Fighting youth unemployment and gang violence in Ecuador
The organisations Ser Paz and Fundación de las Américas para el Desarrollo are sending a joint delegation to the Football for Hope Festival. Through its programme ‘A Ganar’, Fundación de las Américas para el Desarrollo combats youth unemployment by using football as a tool for the education and motivation of young under-privileged people. An 80-hour workshop is followed by a vocational training period and internship, enabling the participants to succeed on the labour market.
Ser Paz works with members of ‘pandillas’ or violent youth gangs. The programme aims at encouraging gang members to move away from street violence with opportunities for entrepreneurial training and promoting peaceful co-existence among rival gangs. Its ‘Paz Urbana’ (Urban Peace) football tournaments have even resulted in gang members surrendering their weapons to the authorities.
Helping children to escape a life of drugs and crime
Many children in Colombia are victims of forced relocations, landmine explosions and sexual exploitation. Families displaced by the country’s violent civil conflicts end up in overcrowded and impoverished urban slums, where children have limited access to school and are faced with a high risk of falling into a life of drugs and crime.
Colombianitos, which means ‘little Colombians’, uses an educational programme called ‘Goals for a Better Life’, which promotes education through the use of football, music classes, computer labs, professional training and other activities. Colombianitos is a community-based organisation that currently brings hope to approximately 4,000 at-risk children. Football is used to teach children self control, decision making, values and ethics, and to give them ambition and direction.
Team Brazil, Brazil
Using football to create the leaders of tomorrow
Team Brazil is made up of young people from the organisations EPROCAD and Formação. Both organisations use the ‘Fútbol Callejero’ (street football) methodology that is widespread in South America and have a long networking track record, having already sent a joint delegation to the Football for Hope Centre Kick Off in Khayelitsha, Cape Town in 2009.
Their programmes aim at transforming children into critical, proactive citizens who are committed to changing their personal lives and collective circumstances. The ‘Fútbol Callejero’ method taps into the full potential of football by applying special rules and rituals to the game that foster dialogue and responsibility, very similar to the rules at the Football for Hope Festival 2010 tournament.
Fighting for children’s rights and the inclusion of the Afro-Uruguayan population
Two organisations make up the team from Uruguay, Asociación Civil Gurises Unidos (GGUU) and Mundo Afro. Since late 2007, they have jointly developed the National Street Football League in Uruguay. Matches in the league are played according to the ‘Fútbol Callejero’ (street football) methodology, with rules very similar to those at the Football for Hope Festival 2010 tournament.
Since its start in 1989, GGUU has evolved into one of South America’s most renowned organisations for the protection of children’s rights, focussing on topics such as child labour, street children and gender equality. By using football they are able to work with target groups that are especially hard to reach.
Mundo Afro aims to foster the acceptance and integration of Afro-Uruguayan culture. The organisation fights against violence and discrimination, works to raise self-esteem in the Afro-Uruguayan population and facilitates exchange between African cultures and organisations worldwide.
Red Chilena de Fútbol Callejero, Chile
Promoting youth leadership and active citizenship across Chile
The Red Chilena de Fútbol Callejero (Chilean Street Football Network) is lead by the three organisations Gente Viva – Chigol, Fundación Educere and Puntagol, that organise a youth-led football league in nine regions of Chile. The delegation to the Football for Hope Festival 2010 brings together youth from different areas of the country, including participants from the very southern tip of Patagonia. All three organisations use the ‘Fútbol Callejero’ (street football) method in their programmes, which involves applying special rules and rituals to the game that promote dialogue and responsibility, very similar to the rules at the Football for Hope Festival 2010. Their programmes focus on educational opportunities for disadvantaged young people, including IT training, leadership workshops and active citizenship.
Red Paraguaya de Partidí, Paraguay
Promoting solidarity, respect and self-esteem through a countrywide network
Lead by the Centro para el Desarrollo de la Inteligencia (CDI), the Paraguayan delegation brings together young people from several different organisations that form part of the Red Paraguaya de Partidí (Paraguayan Partidí Network). ‘Partidí’ is an educational project which uses football to create a learning community among children and young people from diverse backgrounds. With the theme ‘everyone plays, everyone wins’, the network promotes solidarity, respect, self-esteem, gender equality and teamwork through football while developing players’ critical thinking and creative skills.
All organisations involved use the ‘Fútbol Callajero’ (street football) method in their programmes, which involves applying special rules and rituals to the game that promote dialogue and responsibility, very similar to the rules at the Football for Hope Festival 2010.
Selección Nacional de Argentina
Empowering and integrating disabled and non-disabled young people
Organisations from all over the country are involved in forming the Argentinean delegation. The Selección Nacional de Fútbol Inclusivo unites players from the leagues ‘Liga de Fútbol Especial’, which integrates young disabled people, and ‘Liga de Fútbol Callejero’. The connection between the different programmes is strong: In the past years they have met on many occasions to share, exchange and celebrate the power of football.
The organisations involved use the ‘Fútbol Callejero’ (street football) method in their programmes, which involves applying special rules and rituals to the game to promote dialogue and responsibility; similar to the rules at the Football for Hope Festival 2010. Their programmes aim to form pro-active and critical citizens that use their knowledge to further the quality of life in their communities.
Team USA, USA
Using football to make the streets safer in the USA
The organisations Starfinder Foundation and Soccer in the Streets have come together to represent the USA at the Football for Hope Festival 2010. Both organisations have strong youth leadership components, and focus on programmes that promote college access and workforce development. With many other organisations they share experiences in the Urban Soccer Collaborative and have had several moments of exchange in the past. Since 2002, Starfinder Foundation has offered structured and safe environments to underserved young people aged 6 to 18 in the greater Philadelphia region. Soccer in the Streets works mainly in the suburbs of Atlanta, but has affiliates that deliver their weekly programme in 20 other cities of the USA.