Values and vision
Cross Cultures is a politically independent, non-profit organization that exists for the purpose of promoting peaceful coexistence and social cohesion between people of different cultures and backgrounds.
Our vision - "Bringing people together" - builds on the basic premise that peace and stability is not an issue between nation states and governments alone. We believe that peace and stability is something civil society is practicing through dialogue and interaction. On this basis we exist with the objective to develop, participate in, and implement culture and sports cooperation across ethnic, national, social, political, and religious boundaries.
It is within this framework that Cross Cultures is using the Open Fun Football Schools as tool for peace education, facilitating intra- and inter-community communication and collaboration in order to provide alternative stories and positions to the ones of conflict. Through education of volunteers we wish to help populations include rather than exclude each other, to fight exceptional thinking, and to stimulate peaceful coexistence. It is a fundamental principle to Cross Culture’s concept that all our activities challenge any division of people into ethnic, political, or religious affiliations, by providing an alternative.
Sustainable Development Goals
The values of Cross Cultures largely correspond to a number of the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals . In particular SDG 4.7 corresponds to the vision of our peace education, and can be seen as a framework that encapsulates the most principle values of Cross Cultures.
“(...) education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development”.
In Cross Cultures we use our peace education to make young men and women become volunteer leaders, coaches and coach assistants for our activities in their local communities. They do not just become instructors of physical activities. They become part of a strong community of resourceful and skilled young people; a network they can draw on for the rest of their lives, and they become role models for the children in their local communities.
Within our education of volunteers and within our different programmes, we see a strong connection to the following three Sustainable Development Goals: SDG 5, 10, and 17.
“Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world”.
In Cross Cultures we believe that sport is for everyone, no matter what gender one has. Therefore we prioritize female participation in all our activities. We aim for a minimum of 40% girls participants and 40% female volunteers in all our activities. We believe that girls' and women's participation in our activities is a valuable tool in combating gender-based stereotypes while at the same time stimulating women's well-being and civic participation.
“To reduce inequality, policies should be universal in principle, paying attention to the needs of disadvantaged and marginalized populations”.
In Cross Cultures we work with a social dimension in all our activities. We aim for a minimum of 30% so-called vulnerable groups represented among the children. This group includes children with special needs, orphans, children from refugee families or returnee families, children from internal displaced families or children from other social cases.
Read more about our work for social integration and respect for diversity in Statistics.
“A successful sustainable development agenda requires partnerships between governments, the private sector and civil society. These inclusive partnerships built upon principles and values, a shared vision, and shared goals that place people and the planet at the centre, are needed at the global, regional, national and local level”.
A major focus of Cross Cultures is cross-sectoral cooperation. We work with a model inspired by the Danish SSP work, translated to School + Sport + Police (SSP). SSP aims to create a governance structure where relevant authorities meet at least once a month to discuss community problems and how they can jointly create a system to overcome them.
 Provided are the short definitions of the goals as described at: https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/:
Practice oriented approach
Cross Cultures’ approach to peace and reconciliation derives from the experience of how war and ethnic conflicts affect people and their possibilities of returning to a peaceful everyday life (see History and background for further details).
Our experiences tell us that moving away from the hatred and mistrust between people affected by civil war and conflict is not easily accomplished. Trust rarely comes from discussing the conflict or the problems. Rather, we follow a practice-oriented approach which we believe can be fostered and sustained through local level activities that facilitate dialogue and cooperation.
Cross Cultures is firmly convinced that grassroots sport and playing games are excellent tools for bringing people who are living in conflict sensitive communities to interact and collaborate. Sport and games can give people lived experience of having something in common with the people they would otherwise see as ‘others’.
Through the Open Fun Football Schools program we bring people in conflict to play and interact. Through sport and games we 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, our programs give the adults, who are otherwise in conflict, a legitimate excuse to interact. 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.