BOGOTA -- In Colombia, Peace Corps volunteer Natally Rodriguez of Northridge, California, has teamed up with a local organization to empower young women and improve their physical health through sports. During interactive soccer drills, Rodriguez mentors a group of young women ages 12–17 on healthy lifestyle choices, self-confidence, body image and life skills.
“The program empowers adolescent girls living in urban settings by providing knowledge and offering a safe place to play,” Rodriguez said. “Involvement in sports and physical activity can positively change existing gender norms and help girls and women move into public spaces. Moreover, these activities have provided opportunities to bring communities together and help realize development objectives relating to issues like reproductive health and gender-based violence.”