Anita’s story – self-discipline and self-respect through self-defence lessons

Karate can teach invaluable lessons in self-defense to tackle gender-based violence. But like many martial arts, it also offers a whole philosophy that arms both young men and women alike with a new outlook on life. Y Care International shares Anita’s story from the Safe Spaces project in Zambia.

Karate teaches self-discipline, personal responsibility, respect for others, humility, mindfulness, diligence, dedication and resilience; and these skills can help young people in all aspects of their lives, from education to employment and personal relationships.

Young female coaches such as Anita are vital role models for both the female and male participants. She isn’t just giving young women the confidence and self-belief to stand up for themselves. Along with the other coaches she is also challenging young men, to change their beliefs and behaviour for the better too. Here she explains how she got involved aged 18:

“I took part in a karate tournament aimed at inspiring young people in the slums. Through that experience, I interacted with many school dropouts. Seeing how excited they were made me realise how much potential these young people have and how, given a chance, they can make a good contribution to society.

It was then that I decided to be one of the people that helps these youths and gives them my support. My biggest motivation is wanting to give other people the benefits of Karate that I have experienced.”

Building on similar Y Care International projects in Guatemala, Gaza and Sri Lanka, the sessions go beyond sport and get young people thinking about their whole lives, and how they can focus their newfound values into productive activities such as starting a business, mentoring others, or improving living conditions in their local area.

“Now I know what many young girls go through when they don’t have the opportunities to get an education or make a living. I want to share the benefits of karate with other people.”

Find out how you can support our work in Zambia here.


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