16 countries working together in Copenhagen
Exchange of ideas and experiences
The International Council started out Monday morning in Hafnia Hallen, Copenhagen. An indoor, mini football court had been transformed into a conference room. Chairs placed in a semicircle were facing a white board, lighted up by a projector. The artificial turf floor was bedecked with colorful footballs. On the concrete walls and in each end of the room CCPA banners from every country were hanging like football banners as if a match was about to start.
As an icebreaker and informal start of the day, the international colleagues of Cross Cultures created a market place. Each country was given a table where they arranged pictures, books, and laptops with slideshows of their earlier work with CCPA Open Fun Football Schools. Many countries also brought stickers, flags, and clothing as well as traditional candy and toys from their nation to present and share with their international colleagues. For an hour people were walking around the room, talking to their colleagues from other countries. Old CCPA countries were meeting new CCPA countries, sharing years of experiences and brand new ideas.
Next thing on the agenda was presentations from some of the donors of the CCPA programs: Patrick Gasser, Head of Football and Social responsibility in UEFA, Anders Tang Friborg, Head of the MENA office in the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Jan Dahrfeldt, from the National Olympic Committee / Sports Confederation of Denmark (DIF). Especially the third presentation was interesting for the focus on children and youth in the CCPA programs. Dahrfeldt focused on the Danish approach to child protection in sport. In the Danish approach very clear agreements and rules are set up for the coaches and trainer assistants about how to act among the children of for instance a football school. The goal is to protect the children against sexual abuse or other sorts of physical or mental violence. For an organization like CCPA, which is working primarily with children and youth, this focus point is crucial and something that every part of the organization should be aware of. By telling about the Danish approach to child protection in sport, the different countries of CCPA were given some concrete tools to deal with child protection in their local programs.
“Who are we?”
Based on the inspirational market place and donor presentations of day one, the second day of the council was focusing on strategy development for the next four years. CCPA has an overall mission of reconciliation, respect for diversity, gender equality, civil society participation, and partnerships. This mission leads to five main points of CCPA as a unit: 1) Interaction and dialogue, 2) Voluntarism and association building, 3) Committed partnerships and strong connections, 4) Youth networks and empowerment and 5) Opportunities for women and girls.
Using these five points as a basis, the participants of the council were placed in regional groups to discuss why we have these goals. Why do we have the overall mission? And why do we find these specific focus points important for our programs? The idea was to get into the core of the organization and make sure that every country is being heard when the future strategy is made. Therefore the regional discussions lead to a broader talk in plenum with all the countries about “Who are we - CCPA as a unit?” to specify which values and goals all of the countries and all of the programs share.
In the Strategy Card attached you can see the results of the discussions under “Areas of attention” and “Prerequisites”. Based on this overall strategy, each country now has to make bilateral agreements with the CCPA office in Copenhagen and plans for their specific programs. Some will focus more on youth, some will focus more om women and girls. This depends on the specific programs and their donor.
Finally, on the third day of the council, the market place was moved from Hafnia Hallen to Idrættens Hus in Brøndby, where CCPA Copenhagen has its headquarter. Members of the CCPA Board were there to see the market place and to talk to all of the international partners. The informal and creative way of reporting some of the activities of the organization was a good way to start a dialogue between the board and the international staff before the general assembly where everyone was participating.
On the general assembly the strategy card from day two was presented for the board, and gave the opportunity for the international staff to talk directly to the board members in person. Bringing everyone together at the general assembly was also a way of showing the international group how a board works in Denmark, to inspire the administration of the programs around the world.
The goal is to gather representatives from all CCPA countries every second year to check up on the strategic plan, rethink it, and keep developing it. And to make sure that we are all working for the same overall mission about bringing people together to interact in activities of common interest for a meaningful purpose.