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  • Writer's pictureTEAM FC Nono

【ACTIVITY REPORT】FC Nono's First Out-of-State Expedition to Yuwa

Updated: Jul 8, 2023

Hello! We are FC Nono, a social football team in Bihar, India dedicated to empowering underprivileged children through football activities.


During this April 27 to May 2, 2023, we had an exciting opportunity to visit "Yuwa", another NGO located in Jharkhand, India, which was also FC Nono's first out-of-state trip! Here in this article, we would like to share our Yuwa expedition, its purpose and findings, and introduce some of the scenes from the activities, along with the children's learning and changes from their experiences. We will also share our management participants' insights from this trip.


Summary Video

We have gathered a video clip of the trip. Please watch the video as an introduction to visually see our first out-of-state expedition!


<YouTube LINK:https://youtu.be/xytmlbGzCi0




About "Yuwa"

Firstly, a brief introduction to the NGO “Yuwa” where we visited- Yuwa, (which means “youth” in Hindi,) is one of the largest girls' football schools in India with approximately 600 students currently enrolled. Like us, the organization uses girls' football as a platform for social development in rural India.


Similar to Bihar where FC Nono currently operates, the state of Jharkhand where Yuwa is located is also an area with issues evolving child marriages and human trafficking to name but a few. In order for the girls surrounded by such risks to permanently break the cycle of poverty in rural areas of the state, especially those from economically underprivileged families, Yuwa is working to build character, confidence, and courage in these girls through football. In addition, Yuwa also works to improve the girls’ education paths and increase more university attendance through Yuwa’s own educational activities.


Since its foundation in 2009, Yuwa has been supporting each and every girl who participates in its activities to empower themselves to enter prestigious universities in India and abroad, such as Harvard University in the United States. In recognition of their achievements, Yuwa received the world-renowned Laureus World Sports Awards in 2019.



Purpose of our Expedition

Through correspondence between Nono and the organization, Yuwa welcomed our players to attend their activities in a 5-day experience program.

Prior to this Yuwa visit trip, we set the following learning objectives:


FC Nono girls participants main objectives:

  1. Improvement of football skills

  2. Deeper learning of girls’ rights

  3. Building confidence and courage

FC Nono management main objectives:

  1. Understanding the football skills level, English education level, mindset, attitude, time management, etc. of girls of "Yuwa" to feedback to our own team activities.

  2. Learning about their management system through interaction with the staff, coaches and teachers who support Yuwa's operations (both football team and school).

  3. Learning about execution of programs regarding girls' rights, confidence and courage.


Members of FC Nono's Expedition

A total of 11 members participated from FC Nono as follows:


Girls participants:

6 girls, with at least 70% participation in practice in the last 3 months

(All with prior parents' signed consent to participate.)


Management participants:

5 members - Mr. Nozomu Hagihara(Founder), Mr. Atsushi Tanimoto(Director), Mr. Sandeep Kumar(Co-founder/Coach), Mr. Vijay Kumar(Coach), Ms. Anshu Kumari(Girls’ Coach/Girls Empowerment).


<FC Nono team members URL: https://www.fcnono.com/our-team>



Expedition Overview, Schedule, and Pictures

The expedition overview and schedule for the Yuwa visit trip are as below, followed by some pictures from the trip:


Expedition Overview

The five day visit to Yuwa included both football practices and participation in some of Yuwa School’s subject classes. The girls took part in classes such as English, Math, and Art classes. Besides the football and class sessions, the girls also had the opportunity to participate in the Yuwa girls’ coach sessions and meetings, and enjoyed extracurricular fun visits to a dam and a zoo.


After returning from the 5-day experience at Yuwa, the girls then had the experience to plan a practice session at a Bihar village based on what they learned from the trip. The girls have also shared their plans with coaches to implement in sessions with minors in their local villages. We valued this sharing and circulation of learning experiences, as well as the girls' own initiatives and positivity gained through the same. On another day, the girls also had a chance to present themselves in front of other FC Nono teammate members to share their Yuwa trip experiences.


Schedule

Date

​Activities of FC Nono Children

Day 0 (April 26)

PM Orientation for parents of participating children (explaining the purpose of the trip, accompanying staffs introduction,itinerary)

Day 1 (April 27)

AM Board train from Bodh Gaya, Bihar (FC Nono) to Ranchi, Jharkhand (Yuwa)

PM Lunch, break, football practice (only for students who are not tired)

Day 2 (April 28)

​AM Football practice at 5:00 a.m. Attend orientation, English, Math and Art classesPMPractice Match between FC Nono and Yuwa teams

(take interview from NHK)

Day 3 (April 29)

​AM Picnic to nearby dam and large park. Interaction with Yuwa players

PM Break

Day 4 (April 30)

​AM Football practice at 5:00 a.m. Observe Yuwa Girls’ coaching session

PM Visit zoo

Day 5 (May 1)

AM Football practice at 5:00 a.m. Attend orientation, English, Social Studies, and Art classes

PM Board train from Ranchi, Jharkhand (Yuwa) to Bodh Gaya, Bihar (FC Nono)

Day 6 (May 2)

​AM Meeting to create practice menus by the children themselves

PM Football coaching for beginner children in a local village in Bodh Gaya, Bihar


Pictures from the Trip

DAY 0

On the day before departure, we held an orientation for the parents of the children participating. As this was the first time for the children to be outside of their communities and away from home for multiple days, their parents had many questions. We also explained the itinerary, meals, transportation, and introduced our female staff who was to accompany the children.


DAY 1

DAY 1 (AM): The girls from FC Nono and coaches ready to leave by train. For the children, it was their first experience to go outside of Bihar by train, and also to go outside of their own community for multiple days.


Day 1 (PM): Arrived in Yuwa, and practice began immediately. The Yuwa players were all active and willing to include the FC Nono players in their circle of friends.


DAY 2

Day 2 (AM): We woke up early at 4:00 a.m. and started practice at 5:00 a.m. Pictured here are us waiting for a bus at 4:30 a.m to take us to the practice location. It was still very dark outside.


Day 2 (AM): Practice


Day 2 (AM): After morning practice, we attended subject classes at the Yuwa School. Impressive lecture was held by the Director of Yuwa himself, where the English words “can” and “can’t” were introduced with an implementation of gender equality.


Day 2 (PM): After school programmes, FC Nono and Yuwa teams played a practice game! (FC Nono - white uniforms)


NHK reporters accompanied us on this expedition, and their coverage was later broadcasted on four of their programs, including "NHK WORLD-JAPAN".


DAY 3

Day 3: Participated in a farewell picnic for a Yuwa coach. We went to a nearby dam and a large park. It was the first time for the FC Nono children to see a dam, and they were very excited. (The car sickness on our way was also a bittersweet memory…)



DAY 4

DAY 4 (AM): During and after practice with Yuwa!


Day 4 (PM): After football practice, we went to a large zoo, which the girls have never visited in Bihar! There were many powerful animals such as lions, elephants, bears, and crocodiles!


DAY 5

Day 5: FC Nono kids and the Director of Yuwa after practice!


In front of Yuwa School on the last day.


Train on the way home! The 5-day program seemed long, but it felt like it was over in an instant for us all!


FC Nono management members with a mix of accomplishment and exhaustion. (Left: Mr. Nozomu Hagihara(Founder) Right: Mr. Atsushi Tanimoto(Director))


DAY 6

Day 6: After their return to Bihar, the children from the trip gathered to discuss and build a football session amongst themselves, similar to how the Yuwa players had been doing in Jharkhand. They came up with their practice menu which we took to actually implement in teaching beginner children in a local village.



DAYS LATER

Later: Children who participated in the trip had an opportunity to stand in front of the others who did not go this time, to share their personal experiences and thoughts on what they learned in Yuwa.


This sharing experience is one of many opportunities to give confidence of speaking out their thoughts to others, and also sharing a positive motivation for both participants and non-participants of the trip toward possible opportunities which can be gained from hard work and practice.


More on other platform(Instagram)

Please also visit our Instagram where we have posted more information about the trip! <INSTAGRAM URL:https://www.instagram.com/footballclubnono/



Reflection of the Yuwa Visit by the FC Nono Participants

- what we learned through the trip and the changes seen

Here, we would like to share the reflections by the participating girls and board members of the Yuwa Visit and the positive impact it has given to the entire FC Nono team.


Participants Girls -Impressions from each child

We asked all participants about what impressed them most in this Yuwa visit. Their impressions after the trip were as below:

  • I learned “Not to Hesitate”. Impressed by the fact that all the Yuwa players, especially the students attending the Yuwa School, did not hesitate to express their thoughts.

  • When I think back to this trip, I remember Didi (meaning "big sister" in Hindi) from Yuwa. They were the friendliest and kindest people I have ever met.

  • The practice menu at Yuwa was very developed and different from what we usually do, so it was fresh. It was also the first time for me to practice with new people that I am not usually involved with, so that was impressive as well.

  • Surprised by the high level of communication skills of Didi from Yuwa. Overwhelmed by how fluently everyone spoke English, and most of all I was surprised by how politely they speak. (In our own village, it is common practice to use more demeaning language).

  • Everything I did with the FC Nono team this time was memorable. Leaving the village, meeting and interacting with new people, going to the zoo, riding the trains and buses…everything is a good memory.

  • The most memorable thing for me is the time I spent playing football with the Yuwa players. Impressed by their football skills and how much they enjoyed practice.


Management Members - what we valued and paid attention to in planning the expedition


(1) "Fairness"

As a team,at FC Nono we aim to "realize a society where hard work is rewarded," and we place importance on being rewarded in some way for our continuous efforts in daily practice. In accord to this, “Fairness” of selecting participants for this expedition was weighed on the attendance of our daily football practices.


We announced the expedition to the children 3 months in advance, and took time to introduce Yuwa and its activities during this time. At the time of announcing the participants, some of the children shed tears because they did not attend enough practices to achieve the 70% attendance rate threshold we placed this time and failed to be selected. On the other hand, there were some who just barely exceeded 70% and were able to participate.


We wanted to convey to all the FC Nono children that they can only finally get their ticket through continuous hard work to reach their goals within rules that were set in advance. It was heartbreaking for us to see that many children were not selected, but we also felt encouraged and happy to see the children not selected congratulating and giving positive cheers to those who were. We hope to maintain fairness throughout all our activities and continue to create opportunities like this where daily efforts are respected and valued.



(2) “Safety”

We strived in creating an environment where all parents and children could complete the entire program with peace of mind.


As already mentioned, as this was the first time for the children to leave their own community, we were aware that there would be lots of anxiety amongst the children and their guardians, so we took careful measures to remove as much of those anxieties as possible.

In addition to the pre-departure orientation session, we also made nightly video-phone calls during the trip to the parents of each child to communicate with them about the day's events, meals, and accommodations in as realistic a way as possible. As a result, we received positive feedback from all the parents when we returned to Bihar, and we can look back on this as positive experiences for both parents and children.

In a society where it is not “normal" for girls to freely go outside and play sports, we reaffirmed the importance of "getting used to new experiences" not only for the children but also for the adults around them.


Parents signing their consent forms



(3) Preparations Prior to the Visit

Preliminary study with the children on the purpose and objectives of the expedition and what they would learn took place, and we set aside time to think and discuss with the children in advance about


-what they would learn from the trip,

-what kind of team Yuwa is,


and

-what the girls of Yuwa seek for through their football and education experiences.


This prior preparation and discussions led to the participating players’ excellent attitudes and focused awareness in their learning throughout the entire trip.


(4) Experience

We aimed to help the children experience new environments and findings in the outside world. There is a limit to what the children of FC Nono can absorb and learn in Bihar, where they normally live. It was the first time for them to travel by train, to talk with children of the same age who live in different states, and to go on a trip without parents.


Along with improving their football skills and learning at the Yuwa School, getting to know the outside world and interacting with people they would not normally interact with were also main purposes of the trip.


At first, the positive and friendly attitude of the girls of the same generation at Yuwa School seemed confusing for our participants, but gradually the FC Nono girls opened up and became friends with them.

By sharing what they saw and experienced with other FC Nono members after the trip, not only for the participants from this trip but for all other members as well, the trip experience will motivate and encourage more children to open their eyes to the outside world.




Realization by the FC Nono management members

What the FC Nono management members learned and realized through the Yuwa visit and expedition planning


It was amazing to see that the children learned and achieved far more than we could have imagined. Although the trip was only for five days, it was enough to show they could actively give their own speeches at the school on the last day of the trip, and we were very impressed to see how they passed on the positive energy they received from the Yuwa players to the other FC Nono members and to the beginner children in village at daily practice and kids' coach sessions after returning to Bihar.


We have been practicing with the girls for almost two years now, and have never seen such a huge change in just a few days, which surprised and made us keenly aware of Yuwa's influence.


It was an expedition that was a great learning experience for the management members as well, as we realized the power and influence of “shining example of girls of the same generation in the same situation" in comparison to “adult male coach conveying the message for a long period of time." It became an opportunity to reflect and look over what could be most necessary for the children in our future activities.



Thank-you Message to Yuwa

We have expressed our gratitude to Yuwa many times, but even if we did, we would not be able to express it enough! We are so grateful for their continuous caring for us before, during, and even after our trip, and for always accepting us with kindness and lots of love.


There is one phrase that the girls at Yuwa keep saying which we would like to share, which was:


I want to be an example for other girls.
So that they can tell their family;
“Wow, See that girl! She has done it, why can't I?”

From that we want to say,

"Wow see Yuwa team!! They have done it, why can't we?"

We will persevere in our efforts, so that one day, many girls in Bihar can look at the FC Nono girls and our activities, and say the same! Thank you so much for your continuous love and support!




Conclusion

Through this activity report we have introduced our first ever out-of-state expedition to Yuwa in Jharkhand. For all members who participated including the children and coach and board members, it surely had been a remarkable experience with much learning taking place.


The positive impact clearly shows through the confident, willing attitudes we now find from the children after the return from the visit. It will definitely be influencing our future activities as a team and hopefully also to each individual and their respective families.


This is the first but not the last! We are looking forward to providing similar opportunities for the children so that we can support them finding experiences and confidence within themselves to help them strive.


Thank you for reading until the very end, and we ask for your continued support for our future activities!


 

ABOUT FC Nono / FC Nonoについて 一般社団法人FC Nonoはインド・ビハール州ブッダガヤで活動する子どもたちのサッカーチームです。サッカーを通じインドの社会問題解決に取り組んでいます。最貧困家庭の子どもたち、刑務所の青年囚人、孤児たち、障害者の子どもたちにサッカー指導をしています。サッカー活動をフックとした健康管理、栄養改善、教育、人材育成、環境・衛生・保健・栄養教育などを通じ社会変革を目指して活動しています。 FC Nono is a football organization set up to solve various social problems and dedicated to social change in developing countries. As a charitable and social project, our mission is to improve inclusive living conditions of young girls/boys of BodhGaya city, Bihar State in India who are forced to live in poverty through our wide range of social activities focused on health, education and human resources development towards sustainable livelihoods. We reach out to the youths in impoverished families, prison, the disabled and street children.

 



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