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The Rwandan hands behind Gianni Infantino’s famous 1000$ ball (Video)

As Gianni Infantino delivered his speech during the 73rd FIFA Congress in Rwanda, the audience couldn’t help but notice a football lying on the podium without really knowing why it was there.

Infantino killed suspense by raising the football with his hand and saying, “I want to tell you the story of this ball here which proudly says made in Rwanda.” He asked those who were present to invest in promoting the activities of the talented women and girls.

Many were unaware of the hands that made the football until Infantino praised the courage of Rwandan women and girls who had made it. we made our way to the Urugo Women’s Opportunity Center, an organization that supports women who survived the Rwandan Genocide against the Tutsi and girls from vulnerable families.

Devotha Uwayezu is one of those who make these balls, she shared her journey with us.

The young women make footballs and sell them to various places

Devotha Uwayezu’s eyes shine with determination and pride as she recounts her journey. At age 18, she is among the brave women and girls crafting footballs at the Urugo Women’s Opportunity Center.

“I started making footballs when I came to this center. They wanted to empower young people,” shared. There’s a note of raw honesty as she admits, “Making footballs is not easy and requires a lot of energy. When I first started, I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to do it. I would give up at times, but I kept going, making one after another…That really motivated me and kept me going.”

Witnessing her peers thrive in the same endeavor was a source of motivation for Uwayezu.

She said, “It’s one thing to make a football, and another to watch people joyfully play with something you created. Seeing a young girl like me achieving that? It was a source of happiness and an immense drive to push boundaries.”

Uwayezu’s passion is palpable as she highlights the significance of their work. “Through this craft, not only do we add value to our lives, but we also gain financial independence. Many might think that making a football is a task beyond our reach, something I too believed once. Yet here I am, proving otherwise every day.”

Her dream is as clear as her resolve. “I envision myself as the person everyone comes to when they think of footballs. And to all the young women out there, doubting their capabilities because of societal norms, I say this: Believe in yourself. Work tirelessly, and never let anyone tell you that some roles are exclusively for men. We are just as capable.”

Urugo Women’s Opportunity Center has trained over 130 women and girls in various capacities. Some received training in Carpet making, tailoring, crafting, and making footballs.

Making carpets also helps them earn a living
Some had no experience at all and had to start from scratch

Straight out of Twitter