Chandrima Chatterjee is the program director for Street Soccer USA–a non-profit that seeks to improve the spirits and lives of the homeless through soccer–in Philadelphia, but most recently here charitable work as an ambassador for Yuwa took her to Jharkland, India where she witness how the beautiful game was impacting the lives of young women in a notoriously difficult part of the world to grow up and even exist in.
[In Jharkhand] these girls have their work cut out for them from day one in order to come to practice 6 days a week at 6am. Jharkhand is one of the most dangerous places in the world for human trafficking and violence. An estimated 30,000 people, mostly young women, are trafficked from the state each year. Girls in Jharkhand have little to no education. Many are forced to become young mothers and/or victims of trafficking.
….[My] heart leapt at the focus Yuwa has using football as an outlet to promote livelihood improvements for young women in villages in India. My father was once in a similar environment — village life in India is challenging to say the least. His life story has taught me that with some encouragement, and with just one reliable support structure (a family member, a mentor, a coach, a friend) a life can be transformed and a child can be empowered to become the adult he/she dreams of growing up to be. This is the hope that I have for all of Yuwa’s girls.