The Open Fun Football School programme in Bosnia Herzegovina has been recognised as a very successful reconciliation is considered among the leading and most impacting grassroots football schemes in the country.
The Open Fun Football Schools (OFFS) was introduced first time to post war Bosnia-Herzegovina 1998 to provide children and youth a ‘free space’ for interaction amidst societal conflict, and adults with a legitimate excuse to interact with ‘the others’.
Or to put it differently, the idea of the Open Fun Football Schools were building on the basic assumption that by playing fun football together, the participants would automatically start demystifying each other and it could help them to re-establish their broken bonds.
Open Fun Football Schools
In Bosnia all Open Fun Football Schools are organised in compliance with our so-called twin-city concept, meaning the children and adults from two or municipalities and three football clubs from organise an Open Fun Football School together across ethnic, political and/or social divides to meet and experience sharing and dialogue through fun games and activities.
During the years the Open Fun Football Schools has proved an efficient tool to open doors and bring people from communities that has been in conflict with each other to interact together. In this way the Open Fun Football Schools programme has been used as tool to 'break the post-war ice' organising the first mulit-ethnic events in places like: Srebenica/Bratunac, Gorazde/Serb Gorazde, Vitez/Achmici/Busovaca, Maglaj/Zepce/Doboj, Pale/Praca, Petrovo/Gracanica, Gonji Vakuf/Bugojno, Prijedor/Kluc, Orasje/B.Samac, Mostar East/Mostar West etc. (Please confer with the yearly reports below).
So far, we have organized a total of 313 Open Fun Football Schools in compliance with our twin-city approach, comprising almost 70 000 boys and girls aged 6-14.
Mini Champions manifestation was born in 2011, as a result of the promotion of the cooperation between UniCredit bank and Cross Cultures Project Association.<o:p></o:p>
Project has a six year long tradition now and it has become an accompanying event of the UEFA
Champions League in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Mini Champions is a social community event, organized on the core principles of Cross Cultures and with the main aim to invite groups of children and adults from different ethnic groups and socially challenged groups, to an joint, inclusive activity.
Each year, we organise seminars for the education of the young leaders and coaches. Our Seminars for leaders and coaches are a part of the OFFS program, but also contribution to the educational quota of teachers, coaches and others annual biography.
So far, in B&H, we organized over 70 national, regional and international seminars, for over 6500 persons. On top of that B&H has been a host to numerous working gropus and meetings.
Our partners in the field
Therefore, we cooperate with national Football Association, FARE Network, Out of Area foundation, IBSA –Blind Football, UniCredit bank, Sport+School+Police local networks, SFK Sarajevo 2000 and other clubs, Embassies, local communities and insitutions for children – on implementation of theirs and our joint projects.
Facts about Bosnia-Herzegovina
Total population: 3,867,055 (July 2015 est.)
Share of children and youth under 25: 25.84%
Youth unemployment: 57.5% (2015)
Share of women in the labour market: 38%
Refugee population: 6,805 people (2015)
Football players (registered/unregistered): 69,040/131,200
Female players: 400
Clubs with women’s teams: 0
Reports from Bosnia-Herzegovina
Latest news from OFFS in Bosnia-Herzegovina
Our work in the country 1998-2016
First year CCPA worked in the country: 1998
Main focus areas: Reconciliation, peace building, gender equality
Football clubs established: 304
Children involved: 62,900
Football Festivals: 342
Children attended: 47,077
Open Fun Football Schools conducted: 12
Children attended Open Fun Football Schools: 2,188
Volunteers involved: 158
Volunteers educated: -
Parents involved: 295
Parents’ workshops conducted: 18
Fun Festivals conducted: -
Children attended Fun Festivals: -
Number of municipalities Cross Cultures is present in: 23
Local schools involved: 31
Source: Cross Cultures' data
Case: OFFS in Srebrenica
One of the most important goals achieved by the OFFS program is the successful organization of self-organisation events in Srebrenica including children from Bratunac. These two towns were notoriously famous for cruelties during the war, but the OFFS project succeeded in connecting children as well as trainers and parents. This was the first time these towns had any kind of post-war cooperation.
In the region of central Bosnia, the Open Fun Football Schools project started, and continues to support, great expansion and popularisation of female football. OFFS in this region are primarily for girls, and the schools gather more than 400 girls each year.