This past weekend, Women Deliver’s Special Project Manager, Joanna Hoffman, attended and spoke at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) One Goal Sports for Development Conference. Hoffman spoke about Women Deliver’s work to advocate for investments in the health and rights of girls and women, and moderated two sessions on Maternal Health and Nutrition and on HIV/AIDS.
Speakers in these sessions included the UNAIDS Country Director for Vietnam, Dr. Kristan Schoultz; the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) Singapore Office Director, Dr. Regina Moench-Pfanner; and former Women Deliver conference attendees Indu Capoor of the Center for Health, Education and Nutrition Awareness (CHETNA), Aiza Baldonado of Y-PEER, and Women Deliver Young Leader Shreejana Bajracharya of the Bhaktapur Youth Information Forum.
In her presentation, Hoffman also discussed Women Deliver’s upcoming symposium, Girl Power and Play, which will take place at the same time as the Women’s World Cup in Canada in summer 2015. This meeting will focus on girls’ participation in team sports as a driver for development, particularly in terms of girls’ health, education, and rights. “When we invest in girls and women, we all score big,” Hoffman told the crowd of approximately 200 attendees.
The Sports for Development conference was presented by AFC in partnership with One Goal, a campaign seeking to improve nutrition and child health using football as a platform to educate, spread awareness, and raise funds for key interventions. Other partners included World Vision, the Vietnam Football Federation, the Asian Football Development Project, Royal DSM, and GAIN. The meeting gathered experts across the fields of sports development and health sectors to discuss how football can improve the health of children across Asia and the world.
Successful and innovative projects were highlighted, such as the SALT Academy in Cambodia, which provides life skills and leadership training through youth football leagues. The SALT Academy’s founder, Samuel Schweingruber, received an AFC Dream Asia Award for his work.