It is July 2, 1994. While FIFA World Cup is culminating in the USA, Columbia is being greatly affected by the murder of Andrés Escobar. The own goal of this famous Colombian defender cost him his life and the good reputation of the football is definitely brought to its knees.
When Jürgen Griesbeck, a German living in the Colombian Medellin, finds out that Escobar has been murdered, he decides to restore the reputation of the popular sport, recently tainted by violence and corruption. Using football as a symbol of tolerance and understanding, Griesbeck successfully breaks down the wall of hostility between some of the Colombian drug cartels. In the next few years, his revolutionary approach to football spreads rapidly around the world reaching also the Czech Republic in 2005.
Thanks to a systematic effort, Football for Development has become a well-known symbol of fair play able to challenge its participants not only physically but also mentally. Now taking place for the tenth time, the project combines sport activities with informal education and ensures original approach blending football tournaments with interesting workshops, concerts, film screenings and discussions with famous personalities.
Every year, the project culminates in the so called Action Month, during which a team composed of the Czech and Kenyan project ambassadors visits various regions of the Czech Republic raising awareness of current global issues such as poverty, environmental pollution, disease or war conflicts.
Game without a referee, three-phase discussion, celebration of each team′s goals as well as the creation of original rules bring a new perspective on the traditional game, in which every year more than 1 500 young Czechs participate. In addition, mentoring of Kenyan ambassadors from MYSA (Mathare Youth Sports Association) enriches the programme with intercultural issues thus putting Africa in the position of the more experienced of the two contributing countries.
If you want to learn more about our project, come to one of the Action Days. They are scheduled in June and July taking place in Ostrava, Praha, Plzen, Polička and in the premises of the castle Hartenberg. Find out more on our website Football for development
Štepán Kyncl, chief coordinator of the campaign → firstname.lastname@example.org
Our activities are supported by Czech Development Agency and Ministry of Foreign Affairs under the programme of Czech International Development Cooperation, and from private sources.