Picture this: Jharkhand – one of the poorest, least literate, and most lawless regions of India, also has one of the highest incidences of child-trafficking, and is consistently at the bottom on most human development indices. Girls rarely get a chance to express themselves, forget getting an opportunity to choose their own future. But, as they say, the world still has some angels left, one of them is Franz Gastler.
The young man from Minnesota, US started his life as a consultant in ‘social development initiatives’ for a business lobby. But today he is the proud founder of Yuwa – a not for profit organization that teaches girls to play football so that they are strong enough to take their own decisions and confident enough to face the world. “Society often teaches girls to fit in. YUWA coaches girls to stand out. Through football, education, and access to technology, we’re helping girls to take their future into their own hands,” remarked Franz.
July 13, 2013, changed everything for these girls. From just being any other girl coming from a very poor socio-economic background, suddenly they were celebrities. All thanks to football and the efforts from Franz and his team. The bunch of tribal girls who were representing Yuwa India under-14, the all-girls team were placed third among 10 teams playing for the Gasteiz Cup in Victoria Gasteiz, Spain. Since then there has been no looking back.
This year the girls are once again geared up for the tournament. They will shortly fly to Spain representing India at this year’s Donosti Cup. This time, it is not just about winning the cup but it is also a quest for these fearless girls to build a new school for them in their village of Hutup in Jharkhand.
Listen to their story in this heart-wrenching video where the girls open up about themselves, YUWA, what it means to play the game and why they are in a dire need of a new school. Don’t be surprised if you find a known celebrity listening to their story and being a part of their happiness.
Well, no guesswork required, actor Ranbir Kapoor also happens to be the brand ambassador of Lenovo India. To empower the YUWA girls, Lenovo India has once again come on board and launched “Girls with Goals” campaign.
“When we heard the girls have qualified for the prestigious Donosti Cup and that they want to raise funds for the school, we knew it was the right time to engage the community in the inspiring story of Team YUWA who are in a sense representing India. We wish to not only cheer for our team but to help them realize their dream of a school in Hutup,” Bhaskar Choudhuri, Director – Marketing, Lenovo India informed.
Girls With Goals campaign
The campaign objective is to raise awareness about YUWA and eventually drive corporate sponsorship for the new school. From a brand point of view Lenovo wants to make people connect to its core brand thought – “Fail Forward”. People know what Lenovo as a brand does, but little do they know what it stands for. Through the set of films, Lenovo’s philosophy of rising up and learning from failure ‘smartly’ – then moving forward, would be delivered. YUWA girls are living examples of this brand philosophy and hence the connect.
Experience Commerce, Lenovo’s digital agency will document the entire journey of the girls from Jharkhand to Spain in real time. Going forward the agency will be using interesting social media platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram to spread the word. The digital storytelling effort has already seen the first video in the series coming out. Whether Ranbir joins them is still a mystery but in the meanwhile the agency has launched a single point online destination for all the activities related to the campaign – girlswithgoals.in
Four more videos are yet to be launched that will be telling the ongoing story of the girls and their time to spend in Spain. Taking inspiration from the success of activity-based cause campaigns on social media, #KickForABrick has been conceived on similar lines. With the hope of adding new bricks to the school, the online activity is asking you to kick a ball and share on social media. But before that, you have to nominate your friends and keep the chain going to get more eyeballs.
Right now there are a few videos that are building the momentum. If you want to kick the ball then hit the ‘Lace Up!’ button and be a part of the initiative.
Additionally, if you want to spread the word then you can be a Campaign Manager. Spread the word on social media, start a fundraising campaign and you will get goodies autographed from Ranbir, and see your name in the credits of “Girls with Goals”. And there is an option to fund the YUWA school. (Contribute Now)
Storytelling kick starts Girls With Goals
In the coming days, the campaign is going to build up as the YUWA girls progress in the tournament. Makes it worth waiting after such an interesting kick-start.
This isn’t the first time that Lenovo and Experience Commerce have come together to help the YUWA girls. Last year Lenovo had launched the “Pitch To Her” campaign with an objective to better the lives of the Yuwa girls using technology. This led to the birth of a very interesting social campaign executed completely on digital – #PitchToHer. From 1340 pitches the girls selected 3 winners who interned at Hutup to make life better for the girls. (Read: The Story Of Lenovo-Yuwa #PitchToHer – From 1340 Pitches To 3 Internship Winners)
With the #PitchToHer campaign, Lenovo India and Experience Commerce had added a new spin to cause-driven campaigns where user contribution is always a challenge. The “Girls With Goals” campaign simply takes forward the brand thought process and kickstarts in style. I’m really keen on seeing how this campaign shapes out from here.
P.S. Lighthouse Insights along with Experience Commerce will cover the campaign over the next two weeks bringing you all the digital dope. Stay hooked!