Theoretical approaches

On this page you can read about the core theoretical approaches of our programs. These approaches are common for all our programs, and can be found in all of our work throughout our global community.

The Child in the Center

In most of our programs children is the primary target group of the activities. Based on this we have developed the so-called Childrens Grassroots Football Universe, which is illustrating the philosophy behind our work and how we organize most of our activities.   

The model shows that Cross Cultures’ activities do much more than building relations between children, coaches, and sports clubs. Our sport activities constitute an important platform in civil society, where people of different backgrounds can meet while discussing children, welfare, future, and the development of children’s sport.  


Children's Grassroots Football Universe

When we organize activities for children, we wish all the stakeholders to have a place and a function: When we activate the children, the stakeholders circle like planets around the sun in a Children's Grassroots Football Universe. And when all stakeholders are activated, children’s football provides a platform in local community where stakeholders and people of different backgrounds can meet and connect. This is the core philosophy of our activities which connects to our slogan Bringing people together. 


Another basic principle for all our work is that it is based on voluntarismCross Cultures has a structure where local young women and men are trained to be leaders and instructors at the Open Fun Football Schools (OFFS). The figure below illustrates, in a simple format, how CCPA's projects are structured. The projects start with a joint youth leadership seminar for young people from all over the region (i.e. MENA region), which ensures a common starting point across the countries. From here the youth leaders go back to each of their home country where they host coach seminars for local young volunteers who become coaches of OFFS and our other programs such as the 24 hour sports festival HUB24. The coaches subsequently educate coach assistants who assist them in their work. 

In this way, the project structure is gradually outsourced to local communities, which voluntarily run the projects without further interference from CCPA's administrating head quarter in Copenhagen. This voluntary structure is crucial for our projects, which rely on the idea that the feeling of ownership of the programs strengthens the long-term potential, sustainability, and long-term independency in each country.  

A holistic approach

When we educate our young volunteers, one of the main themes we discuss with them is how to be a good coach? In our opinion the short answer on this is motivation. You need motivation in order to be a good coach, and we work with three elements which must all be present for the coach to be motivated: Cognition (head), emotions (heart), and abilities (action). These three elements are captured in our so-called “Head-Heart-Action-approach”, based on a holistic understanding of motivation: 

  1. You need to know what you are doing as a coach – about exercises, physics and pedagogical tools,  
  2. You need to feel a passion for what you are doing – if you don’t have your heart with you in your activities, it will be hard to find motivation,  
  3. You need to be physically able to do sport – as a football coach it is essential that you know with your body how to do the game in order to teach others the exercises.  

Theory of Change

Cross Cultures has been working with the Theory of Change for many years. It is a way to work strategically with the different programmes that are all based on the same mission and vision. We wish to involve our international colleagues, who are working with the weekly activities in the field, in the development of our strategy.

In March 2018, representatives from Cross Cultures' 16 programme countries came together to form a joint strategy agreeing on enhancing four main values in the communities of engagement. These values are based on experiences from the field, and are relevant for our different programmes in each their way:

  • Peace and Reconciliation (OFFS)
  • Young People's resilience (OFFS, YOUTH)
  • Gender Equality (OFFS, Girls' football)
  • Cross-sector Juvenile Crime Prevention (OFFS, SSP)

Please, find the whole strategy paper in our newest version of Theory of Change (2018) here for further details.


Read more

For further information on our theoretical principles and how we work with our programmess, please go to the Toolbox where the newest strategy cards, handbooks and manuals are available.