From an SOS Village to the Olympics
From an SOS Village to the Olympics
This Olympic Games, SOS Children's Villages will be sending one of its own.

Mavis Chirandu, who grew up in an SOS Family in Bindura, Zimbabwe, will be suiting up this August in Rio de Janeiro for the Zimbabwean women’s national soccer team.

The 21-year-old midfielder has worked incredibly hard to make it this far in her young career. Her SOS brothers and sisters remember that after they would turn in for the night, Mavis would remain outside practicing her skills on the field at the SOS Village. Mavis also used to travel two hours every other night to practice for the under-20 national team in Harare, sometimes even sleeping in the clubhouse if practices ran late.

“She has been very determined and focused on her development,” said Edwin Magosvongwe, an SOS youth leader in Bindura who has known Mavis since 2009. “Over the past years, she has transformed herself into a role model because of her achievements. Everyone at home is very proud of what she has done.”
 
Mavis and her teammates at SOS Bindura, Zimbabwe
The SOS Children's Villages soccer team at the SOS Village in Bindura, Zimbabwe, in 2009. Mavis is in the first row, first one from the right.
 
Mavis joined her SOS Family when she was just one year old. A Good Samaritan had found Mavis abandoned on the side of the road and brought her to the nearby SOS Village in Bindura. Mavis is exceptionally grateful to the man who rescued her from the road.

“I thank God, particularly with the fact that I found a family at the village, and you wouldn’t really tell the difference between me and children raised in a proper family setup,” Mavis said in a recent interview.

Mavis has already played in international fixtures in eight countries. However, this Olympics will be the biggest test for her yet. The Mighty Warriors—the name of Zimbabwe’s women’s team—will face off against Germany on Aug. 3 at 4 p.m. EST. Germany’s women’s team is ranked 3rd in the world; Zimbabwe’s team is ranked 115th.

“I’m now looking forward to playing at the Olympics with the Mighty Warriors; it is not an easy feat but I trust my performance and ability,” she told Daily News Zimbabwe in an interview on April 11.

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