Segments in this Video

Controversial Sports (02:38)


Teenage Muslim girls play volleyball wearing hijabs, a defiant act that stirs controversy in the conservative refugee community. The teens are among 60,000 children who live in a Somali refugee camp in Kenya.

Dadaab Refugee Camp (02:31)

Somalia has been ravaged by civil war for nearly 20 years; over 170,000 residents live at the camp. Mostly boys get to play sports, but Elizabeth Mwiyeria, a sports officer with CARE, works for change.

Girls Volleyball (02:53)

Many in the community see Somali girls playing sports as a direct threat to their culture. Hodan, 17, describes the harassment of boys when she and her friends play volleyball. Camp leaders cite religious reasons for why girls should not play.

Gender Roles (02:41)

Most girls Hodan’s age are getting married; they tend to leave school early. Hodan’s parents are supportive of her desire to play volleyball. The Together for Girls projects aims to get more girls involved in sports.

Restricted by Tradition (02:44)

Hodan has grown up in the Dadaab refugee camp. Nemia Temporal, head of UNHCR Dadaab, elaborates on genital mutilation and other gender-specific practices that are harmful to young women. She advocates sports as a means for building self-confidence and improving their positions in society.

Camp Culture (07:09)

There is no work in the camp, and refugees are dependent on rations; the Kenyan government does not want them to put down roots. Girls have little opportunity to socialize and develop; volleyball allows them to meet and talk. Hodan participates in a heated debate about religion, hijabs, and soccer.

Credits: A Sporting Chance (00:09)

Credits: A Sporting Chance

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A Sporting Chance

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There are an estimated 245,000 Somalis living in the Dadaab refugee camp in northeast Kenya. Sports in the camp are important. They keep the youngsters healthy and occupied amid the monotony; but very few girls were involved, partly because the mainly Muslim refugees were opposed to girls playing games. That is changing now that special sports clothing has been designed for the girls which meets religious requirements. They wear a hijab to cover their hair and a long-sleeved tunic and loose ankle-length trousers. We report on life in the camp and how many of the girls have now taken to volleyball.

Length: 21 minutes

Item#: BVL166335

ISBN: 978-1-64481-682-0

Copyright date: ©2008

Closed Captioned

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