Blessing Kieh from LEAD Africa’s flagship school in Liberia, LEAD Monrovia Football Academy (LEAD MFA) has started 2020 on a high note. Kieh and five other girls from the academy were chosen to join the Liberian U-17 National Women’s Team in their bid to qualify for the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup to be staged in India this year.
Despite this being only her first international appearance, Kieh is already the qualifiers joint leading goalscorer after she netted a hat-trick on debut and netted another goal in the return match to help Liberia see off Niger 9-0 on aggregate.
The team will now go on to face Ghana.
Kieh’s impressive accomplishments can be attributed to the training she has received from LEAD Monrovia Football Academy. The country's first school to combine quality education and sport. In addition to being an incredible athlete, Kieh is one of the best academic students at LEAD MFA. She is a great example of the successful impact of using holistic educational approaches in youth development work.
Kieh’s invitation to the national team follows the LEAD MFA U-15 girls’ tremendous campaign in 2019, where they won The Target USA cup in Minnesota, USA.
Their victory made them the first women’s football team from Liberia of any age to win an international tournament. Their success in their previous international campaign drew the attention of over 40,000 Liberians and international fans, as well as, an official congratulatory statement from President George Weah, Africa’s only Ballon d’Or winner.
In Liberia, football is commonly referred to as ‘man-ball’, making Kieh and her teammates’ achievements even more inspiring. Their attendance at LEAD MFA has led them to break down barriers and continue to thrive as student-athletes. The LEAD girls, through dedicated hard work, are showing what is possible when girls are given the opportunities they deserve. We’re excited to follow their progress in their international campaign and whatever else lies beyond.
For more information on the Liberian girls and LEAD’s work across the continent, please visit
www.leadafrica.com and @leadafricaofficial on Instagram and Facebook.