The Football for Hope adidas Exchange Programme arrived in Brazil this week, with a three-day workshop held in Rio de Janeiro on 7-9 May. Bringing together nearly 100 people who were full of ideas and ready to learn and swap information, the workshop is part of the collaboration between FIFA and adidas to strengthen the know-how of NGOs in Brazil and abroad.
Organised at a local level by the Karanba social project, the adidas Exchange Programme – Brazil involves over 40 non-governmental organisations with an interest in exchanging know-how and expertise and in receiving training on mobilising resources, fundraising strategies and football coaching.
“Football For Hope is a concept, and one of FIFA’s philosophies is to recognise that the people with the best insight into the problematic social issues affecting communities all over the world are local people,” said Federico Addiechi, FIFA’s Head of Corporate Social Responsibility.
“Solutions must be local too,” he added. “Our role is not to implement FIFA programmes in communities, but to recognise the intense efforts organisations are making in supporting that work. Here we have the opportunity to combine two things: FIFA’s ongoing Football For Hope movement and the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™. That’s why we have so many organisations taking part. This is the biggest programme that we’ve implemented yet. It’s going to leave a very important legacy too, one that shows the many positive things football has to offer our society.”
Gudrun Veronika Messias, Sustainability Manager at adidas, was equally positive about the project. “At adidas we strongly believe in the power of sport in transforming people’s lives," she said. "This is why we support the Football For Hope adidas Exchange Program. The Exchange Program has as its objective to train social organizations in how to use sport as a tool for social change.
"We are certain of the success and the positive impact made by this second Exchange Program in Brazil, hosted by Karanba in Rio de Janeiro. Not only due to the important content discussed during the workshops and practical sessions, but also through the informal best practice sharing between the participants from organisations all over Brazil. Adidas is proud to be part of this.”
In terms of development and training, the adidas Exchange Programme features sessions in which organisations can work together and discuss existing practices, the keys to success and the measures needed to bring about improvements in previously identified areas of expertise. Specialists are also asked to come along and share knowledge of their fields with participants.
“The workshop has given us a better understanding of the aspects that are essential to training and in ensuring that the project that we put forward for funding under the Incentive Act is a quality one,” commented Fernanda Desbesel Appelt, project manager at the Lenon Joel Pela Paz Institute, which works with children and teenagers in Sao Leopoldo, in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, and which is looking to attract state funding through the Incentive Act.
She added: “When it comes to communications, we’re building on what we already do, which is to bring partners and the local community into contact with each other. The thing is, we want to do this using tools that are easy for us to access but which we don’t have many of, and we want to make them work.”
In terms of football itself, the adidas Exchange Programme is based on the Coerver Method and offers advanced training to local-community coaches in a course lasting 12-14 hours and featuring practical and theory-based modules. In completing the course, coaches acquire the skills they need to implement better programmes and are also able to share those skills with other coaches in their communities.
“The programme really opened my eyes,” said Alan Frank da Gama Nunes, an instructor at the Amazonia Institute of Development, Education and Culture (Idesca), which uses football and futsal to improve the lives of children in the Manaus area.
“I learned some new exercises and a new way of working with time, like how to show children a passing drill in three minutes and then move on to passing and moving before gradually getting them to pass, move and dribble,” he continued. “I’m going away very happy. I’ve learned things and I’ve met people. We’ve swapped email addresses and we’re going to stay in touch. The future looks very promising.”