Charity partner for the 2018 Tata Diplomat of the Year Awards, FfP uses uses the game to create dialogue and unite the world
FOOTBALL FOR PEACE GLOBAL is a diplomatic sports movement dedicated to inspiring people-to-people diplomacy and understanding in marginalised communities around the world.
Across the UK and globally, communities are becoming more isolated and segregated, creating further division and hostility leading to stereotyping and polarisation. In turn, this fuels islamophobia, anti-Semitism, xenophobia and all forms of bigotry, leading to the rise in hate crime and attacks on those communities, and providing the ideal conditions for violent ideologies to propagate.
Following the tragic terrorist events in Manchester and London and the results of the referendum on leaving the EU, there has never been a more relevant time to bring people together. Football for Peace is doing just that, using the power of football to peace-build, unify and create understanding.
Wherever dialogue has broken down, intolerance and ignorance usually exist. FfP goes on to identify the issues and use its Football for Peace Youth Ambassador Leadership Training Programme and Toolkits, alongside its award-winning Peace Matches and community football tournaments, to promote positive social change and understanding within the affected areas.
FfP works with and targets the disenfranchised and polarised global communities of all backgrounds and ages. The goal is to address the mindset of current and future generations, specifically in communities where longstanding and historical mutual distrust have prevailed, and where potential disharmony and unrest is simmering due to the influx of new and emerging communities.
From situations created by ignorance and a lack of positive engagement and dialogue, further leading to marginalisation within communities, the FfP process can help resolve conflict and intolerance in today’s society.
Since January this year, FfP has been running its Youth Ambassador Leadership programme in the London Boroughs of Newham and Luton, bringing together over 50 young people from various schools and colleges who would never normally mix and socialise. These people are from a range of different cultural and faith backgrounds, and FfP uses football to educate, engage and empower.
Despite being a diverse town just 40 minutes from London, Luton sadly became infamous as the home of the far right ‘English Defence League’ (EDL), and a place where right wing extremism has its roots well and truly embedded. The FfP programme was established to challenge these types of harmful and destructive ideologies and mindsets, to create greater understanding, mutual respect, trust, and community cohesion, bringing young people together using these recognised and established processes.
Using the medium of football, FfP programmes deliver personal development, coaching and social skills workshops focusing on Conflict Resolution, Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Cohesion. All participants completing the course gain nationally accredited coaching qualifications; learn how to manage and deliver community football tournaments as a team and, most importantly, develop long lasting friendships and a greater understanding and awareness of other cultures, beliefs, lifestyles and faiths.
Co-Founder of Football for Peace, Kashif Siddiqi said: “Here at Football for Peace, we recognise that in-order to tackle the issues faced daily by communities here in the UK and globally, we have to overcome the fear of another’s culture, customs and beliefs that has led to misunderstanding, intolerance and isolation, thus leaving communities disenfranchised and facing preconceptions and negative stereotyping. We are living in a world that has never been more connected and yet, ironically, has rarely felt more divided. Through our Youth Ambassador Leadership programme our aim here at FfP is to bring people together through the ‘beautiful game’. Together we can challenge and change from within, and we know that our young people are those advocates to bring this about change.”
If embassies or high commissions would like to participate in diplomatic peace matches or for more information on how to collaborate on developing cities for peace community programmes in their host country, please contact Lisa on E: firstname.lastname@example.org
FOOTBALL FOR PEACE OPERATES IN THREE CONTINENTS, EUROPE (UK-LONDON) SOUTH AMERICA (CHILE-SANTIAGO) AND ASIA (INDIA-MUMBAI). TO DATE, 11,500 YOUNG PEACE AMBASSADORS HAVE GONE THROUGH THE CITY FOR PEACE PROGRAMME. THERE ARE CURRENTLY SEVEN ACTIVE CITIES FOR PEACE ACROSS GLOBE, AND TWELVE PEACE MATCHES HAVE BEEN HOSTED IN VARIOUS COUNTRIES.