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The road to Rio: SOS young person competes in the 2016 Olympics

Mavis, on the far right, and the SOS Children's Villages team pictured in 2009
Mavis, on the far right, and the SOS Children's Villages team pictured in 2009

For as long as she can remember, Mavis, 21, has dreamed of representing Zimbabwe at football. This summer she'll have the chance to realise her dream on the biggest stage of them all: the Rio 2016 Olympics. No one will be cheering as loudly for her as her SOS family back home at SOS Children's Villages Bindura!

Every morning Mavis can be found training with the Zimbabwe's ladies national football team and, in just a matter of weeks, they will be heading to Brazil. This is the first time that Zimbabwe have ever qualified for a global football tournament.

A tough start in life

But, Mavis' life hasn't always been like this. Abandoned by the side of a dusty road in the capital, Harare, her future looked bleak. Luckily, a passer-by took pity on her and she came into the care of SOS Children's Villages. 

She was given a new, loving home at our Children's Village in Bindura where she was given the care and support she desperately needed. She quickly began to flourish, growing stronger and was always outside playing with her SOS brothers and sisters. It was while playing with the other children on the football field in the Village that her love of football started and she hasn't looked back!

“Mavis has always been a hard worker – that is one thing I know. She is a born dribbler and the girl can shoot a goal,” says Grundy, the assistant coach to the SOS Children’s Villages team when Mavis was on the team.

An inspiring role-model

At the age of 19 and still living at the SOS Children's Village, Mavis became the captain of Zimbabwe’s national under 20 team and competed with them for the first time on the international stage in Germany and Egypt. 

Mavis at a training session
Mavis is proud to be representing Zimbabwe at the 2016 Olympics

Now, at the age of 21, she’s playing in the premier women’s league and has already racked up an impressive eight international caps for her country – Brazil is next!

The entire SOS Children’s Village in Bindura will be cheering her on from Zimbabwe. She has become an inspiration to other young girls to work hard and not give up on their dreams.

“She has been very determined and focused on her development,” says Edwin Magosvongwe, SOS Youth Leader in Bindura. “She has transformed herself into a role model. She has managed to excel in a field that has been dominated by men and we salute her for that.”

It's thanks to our fantastic supporters and fundraisers that young people like Mavis are able to achieve their dreams. Donate today. 

Zimbabwe's first match is against Germany on 3 August at 10pm. Don't miss it!