Young people growing up in large cities often have to cope with challenges that slow down their positive development. FAIRPLAY, a three-year project initiated by the Erasmus University Rotterdam, helps such young people to increase their resilience in order to deal with such challenges. This is being actualised by reviving the social programmes of several participating, European football clubs, in cooperation with youth workers and coaches.
Part of this project is Inter Campus, the CSR (corporate social responsibility) programme of FC Internazionale Milano. Active in 30 countries, Inter Campus selected Uganda as application field. Over there eighty Ugandan adolescents started the FAIRPLAY football programme last September, in the hope to improve their resistance against negative influences.
International seminars for youth workers and coaches
The FAIRPLAY project managed by dr. Brian P. Godor consists of four nine-month periods, each focusing on different skills. Each period starts with a seminar week organised by one of the involved clubs, which are: Charlton Athletic FC, Feyenoord Rotterdam, Hibernian FC, Inter Campus and Werder Bremen. During such a week, scientists instruct youth workers and coaches from all participating clubs with intensive sessions on the new skills to be learned.
The football clubs implement the skills in their own way
After the sessions, the youth workers and coaches will all start to include the new skills in their own programmes. Each in its own manner. During the first period skills such as goal setting, leadership and optimism are central in the programmes of the football clubs.
'The topics discussed during the first seminar week at Charlton Athletic FC, goal setting, optimism and self-confidence are going to become an interesting part of our social and educational activities within the programme of Inter Campus in Uganda,' according to Michael, local coordinator at Inter Campus Uganda.
Which training sessions are most effective?
When the nine months are over, the experiences of the youth workers and coaches are shared during the next seminar week. What also will be discussed is how the football clubs have implemented the different skills in their programmes and what the results have been. With that shared knowledge it will be determined which training sessions are most effective to develop the specific skills.
Renewed programme Inter Camus in Uganda
The Inter Campus at the St Joseph Primary School in Nagalama, a city in Uganda, is one of the first to make use of a new programme based on the FAIRPLAY project. The Inter Campus in Nagalama was launched in 2008 with the aim of increasing literacy and access to health care for marginalised children. The children of the St Joseph Primary School receive lessons from the Inter Campus coaches twice a week, which includes football training.
Teach youth in cities how to cope with adversity
During their childhood, many children in Nagalama are confronted with problems of health, education and inequality between boys and girls. Dr Brian Godor, project leader of FAIRPLAY, has set himself the goal to let youth in cities like Nagalama learn and grow, so that they can better cope with setbacks. The FAIRPLAY project is part of the Vital Cities and Citizens theme within Erasmus University Rotterdam, of which Dr Brian Godor is theme leader of the Resilient Cities and People sub-theme.