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My name is Chris Mastaglio.
I’m the ChildFund Pass It Back Regional Director.
My role involves making sure ChildFund’s programming in Sport for Development is high quality, can be expanded across countries, and takes advantage of our many decades of experience in communities across Asia and the Pacific.
I’ve been at ChildFund for seven years in a couple of different roles.
Kim Chi is a young girl from a remote, rural district in northern Vietnam. She plays for a team called Tomatoes, and rugby is her chosen sport.
Kim Chi is also one of hundreds of girls from Laos, Vietnam and other disadvantaged communities in Asia who have been given the opportunity to take part in organised sport for the first time, through ChildFund Pass It Back.
An innovative sports for development program, ChildFund Pass It Back uses the game of rugby to teach important life skills for vulnerable children and youth.
But it hasn’t been an easy transition for Kim Chi; girls and team sports aren’t a natural combination in her small village. First, she had to get her parent’s approval to participate.
“They told me that I should stay home and help them with housework; that there is no reason for a girl to play tag rugby, and that I should spend my free time doing my homework. They also thought I should not play sport because I got sick quite often,” says Kim Chi.
But her persistence paid off, and her parents eventually changed their mind about this unusual game that’s now attracting such interest from girls and boys alike in their village.