Khansa will never forget May 2016. It was when she was able to convince her family to delay an early arranged marriage and pursue her dream to stay in education.
Khansa studied at secondary school in Lyari, Karachi. She had always loved sport, but being a girl in a poverty-stricken, conservative region, she had few chances to join in and play. Like a third of all girls in developing countries, Khansa was destined to marry before the age of 18† , severely limiting her future prospects and presenting health risks associated with pregnancy and childbirth during adolescence.
Khansa had always been a brilliant student, but lacked confidence and was reluctant to speak up in class. Happily, in March 2015, Right To Play launched its Generation Amazing Football for Development programme at Khansa’s school. When she took part in the programme it helped her develop important life skills:
“It was the best time of my life. I was chasing my dreams. I gained so much confidence and got over my fear of expressing myself.” It was the first step on Khansa’s journey to make her dreams come true.
In May 2016, at the age of 15, her family said she would have to give up school to become a young bride. This was not what Khansa wanted and so she decided to stand up for herself and convince her family to delay the marriage for a few years. They listened to her and agreed that she wouldn’t have to marry until she finished her education.
Through Right To Play games, Khansa gained the courage to prioritise her own future and complete her education. “I learned that no matter who you are, you have a voice that can be heard. I learned determination through play which gave me the power to make a difference in my life.” Khansa’s actions not only improved her own prospects, but sent a powerful message out to other girls in her community, demonstrating that they too can make a difference in their lives.
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