One Win Leads to Another (OWLA)

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One Win Leads to Another (OWLA): Using sport and play to address women’s rights in the garment value chain

Amsterdam, NetherlandsTirupur, India
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
$50,000 - $100,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

We use the power of play and games to build leadership of female workers in garment factories, get an understanding of their needs and priorities, deepen the impact of rights-based interventions and– ultimately yielding a return on investment for all stakeholders in the garment value chain.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if games and play could contribute to ignite the leadership of female workers and spark a direct dialogue with them about identifying their needs as well as accessing their rights as women and workers?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Poverty & cultural traditional practices, combined with exploitive labor conditions in factories inhibit the development of young women. Due to limited knowledge of their rights, they are rife to be ill-treated as workers. This has a negative impact on their communities and is a detriment to productivity in the factory. The need for play to address physical & mental wellbeing and the potential to address social issues is not being utilized.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

OWLA is a 90 day play based intervention that leverages the power of sport to: 1. Drive individual and social change by supporting young women to learn about and access their rights as women & workers 2. Increase physical and mental health of workers 3. Provide a measurable business return for factories and brands Specifically, young women participate in weekly gender-specific life skills and financial literacy sessions, coupled with sport and games. Additionally, women participate in a play-based game called Beyond the Line, which engages participants in peer conversations about their rights and experiences in the factory context. Through the play experience, women identify and prioritize issues that THEY find most important.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Amrita works 6 days a week and has Sundays off at a factory in Tirupur. She is from a village 100km away, where her family still resides. When OWLA was introduced in the factory, Amrita was shy, not too sure about playing netball. But while the session started, the energy of it convinced her and soon enough Amrita was playing. An OWLA session consists of physical activity, and life skills sessions on topics like menstruation, financial literacy and self-confidence. The Beyond the Line game sparks a discussion on Amrita’s condition in the factory. Workers talk about their needs/ wants, from being able to spend free time with family, to having access to t.v. With this info, the factory can start acting on their interests.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

We measure change in young women based ‘B.A.C.K.S.’ -- an individual’s change in Behaviour, Attitude, Condition, Knowledge and Status. Through an intake form, baseline/endline surveys, changes in participants related to agreed indicators are tracked. We employ a cloud-based tool called Salesforce™ to collect and analyze the data. In 2015, we piloted OWLA with 300 workers in residence at a factory. We learned precise details about the workers that were not being collected -- ranging from basic information about who they are, where they come from and how long they have worked at that factory, to detailed insights into their perspectives on leadership, gender and work. At the end of the program, we compared changes on those same indicators and see how participants developed. Moreover, the game Beyond the Line, gives us critical insights into changes in workers’ conditions.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

OWLA is a transformative approach of addressing women’s rights in the garment supply chain. Built with the intention of replication, Women Win and our partners envision scaling the concept globally, through a ‘collective impact’ strategy. In 2016, we will refine the model based on pilot data/learning. We will develop digitized tools for training, delivery and measurement that can be customized to fit unique work and cultural contexts. We will leverage partnerships with alliances, brands and factories in the industry to equip women globally to address their rights through sport.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

Included in OWLA's objectives are to provide a measurable business return for factories/brands. Evidence from our pilot shows, through increased worker satisfaction, increased worker productivity through improved knowledge in menstrual hygiene and SRHR knowledge (women can be active during menses), and direct dialogue with workers addressing simple issues - OWLA can produce a significant ROI worth investing in.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

The OWLA project can stand alone or build on existing HER Project, driven by BSR and the GAP PACES project. Our approach is a continuation to classroom based education provided by both projects. We differentiate by bringing the accelerator of play. We directly aim to improve the physical, mental and emotional well being of workers though games and play. Furthermore, through Beyond the Line, we have developed an innovative disruptive, innovation -- a game-based platform to help workers feel free to amplify the voices. Our Salesforce platform allows for real-time data collection/analysis.

Founding Story

Maria Bobenrieth has over 20 years of int’l business experience working for major brands applying innovative multi-sector approaches to solve business/ social challenges. At Nike, she championed a gender approach to labor compliance. Spending time in a factory settings, both from a brand and NGO side, Maria believes passionately that we must use a gender lens to improve working conditions in/around factories (including recruiting communities). This means investing in improving the rights of women when tackling poor labor conditions. When women understand their human and women’s rights, they are much better able to express, advocate for and lead in attaining their rights as workers.


The OWLA team consists of: Women Win Executive Director, Programs manager, human-centered design expert, master trainers, collective impact manager and Salesforce manager who collectively handle: program design, training, tool development, measurement/analysis and strategy. Additionally, Naz Foundation director, coaches, facilitators, data collection and input staff handle implementation of sport and life skills, data collection and strategy input. Going To School India Director and artists support the development and evolution of Beyond the Line design. Some of the most critical team members are OWLA Champions – peer leaders who support training and sport delivery, and who will ultimately ensure sustainability of the program at their factory. We will evolve the team based on opportunities to scale in new locations and with new partners.
Value Chain: Where does your work fit into the apparel value chain? [check all that apply]


Your Role: What is your relationship to the apparel industry? [check all that apply]

Non-profit Staff.

Target Population: What stakeholder groups do you engage or empower in your work? [check all that apply]

Brands, Factory Workers, Factory Owners, Women.

● Intervention Focus: What are you trying to achieve / influence? [check all that apply]

Access to Essential Services (i.e. Healthcare and Education), Gender Equality.

Lever for Change: Select up to 3 ways your work is helping to transform the industry.

Capacity Building, Data, Training.

Is your project targeted at solving any of the following key barriers?

A Job is Not Enough: Low-Income Workers Cannot Secure Long-Term Well-Being.

Does your project utilize any of the innovative design principles below?

Activate Local Know-how for Driving Solutions: Build Opportunities for Workers to Become Leaders.

Innovation Inspiration: When you first conceived of your project, did you think of it as applicable to the apparel industry?


If you answered "no" to the previous question, which industry was your project originally aimed at transforming?

● Replicating in the Apparel Industry: If your project didn't initially target the apparel industry, how are you specifically tailoring it to do so now?
Are you nurturing or inspiring others to be changemakers? If so, how?

Core to the OWLA concept is building leadership of young women to make changes in their lives and the lives of those around them

● Tell us about the partnerships that enhance your approach. How have you collaborated with others in the industry to increase your impact?

OWLA is built on a shared value approach. Key partnerships include: workers themselves, factory mgt, brands, local NGOs.