Still recovering from its genocide in 1994, today, Rwanda hosts some 144’000 refugees, 80% of whom are women and children. In collaboration with UNHCR, the FCSA educated 85 refugees to become grassroots football coaches and community leaders, helping increase the children’s safety and security by providing them with meaningful leisure activities. In 2023, the FCSA and Scort returned to Rwanda to deliver a follow-up education with Young Coaches who are still active and selected Peer Young Coaches.
Byumba and Huye
November, 2017 – September, 2023
Our gallery gives you the opportunity to browse through a selection of pictures of our work in Rwanda. Enjoy the best moments with our Young Coaches, instructors and children in action.
YOUNG COACH EDUCATION PROGRAMME
During Rwanda’s genocide in 1994, an estimated 800’000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed in the span of just 100 days and more than two million Rwandans fled the country in its aftermath. Over 20 years later, the nation is still recovering from the consequences and the ongoing repatriation process. Most recently, Rwanda has additionally been faced with an influx of refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Burundi: With the First Congo War in 1996 and the intensified violence in the East since 2012, Rwanda has taken in some 74’000 refugees from the DRC, and a further 87’000 from Burundi due to the nation’s political unrests since 2015.
Today, Rwanda hosts over 160’000 refugees who are settled in urban areas and 6 refugee camps coordinated by the United Nation’s High Commissioner of Refugees (UNHCR). Almost 80% of the refugee population is made up of women and children, including over 2’000 unaccompanied minors. Refugee children and youth are especially at risk of violence, abuse, rape, neglect and thus particularly prone to negative coping mechanisms such as drugs and alcohol or survival sex. Despite these issues, the camps often lack services and meaningful leisure activities that target those children’s needs for specific support.
After a successful implementation of a Young Coach Education Programme in the Azraq refugee camp in Jordan in 2016, the FCSA educated 85 Young Coaches selected from 6 different refugee camps in Rwanda to become grassroots football coaches and community leaders. The programme aimed to increase the children’s safety and security, bolster their relationships with peers and the community, empower girls and provide them with equal access to sports, and to strengthen resilience in Young Coaches and children.
In 2023, the FCSA and Scort returned to Rwanda to conduct a follow-up education with 22 Young Coaches that are still active and 58 selected Peer Young Coaches that have been trained by the Young Coaches. The four-days course took place in collaboration with UNHCR, Plan International, and Save the Children. The education included a refresher to update the Young Coaches’ knowledge in grassroots football and new topics such as the inclusion of children with disabilities and the monitoring and evaluation of their activities.
Our Young Coaches are community leaders and role models in less privileged societies. They commit themselves to support the children of the communities by conveying important social topics through football. 85 Young Coaches participated in the education in Rwanda, each of them represents a unique personal story.
Justin grew up in a rural part of Burundi and played football all throughout his childhood. At the age of 18 he moved to the city to become an electrician. He also started coaching around the same time. Before receiving his coaching certificate, he had to flee to Rwanda due to the political unrest in the country.
At the age of six, Charmante had to flee her home in the Democratic Republic of Congo after militia groups attacked her village. She fled across the border to Rwanda and has lived in a refugee camp for the past 22 years. Working and playing football with children really helps her relieve stress and forget all the harm the past has brought to her and her family.
Grace grew up as an orphan in the Democratic Republic of Congo. At the age of 21 she fled to Rwanda when a war broke out in her region between rebel militia and the national army. She lives today in Kigeme camp and her goal now is to reach out to many children and change their lives for the better through sport.
Cecile fled from the Democratic Republic of Congo with her mother and siblings when she was only one year old. All she knows is life in a refugee camp. She hears only stories about her home and life in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Playing football, however, helps her to integrate herself into the community and live in harmony with others.
Jacqueline has lost all her family and fled from the crisis-torn Burundi to Rwanda on her own. A football, is one of the few possessions she brought with her to Rwanda. In Mahama camp, where she found safety and friends, she uses the football and other sport activities to help children to overcome the challenges they face in their daily routine.
Jacqueline grew up in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. She lived with her parents and brothers. As she grew up living with boys, she always played football with them and considered herself a tomboy. Due to war in the DRC and her family being threatened, they fled to Rwanda in search of safety and they found a home there.
Janvier lost his mother at a young age and grew up with his father in the Democratic Republic of Congo. They fled to Rwanda in 2012 after their village was attacked and their house was burnt down. Janvier founded a football team for youths in the Mugombwa camp, where he coaches football and helps children cope with issues they face.
At 16, Samuel left his childhood home in the Democratic Republic of Congo due to the war which had broken out. He sought refuge in Rwanda and has lived there ever since. He is passionate about football and passing on his knowledge to the children he coaches in the refugee camp. He enjoys being a role model for these children.
Participating partner clubs
Main local partners
Further partner organisations