RSG staff and coaches (from left to right): Lukman, Capito, Latif with French volunteers (Pierre, Laure, Lucie and Severine) and the captains of girls and boys teams, during the competition at Tolon
RSG staff and coaches (from left to right): Lukman, Capito, Latif with French volunteers (Pierre, Laure, Lucie and Severine) and the captains of girls and boys teams, during the competition at Tolon

Rural Soccer Ghana: Teamwork between France, Ghana

Football is a powerful tool that unites and builds bridges between Ghana and France, two strong football nations, that are leveraging that to enrich their bilateral relationship.


Rural Soccer Ghana (RSG) is a French association created in 2019 by Laure Arnal following her humanitarian volunteering in Ghana. During this trip, she forged strong links with the local population and more particularly with Lukman Kadiri, who now coordinates the actions of the Tamale unit of RSG.

Based in Tamale, the main aim of RSG is to use football to give hope to young children living in poverty. This they do by bringing them together every evening to prevent them from straying to educate them and to promote the values of sport.


It is a collaboration that is already yielding results as the European wing of RSG has the main responsibility of raising the resources and other logistics required to drive the objective, while RSG Tamale coordinates all the activities so far as organisation and technical development are concerned.

Also, the European volunteers coordinate the collection of sports equipment send the collections and carry out actions with the children when they visit Tamale they also organise humanitarian volunteer work for the beneficiary communities.

Through football, RSG is also empowering young girls and has included many girls in its sports programmes, helping to promote women's football in Ghana, an intervention that has seen an increase in girls’ participation in football at the grassroots level and the organised league in Tamale.

Also, another objective of the RSG collaboration is to create links between the Ghanaian and French populations by drawing parallels between cultures in all their diversity.

Girls’ Aid project

The latest volunteering trip to Ghana took place last January, with Elora Tournie joining the RSG France team for the field trip, for the execution of this year’s project which focused on the inclusion of girls.  

Dubbed the girls’ aid project, this year’s project is to further demystify the myth that girls should not be allowed to play football as in some villages, many families still refuse to allow girls to play football with the conviction that the girls are more useful for household chores and that if girls played football, they will never get pregnant or be able to bear children.

As part of the community engagement, a durbar was held with the Chief of Tolon in attendance and other community players to explain the girls' aid project, educating and providing tangible reasons and evidence on the need for girls to be allowed to play football or any other sport.

Also, the RSG with support from Uniq Sport Stars Agency, headed by Emmanuel Kwamina, and the founder of African Footballers Connect, Sadique Walker, organised a tournament for the children who have been trained to showcase their talent and potential.

The tournament was for both boys and girls and those who would excel would be allowed to train for one year at the Accra Training Centre while continuing with their schooling. 
Afterwards, a match was organised between the RSG team and the Danhinseli women's team who benefit greatly from the sport.

The decision by RSG to choose football to positively impact both the children and community is simple: because of its effect. It is a universal language that brings people together and a sport that is very strong in both France and Ghana. Its transforming effect is also there for everyone to see. Every child loves to play football and that was the starting point.


Scheduled in phases, the RSG will 2025 roll out the next phase of the project. Working in close collaboration with Kadiri and the other RSG volunteers, the 2025 project would focus on health.

Some of the activities to be undertaken in that phase of the project will include the signing up of all the children on the RSG programme to the national health insurance scheme; providing a first-aid kit for each team listed with RSG, as well as training coaches in first aid.

Also, finding resources to provide the girls with sanitary pads to end period poverty and help keep them in school and sports activities as it had been observed that many of the girls absented themselves from school and sports activities during their menstrual periods because they could not afford the purchase of sanitary pads to manage their periods and maintain menstrual hygiene. 

The author is a French Volunteer who worked in Ghana
email: [email protected]

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