Universal Children’s Day is celebrated by Cross Cultures and by our partners in 17 countries as we join hands with and for children in improving child welfare and children’s rights. This year is extra special as it marks 30 years of the Convention on the Rights of the Child – 30 years of child rights that have helped transform children’s lives around the world. But many challenges still exist. In Cross Cultures we have since 1998 organised Open Fun Football Schools for over 1.4 million children and we are committed to facilitating access to fun sports for many more children in the years to come.
Football as a trampoline for social change
The Open Fun Football Schools are a vector for social change as it brings children and communities together that are affected by conflicts and social turmoil. We take a child-centred approach, we engage the children in life skills of tolerance, teamwork, non-discrimination and dialogue and we work actively on safeguarding children in sport as well as promoting equal opportunities for the girl child.
Safeguarding Children in Sport
While ensuring a child-friendly and safe environment Cross Cultures is also pioneering the safeguarding of children in the sports sector.
The Child Safeguarding Approach includes focussing on preventing and protecting children from abuse and also early detect any criminal or radicalisation trends. The approach entails that children get to know how to better protect their own integrity, that all the young volunteer coaches receive training which will not only assist them in safeguarding the children but also themselves. Basically, the approach focus on a) breaking the taboo around child abuse in sports; b) doing no harm; c) taking due action in cases of concern by cooperation with protection units and having internal procedures in place.
In Tunisia we have with our cooperation partner Tunisian Federation for Sport for All conducted training of the voluntary coaches on safeguarding children in sports and referral mechanisms have been established with the national child protection units. Also, the voluntary coaches have signed a code of conduct on child safeguarding in sports.
For more information contact Hanne Lund Madsen, Global Programme Director; firstname.lastname@example.org