Boxgirls International links innovative projects around the world using boxing as a catalyst for social change. The skills they learn in the ring, improve their strength and resilience, allow them to better negotiate the urban environment and bring them further in their schooling, family and career.
Cynthia Coredo representing Boxgirls in Kenya, is our monthly social innovator:
Cynthia, what waves are you making in the world right now?
I am currently the Programme Manager at Boxgirls Organization in Kenya, and my work involves designing and coordinating programmes and projects that builds girls and young women holistically, giving them an opportunity to be agents of positive social change in their communities. My main motto is: "My Faith in God moves my mountains"
At Boxgirls, we have been in a position to produce top women athletes who have come from poor backgrounds and communities. Three years ago this women saw themselves as people who had no positive future of being what they wanted to be. Boxgirls was able to produce the first woman to represent Kenya in the 2012 Olympics for boxing competition.
Boxgirls also have nurtured 3 other young women in boxing sports for professional and armature sports competition and these women have participated in various international competitions. One of the young women, Sarah Ndisi, who is also a coach, is in position 44 in the whole world as a professional boxer in the feather weight category.
What have you learned about yourself in particular, and women in general, during this journey to date?
I have learnt that as a woman I am in a position to change the world to be a better place, by the little positive things I do within my surrounding, which touches and changes the life of the vulnerable group in my community. I have learned that i am a mouthpiece of the voiceless in my community and this has defined my journey of being a woman that wants to bring hope where there is no hope in the little things that I do. Women have a special sense and strength in them that when cultivated and nurtured positively it will rapidly change our communities which are faced with negativity.
What questions would you have loved someone to ask you at the beginning of your journey?
I would have loved people to ask me questions like: "Are you really sure of what you are doing?" "What motivates you in doing this?" "Why are you involving in social empowerment?" "Is sport really a tool for Social Empowerment?"
How can sport help to solve crucial gender and social issues?
Sport is a key tool for positive social change. Sports itself is a vital tool for communication. It can create an atmosphere of togetherness. Gender and social issues affecting us today can be solved through sports. For instance, reconciliation processes between communities at war can use sports to stop violence by engaging in a sport competitions, involving all parties. Sport can ease tensions between communities at war.
A woman with a low self-esteem can get a higher self-esteem by involving in boxing sport, play with peers, gain confidence through punching a boxing bag. Sport gives her the opportunity to restructure her mind in finding the path that creates peace and stability within herself.
Sports is one of the vital tools that can change and transform a woman and her community.
Who would you advise us to watch?
Hope Chigudu – Director Hope Africa Organization in Zimbabwe.
Sarah Forde - Founder MTG Kilifi Kenya (empowering girls through football)
What networks work best for you?
I love meeting and networking with people all over the world that have the burden of changing the world to be a better place in the little things they do in their unique ways . I love social networks; i.e. involving in meetings, fundraising events, learning platforms, like workshops and conferences…
To donate to Boxgirls in Kenya, please click here.