By Delvid Stanley-Coker
Fifa Council Member and founder of Football For Reform and Fashion For Change, Madam Isha Johansen, has officially launched the first ever Coaching Course for female inmates at the Female Correctional Centre in Freetown, Sierra Leone.
The event was graced by the CAF Elite Women Instructor Mrs. Majida Nantanda from Uganda, CAF Head of Women’s Football Miss Meskerem Tadesse Goshime from Ethiopia, the 3rd Vice President of the Liberia Football Association Jodie Seton, Harold Nat George from SLFA, and a representative from DSTV among a host of other important dignitaries.
The CAF License D Coaching Course has been conveyed for female inmates stationed at the Sierra Leone Correctional Center, Special Court Building in Freetown. The course seeks to benefit over 25 inmates in a five to seven days theoretical and practical training and orientation on football and coaching.
Giving her opening remarks, the CAF Head of Women’s Football Miss Meskerem Tadesse Goshime expressed her appreciation to the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) for their friendly reception and commitment to making this project a reality. Goshime also highlighted that the inmates are the first to ever get a CAF Coaching License training. She also encouraged them to attend the course so that they will become pioneers for change upon their release.
Jodie Seton who is the third vice president of the Liberian football Association inspired the inmates to look beyond their condition and show the world what women can do in football.
The representative from SLFA expressed his satisfaction over the start of the training for inmates. Harold Nat George also declared that the whole initiative from the start was made possible due to the hardwork of Isha Johansen.
The hallmark of the event was the much-needed speech by Isha Johansen who moved many by her words of courage and action. She highlighted how vilified she has once been for doing the right thing and how many others fought for her to be wrongfully incarcerated. Johansen stated that that particular part of her life was what led her to advocate for women in correctional centers.
Madam Isha Johansen also assured the women of her support and dedication to making sure that they have quality legal representation that will fast track their release, and urge government representatives to review the justice system.
A donation of one plasma TV and a full set DSTV was donated to the Correctional Center for recreational purposes. There was also an exhibition of colorful bags that were made by the inmates.
The CAF License D Coaching Course is the first ever for female inmates in the world.