From a very young age, Madiha has been an avid lover of all sports. “My father played football and so I just love football. I also play volleyball and cricket, but they’re not as lucky for me as football – football gave me an opportunity to show my skills and who I am to the world”.
Most of the population of Thatta belongs to rural areas, where many young girls don’t have access to primary education. And even when they do, Madiha explains, girls don’t participate in after-school sports because there are no grounds or facilities where they can play safely and freely, a reality that is common across different regions of Pakistan.
Unlike many other girls in her community, Madiha has had the support of her family. “My family is not educated, and they did a lot of work to help educate us. My mother paid some fees for us at the university level. I was the first girl to go to university in my community, in my whole family,” she explains.
A real turning point for Madiha came in 2014, the year she first met our Generation Amazing team.
For Madiha, the academy meant that girls in her community had a gated space to play football and other sports away from the boys who would often ridicule or harass them; a place where they could gather and freely partake in activities that were traditionally reserved for men.
“My purpose is not only success for me, but whenever I have success I pass it on to different girls in my community. I make a route for them, open a door for them to walk through and go on to make their own dreams come true”.
As a youth advocate, Madiha was also able to travel to Qatar over the years to attend GA’s annual youth festivals, where she was able to engage and connect with hundreds of youth from around the world while attending educational workshops and football clinics to expand her experience and learn more about sport as a tool for development.