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Western Balkan

Even though the war in Bosnia Herzegovina officially came to a hold in 1995 (and in Kosovo 2001), the war still linger inside people's minds and hearts. On one hand the older generation, who has lived and fought a war on different sides of the frontline, still remember all the atrocities they have witnessed. On the other hand  the younger post-war generation has grown up with nationalistic politics and ethno-political initiatives such as for example the school system, which in many cities are still divided along ethnic affiliations and which is known as: "two-schools-under-one-roof".

In this way, many communities have developed into a so-called "split-screen-nightmare", where children and young people from one side of the road do not go to school or spend their leisure time together with children from the other side of the road. In other words, they don´t share the present and their future together and their neighbours become "the others" who are the ones you talk about and not the peers you talk with.

In addition, today's young generation often feels disenfranchised and situated in a limbo of prolonged waiting – a limbo in which they continuously wait an opportunity to work, earn money, marry, and achieve participation and influence, and they do not know who can help them to have a better life. Consequently, tens of thousands of young people emigrate these years to other countries. Alone from  Bosnia Herzegovina more than 62,000 young people emigrated to other countries in 2017 and the largest group of immigrants who came to Germany in 2018 came from the Western Balkans.

 

The twin-city approach

On this basis, it is still relevant to organise all Open Fun Football Schools in compliance with our so-called twin-city approach where children from minimum 2 municipalities and three local football clubs/schools are playing together. Thus, by mixing the children from antagonistic population groups at the Open Fun Football Schools we ensure that the children always are interacting and playing with each other and not against each other.

Furthermore, Cross Cultures adhere to a regional strategy in the sense that all voluntary leaders and coaches are trained on regional seminars with participants from all the Western Balkan countries and at the respective Open Fun Football Schools the voluntary leaders and coaches are also mixed with each other. In this way, leaders and coaches who literally shot against each other during the war, are arranging an Open Fun Football School together for their children.

 

Providing youth a platform

Today, Cross Cultures is in process of transforming our strategic focus from the ´older´ generation (the former combatants) to the younger post-war generation. In this way Open Fun Football Schools also become a platform for youth to contribute to social changes in their home communities as well as it is providing them an instrument to gain hands-on experience of how to communicate and operationalize their ideas and visions for society.

Bosnia & Herzegovina

 

Our work in Bosnia & Herzegovina 20181998-2018 (total)
Partner since1998
Number of OFFS10335 (+358 one day festivals)
Total number of children2,01268,962
Girls775
Boys1,237
Total number of volunteers*261
Female volunteers81
Male volunteers180

Source: Internal statistics.

* Leaders, Trainers, Assistants, and others.

Kosovo

Our work in Kosovo20182006-2018 (total)
Partner since2006
Number of OFFS790 (+ 97 one day festivals)
Total number of children131318,324
Girls513
Boys800
Total number of volunteers*182
Female volunteers46
Male volunteers136

Source: Internal statistics.

* Leaders, Trainers, Assistants, and others.

Croatia

Our work in Croatia20182003-2018 (total)
Partner since2003
Number of OFFS2216 (+ 185 one day festivals)
Total number of children31842,154
Girls98
Boys220
Total number of volunteers*45
Female volunteers9
Male volunteers36

Source: Internal statistics.

Leaders, Trainers, Assistants, and others.

North Macedonia

Our work in North Macedonia 20182000-2018 (total)
Partner since2000
Number of OFFS13307 (+ 429 one day festivals)
Total number of children2,09259,345
Girls960
Boys1132
Total number of volunteers*269
Female volunteers136
Male volunteers133

Source: Internal statistics.

Leaders, Trainers, Assistants, and others.

Montenegro

Our work in Montenegro 20182007-2018 (total)
Partner since2007
Number of OFFS639 (+ 13 one day festivals)
Total number of children13907,885
Girls580
Boys810
Total number of volunteers*150
Female volunteers63
Male volunteers87

Source: Internal statistics.

Leaders, Trainers, Assistants, and others. 

Serbia

Our work in Serbia 20182001-2018 (total)
Partner since2001
Number of OFFS4283 (+ 402 one day festivals)
Total number of children78855,694
Girls377
Boys411
Total number of volunteers*141
Female volunteers59
Male volunteers82

Source: Internal statistics.

Leaders, Trainers, Assistants, and others.