YOUNG LEADERS PROGRAMME
The Young Leaders Programme is a key ‘football for development’ initiative that is the foundation for the sustainability of our organisation. Youth from low income communities including previous OSCAR beneficiaries are identified and trained to work with children. This is done by conducting training courses throughout the year that help our youth develop their communication and leadership skills and design activities that can be used to impart life-skills among children.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, our Young Leaders have played a crucial role in helping the organisation adapt and provide food relief to thousands of families. OSCAR Foundation also helps develop the employability of Young Leaders by conducting workshops, organising exposure visits and providing opportunities for internships.
In partnership Everton and the Premier League, OSCAR Foundation launched Mumbai’s first ever football project for Children with Disabilities in October 2018. More than 30 Young Leaders received training from specialised Premiere League coaches on delivering ‘football for good’ sessions to Children with Disabilities. As a part of this project, regular inclusive football sessions and an annual football festival with disabled and non-disabled children are being organised by OSCAR Foundation to promote inclusion and equality.
The ‘Shor’ project is aimed at enabling Very Young Adolescent girls (10-13yrs) with knowledge specific to their age group. We recognise that VYA girls living in low-income communities face unique challenges related to gender issues, sexuality, and health and hygiene as they grow up. And if these challenges are not addressed in the right manner, it can adversely affect their self-esteem. OSCAR Young Leaders are receiving specialised training by experts from our partner organisation Pukar on subjects critical to the growth of VYA girls with support from EMpower – The Emerging Markets Foundation.
I have to admit that my behaviour was not good at first. I would use bad words and would not respect people. Because of OSCAR Foundation, that changed. My football skills and techniques have also improved. I feel that I have become more disciplined now. My mom is my single parent. She looks after all my things and struggles a lot in order to give me a better life. Today I know that my mom is doing a lot for me, and I also know that I should behave responsibly and help my mom in all ways possible.
Omkar (13) is a part of the OSCAR-SSE U-13 team. More than 60 children with footballing talents are a part of the OSCAR-SSE project.
I cried out of happiness the day I came to know that Priya was selected for Dana Cup. I feel blessed that I have daughters who are so special. Even our relatives who questioned me when I decided to support my girls to play football, now say it was the best decision.
Jyoti Rathod works as a housemaid and lives in the Ambedkar Nagar community in Mumbai. Her daughter Priya (14) was a part of the team that won Dana Cup 2019 in Denmark.
My daughter Mamta has changed a lot after joining OSCAR. Besides playing football, she is equally focused in her studies. Her behaviour at home has also changed. I feel that she is more patient and understands things. The best part is that Mamta has realised herself that she has to develop and improve herself to have a better future. She equally distributes her time between playing, studies and helping me with my daily chores.
Kiran (40) daughter Mamta has been to the UK and Denmark to play football tournaments. She was part of the team that won Dana Cup 2019 tournament in Denmark.
In spite of the challenges that I faced, I continued my studies. And the support that I got from OSCAR was tremendous. Today, I am the only girl in my family who has completed her education. I have proved my parents wrong. I have shown them that I am nowhere less than a boy.
Rekha (21) is a Toy Centre teacher, and currently pursuing TYBCom from Siddharth college (Mumbai). She aspires to become a professional teacher.
When I was with Xavi, he told me that he worked really hard to become the captain of Barcelona FC team and shared his memories of winning the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. He told me that if I practice everyday, with absolute commitment, I can achieve success in life. His words have inspired me to remain dedicated and work hard.
Umesh (14) is studying in 9th standard from Our lady of dolours high school (Mumbai). He aspires to become a professional footballer. Through OSCAR Foundation, he got the opportunity to meet football legend Xavi Hernandez.
I received a scholarship from Global Institute of Sports Business (GISB) and OSCAR fundraised a part of the tuition fees for the course. At GISB, I am the only girl in the class and I am really enjoying learning about various aspects in sports business.
Poonam (19) is pursuing MBA in sports business management studies from GISB (Mumbai). She coaches a girls’ football football team in her community and aspires to work in sports industry.
My biggest achievement is when I got to travel to the UK. I never thought that I would travel to a foreign country, and play with players from another country. The UK trip boosted my confidence levels in a way that now I don’t worry about what people would talk about me and whether they would judge me. I speak and give my opinions without any hesitation.
Anshu (16) has currently taken her HSC boards exams at Ranchi, Jharkhand. She aspires to become a professional football coach.