now and I boil water when I hear on the radio that the water is contaminated.”
Have you shared what you learned with others?
“I learned how to lead people because I went home and shared all that I learned with my family and friends.”
How else has Kick4Life benefitted you in everyday life and your plans for the future?
“It has made my life a lot easier as I get to share my problems and happiness with my fellows. I just want to have a bright future and become a qualified teacher so that I can help my upcoming brothers and sisters in their studies.”
What other opportunities have opened up for you?
“I was selected to represent Kick4Life as part of a delegation to the FIFA Foundation Festival at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. It was an incredible experience and I met other young people from around the world. We shared about our lives and the challenges we face in our communities. I am now sharing what I learned with people here in Lesotho. I am also a player with the Kick4Life Ladies football team.”