Open Fun Football Schools - bringing people together

Open Fun Football Schools - bringing people together

The Open Fun Football Schools-program (OFFS) is Cross Cultures' core activity and it has proved an efficient instrument to gain ACCES to local communities and to MOBILIZE volunteers and community stakeholders for our community-based peace and reconciliation initiatives.

We use the Open Fun Football Schools-programme and other community-based initiatives as means to bring people in conflict to play and interact, and challenge the seemingly natural division of people into ethnic, political, or religious affiliations, by providing an alternative.

In focusing on the wellbeing and happiness of their children, the Open Fun Football Schools programme give the adults, who are otherwise in conflict, a legitimate excuse to interact around an activity of common interest. In that sense, children’s football can provide a ‘free space’ where people can interact together amidst societal conflict, and when people play together they are able to connect and redefine their relationship by demystifying each other, having dialogue and building trustful relations and thus providing ground for alternative stories and positions to the ones of conflict 

Case: Magija

Magija
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Our Twin-City approach

Open Fun Football Schools is always organised in accordance with our regional strategy aiming at facilitating a) cross-boundary cooperation (between nations) and b) cross-entity cooperation (between antagonistic population groups inside the country). Thus, all the seminars for instructors, leaders and coaches include participants from all countries involved in the regions.

Further all Open Fun Football Schools are organised in accordance with the so-called ”twin-city strategy” where football clubs, leaders, coaches and children from minimum 2 municipalities and 3 football clubs representing hostile population groups organise an Open Fun Football School jointly.

Our community approach

Cross Cultures advocates the Open Fun Football School programme as an all-inclusive activity open to everyone regardless of talent, gender, ethnic or social background, religious or political affiliations. The strengths of Open Fun Football schools is to be found in its ability to generate relations between people and to us the Open Fun Football Schools does much more than building relations among children, coaches and sports clubs. In our approach we actively involve parents, municipalities, primary school teachers, community/school police, local sponsors, national and regional football associations, the local and national media, ministries of youth and sport and many others.

In this way the Open Fun Football Schools constitutes an important platform in civil society, where people from different backgrounds can meet and bond while discussing children - welfare - future. And with 'the child in the centre, it is our vision to bring all stakeholders into play.

Thus, when we organise Open Fun Football School activities for children, we wish all the stakeholders to have a place and uphold a function: When we activate the child in the children the stakeholders circle like planets around the sun in a "Children's Grassroots Football Univers"

Open Fun Football Schools

 

The Open Fun Football Schools initiative is building on an efficient bottom-up approach to the local communities, which we consider a key element to ensure sustainability and long-term impact of the programme

The integrated learning approach

Our learning approach is easy to understand but at the same time also unique. It has the child in the center, and passion, fun and playfulness at its core.

We focus on child protection in the sense that we offer children in conflict-ridden areas a safe haven to do what children do best: Play, make friends and learn new things. The Open Fun Football Schools are thus designed to use the best of human nature as its driving force. Neither the children, nor the adults who train them, are ever asked to do anything, which is not motivating, engaging and meaningful.

Further, the specific “Head-Heart-Action-approach”, which is developed and applied to all Open Fun Football School activities, provides a holistic approach to motivation by turning knowledge, passion and desire into tools for action and change.

The integrated learning approach

Program countries

The Open Fun Football Schools was introduced first time to war-torn Bosnia Herzegovina in 1998. Since then it has reached out to over 1 mio direct beneficiaries in 21 countries across the world:

Balkan

Trans Caucasus & CEC

MENA

Asia

Bosnia Herzegovina (1998-)

Armenia (2005-)

Iraq (2005-)

Afghanistan (2014-16)

Croatia (2003-2016)

Azerbaijan (2005-)

Lebanon (2005-)

India (2015)

FYR Macedonia (2000-)

Georgia (2005-)

Jordan (2005-2010, 2014-)

Bhutan (2013-14)

Montenegro (2001-)

Moldova (2009-)

Oman (2014)

Tajikistan (2014)

Kosovo (2005-)

Ukraine (2010-)

Qatar (2014)

 

Serbia (2001-)

 

Tunisia (2014-)

 

Open Fun Football Schools

Open Fun Football Schools

• Brings teachers, leaders, trainers, and children from different ethnic and social backgrounds to work together

• Creates a physical, psychological and social environment where children feel con dent, stimulated and secure

• Is based on a strong local foundation, democratic principles, voluntarism and parent support

• Brings new impulses and educates hundreds of quali ed coaches from the football clubs and teachers from the elementary schools

• Motivates children and adults to join the local football clubs and promote children’s grassroot football activities

• Distributes thousands of footballs and other sport equipment to the bene t of the local football clubs 

 

 

VIDEO. UEFA featuring: "Open Fun Football Schools"

VIDEO. UEFA featuring:           "Open Fun Football Schools"
We find out about the life-changing scheme that is having an impact through football in Bosnia Herzegovina. To watch the feature, click on the image

VIDEO. UEFA featuring: "Dracevo putting fun first"

VIDEO. UEFA featuring: "Dracevo putting fun first"
A look at the club from FYR macedonia born at the Open Fun football Schools. To watch the feature, click on the image

Video. UEFA featuring: Open Fun Football Schools in Moldova - winner of the UEFA Gold Medal's for the best grassroots scheme in Europe 2013

Video. UEFA featuring: Open Fun Football Schools in Moldova - winner of the UEFA Gold Medal's for the best grassroots scheme in Europe 2013
We find out about the Open Fun Football Schools in Moldova - winner of the UEFA Grassroots Day Award 2010, and winner of the UEFA Gold medal for the BEST Grassroots Football Scheme in Europe 2013. To watch the UEFA feature, click on the image

Article: Responsiball featuring "Girls can play too"

Article: Responsiball featuring "Girls can play too"
To read the article, click on the image

Manual

Manual
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