Davidia is one of our 15 year old participants. She is talented, charismatic & ambitious. Last summer while she was part of the FBB summer school, she told us it was her dream to meet her idol, Radio 1 DJ Maya Jama. Last week, we were finally able to make this dream come true!
March 2019 seems to be the month of our young people meeting their role models. Last Friday at Wembley, some of our participants were lucky enough to meet Raheem Sterling just after he had scored his first ever England hattrick at Wembley. In the same month, we’re delighted that Davidia also got to meet her idol!
We asked Davidia what this day meant to her, and her response shows just how big an impact meeting Maya has had on her:
“Meeting Maya Jama was an experience that still doesn’t even feel real until now. Funnily enough I actually dreamt about meeting her but little did I know that that dream would soon become a reality! She has been a role model to me for quite a while now and I just really admire her originality and how to down to earth she is. She inspires and reminds me to always be myself whenever I encounter someone new and that even if someone doesn’t like you, it really isn’t the end of the world! One thing she said that will always stick with me is to ‘put yourself out there’. I’ve always enjoyed singing and seen it as future career that I want to pursue and this piece of advice is just what I needed, especially coming from someone like Maya who is so successful in what she does. Once again I would just like to thank Football Beyond Borders for giving me this opportunity, which I hope is only just the beginning!”
We’d like to extend a huge thanks to Maya for taking time out of her busy schedule to meet Davidia and give her such an inspirational one-to-one. For young people, meeting their role models is an incredibly formative experience and motivates them to work even harder to achieve their goals. Relatable role models have a huge role to play in the development of young people in our society.
FBB’s connection to Maya Jama actually started 5 years ago, at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. At the time, FBB was still in its very early stages of working as a youth organisation in London. Ahead of the World Cup, we were running a 6 month project in Brazil that would culminate in a Favela World Cup, an event we organised in partnership with communities in a favela in Salvador de Bahia, one of the host cities.
At the time, Maya was a presenter at Copa90, and they decided to come down and feature the project as part of their World Cup coverage. Maya met and interviewed FBB co-founder Jack Reynolds and had a great time meeting members of the favela too. You can watch that video below:
Together with families and members in the local community, we were able to organise a Favela accommodation project which brought in over £10,000 to the local community through international fans coming to stay with families in the favela. Lastly, the project also involved teaching young people in the favela English through a specially designed football-based methodology. We’ve come a long way since that time, but it’s great to see influential presenters such as Maya Jama still supporting our cause and inspiring our young people.