From Volunteer to Leader: Muneerah Balesaria’s Journey with Salaam Peace

Case Study

This International Women’s Day we’re shining a light on the success stories of young women and girls within the StreetGames network to inspire and motivate others.

In Leyton and Waltham Forest, Muneerah Balesaria’s path from volunteer to key staff member at Salaam Peace shows us just how much sports can shape personal growth and community leadership. Through her commitment and hard work, Muneerah has become a true inspiration for everyone around her.

Muneerah’s connection to Salaam Peace began unexpectedly when her maths teacher referred her to the organisation before the Covid-19 lockdown. Intrigued by its mission, she stepped into Salaam Peace, beginning her journey of self-discovery and volunteering.

Initially grappling with confidence issues, Muneerah faced the challenge of taking on a leadership role. With Salaam Peace’s supportive staff, she found the courage to overcome these hurdles, leveraging her love for sports and natural leadership abilities to leave a lasting impact.

Motivated to give back to her community and inspired by her mentors, Muneerah embraced training and mentorship opportunities. Through hard work, she emerged as a champion for safeguarding and inclusivity within her sessions.

At Salaam Peace, Muneerah isn’t just a participant; she’s deeply committed to making a difference. Her “can-do” attitude and unwavering dedication have earned her respect from leading primary school programmes to spearheading girls’ football sessions.

Giulietta DeLissandri, schoolteacher told us, “Muneerah has an exceptional attitude whilst working with the girl’s team and my daughter and all the other girls, love her sessions.”

Juggling part-time work and university studies, Muneerah remains a steady presence in her community. Her achievements, including the StreetGames London and South East ‘Us Girls’ award in 2023, reflect her determination and commitment to excellence.

Today, Muneerah’s influence is felt far and wide in her community, inspiring others to see the amazing possibilities that sports can bring. Her story shows how powerful it is to follow your heart and never give up. Looking forward, Muneerah is dedicated to growing as a person and giving back to her community. With plans for more learning and helping others, she’s excited to see what the future holds.

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