Rwanda was torn apart by a destructive civil war and genocide in 1994. Founder of AKWOS, Felicite Rwemalika, saw football as a powerful instrument to re-engage and empower girls and women. Since 2001, she has successfully introduced football in all provinces of Rwanda. Playing football on a team mixed with Hutu and Tutsi, the women learn to depend on each other for victory and find reconciliation in the camaraderie. AKWOS also focuses on reproductive health, economic empowerment, promotion of women’s rights and addressing and overcoming the trauma of gender-based violence.

AKWOS coaches and teachers, trained in addressing gender-based violence, also work in local schools around the nation with adolescent girls, organising sport tournaments and conducting life skills sessions.