The Football Club Social Alliance unites professional European Football clubs which team up for social change on a global level. Permanent member clubs include FC Basel 1893, SV Werder Bremen, Bayer 04 Leverkusen, FK Austria Wien, FC Schalke 04 and 1. FSV Mainz 05. Our main mission is the Young Coach Education Programme in which the clubs’ instructors empower young adults in their role as proactive community leader.
Professional instructors of our member clubs train the Young Coaches following an especially developed curriculum with coaching, leadership as well as life and soft skills. Each programme consists of three modules and a minimum of 12 education days over a period of one year. For the around 40 Young Coaches, who take part in each programme, participation, travelling and accommodation costs are free.
Our Young Coaches are community leaders and role models in less privileged societies. They commit themselves to support the children of their communities by conveying important social topics (conflict resolution, inclusion, HIV prevention, etc.) through football. Each of the Young Coaches represents a unique personal story.
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.
Hussein has faced many challenges himself in the past but he is determined to use his passion for football as a way to give back and help inspire and educate the youth who he works with. Hussein is now a football coach based in Dar es Salaam and he additionally works with street children in his spare time.
Karyna is a school psychologist. She works with traumatized children in Eastern Ukraine. Her city has suffered directly from the on-going conflict in Ukraine, including periods under rebel control. Although Karyna does not really care for football, she will still use the power of play to help children overcome their trauma.
Due to the war in Syria, Hanaa’ and her family were forced to leave their home in 2014. She had been a Kindergarten teacher in Syria, and now, having completed our Young Coach Education Programme, uses football to support the personal development of children in the Azraq Refugee Camp.
Due to regional conflicts in Indonesia, Rinto had to move several times in his childhood before he was able to settle down and study. Although he didn’t have any experience in playing football, he wanted to be a coach and work with children. Together with 4 other Young Coaches he now trains over 80 kids.
Five decades of armed conflict and organised crime in Colombia have led to an increasing number of families living in impoverished conditions. In these conditions, children are especially vulnerable to being drawn into crime, drugs, and violence. Andy’s activities give children an opportunity to see life beyond conflicts and crime.
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.
Marvin and Björn are another success story of the Tandem Education. They are both involved with the disability football team of Bayer 04 Leverkusen and take part in training sessions every Friday. They participated in the 2016 edition of the Tandem Young Coach Education in Bremen and the Special Youth Camp in Basel.
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.
Matthias (Tandem Partner) and Dae Cheol (Young Coach) have already known each other prior to the Tandem Young Coach Education and have done trainings sessions together at their club SV Werder Bremen. However, the education has helped them to newly define their roles as coaches and for Matthias to delegate more responsibility to Dae Cheol, while Dae Cheol – in turn – takes now the lead in the training sessions.
Agus believes that football can not only unite people but also be used to teach important messages and promote positive values in society. He is currently a physical education teacher at a school for children with disabilities and runs football activities in his local community after school and at the weekends.
Having fled Syria due to the war, Ahmad counts himself as fortunate to be alive. It has not been plain sailing since his arrival at the Azraq Refugee Camp, but football has given him a purpose in life again. He wants to offer children hope where there was once despair, and a chance to be children again.
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.
Camila grew up in the neighbourhood of La Paz in Barranquilla, a city on the northern coast of Colombia. When she was 14 years old, she took part in leadership course of Fútbol Con Corazón (FCC) which changed her live. Since then, she has opened her own mixed football school and with the knowledge she gained during the Young Coach Education she continues to be an inspiration and role model for the kids in her community.
Eulises has always worked in sports: he studied professional training and specialized in athletics, focusing on athletes’ performances. He now works at RET International, a humanitarian organisation which protects vulnerable young people through education. His task is to manage all sports activities of RET in Tapachula.
50 years of continous armed conflict and drug-trafficking in Colombia have put thousands of children at the risk of being illegally recruited by guerrilla groups, sexually exploited or killed. Through their activities, James and Eliana prevent vulnerable children from falling into a life of gangs, drugs and crime.
Jarbi grew up in a community where drugs were extremely prevalent, and he has seen the negative impact they can have. Through the activities he is organising, Jarbi gives children and youth in his community the opportunity to see a better future for themselves, establish a daily routine and a life beyond drugs, violence, and crime.
Hien loved playing football as a child. She studied psychological education and now works in an SOS Children’s Village located close to her hometown. Hien sees the Young Coach Education as a chance to help her with her daily work with underprivileged children and being able to organise fun, educational activities for them.
At the young age of only 24, Parvati from Mumbai is a true role model. She could have been a child bride like her sisters. But she became a coach instead. She fought for her right to play sports as a woman, and even started her own NGO that uses sports to empower especially girls from poor families.
Nikita is not a football player. However, he strongly believes in the power of the sport and the potential it has on providing psycho-social support for children. Instead of using his skills to work abroad, he decided to stay in Ukraine and help those most affected by the conflict – the children.
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.
Rizki grew up in Bandung, West Java under considerably difficult circumstances. He believes in sport as a tool for social change and is now fighting to prevent young people from taking drugs. Read more about his moving story and how he uses the power of football to make his community a better place.
Bruno and Fabian already knew each other before the Tandem Young Coach Education in June, 2022. For the past 9 years, Fabian has been playing in Bruno’s team, “Team United”. Through this education, he makes the leap from player to become a coach. This way he will be able to support Bruno in his trainings and implement his own training sessions at his workplace with the children.
Govinda from India grew up in a family with little money, and dropped out of school at the age of 12. It was through football, a sport he had never previously played, that Govinda transformed his life. He now delivers grassroots football activities for children, and trains other people to become coaches.
Charlie and Taylor completed the 2018 Tandem Education in Belfast. They learned a lot from each other during the education. While Taylor gained a lot of confidence and benefited from the additional support of his Tandem, Charlie increased his practical knowledge of working with people with disabilities and has also learned some sign language.
Kuruthum grew up in Morogoro in Tanzania. She always liked football as a girl, but she was not allowed to play. There was no support, not from her family, nor from her community. In Tanzania, girls are not expected to play football. When she graduated college, where she studied community development, Kuruthum decided to start playing football.
Fasloon is an English teacher from Kalmunai, in the Eastern province of Sri Lanka. His hometown was heavily affected by the 30-year civil war and the devastating Tsunami in 2004. Yet, this has not deterred Fasloon from being a positive role model to disadvantaged children, both on and off the pitch.
Samuel is from El Tarra, a so-called “red zone” in Colombia – a region marked by ongoing armed conflicts. Its close proximity to the boarder to Venezuela makes it also a destination for refugees seeking a better and safer life in Colombia. Working for a foundation called G2-10, Samuel is committed to help the local and displaced children in his community. Through sport, he offers them an alternative to this violent environment and give them hope for a better tomorrow.
Loi grew up in Hue, playing football whenever he was free. He went on to pursue a degree in physical education at Hue University to be able to make his passion a profession. Through the Young Coach Education, him and his friends established a football centre to coach children in Hue, giving back to the community.
Vanessa and Nikola get along very well. Nikola is a Young Coach and Vanessa is her Tandem Partner. They were both nominated by the OSC Bremerhaven, a partner of SV Werder Bremen. When talking to the girls, one can already note how much they enjoy each other’s company. They are constantly laughing and teasing each other.
When Ana María was young, girls and women were not supposed to play football. Only as a teenager could she start playing the sport she loves. Today she has her own sports school for underprivileged children in a neighbourhood in Medellín where she is from. Because of her own experience, she makes sure to include girls in the training.
Due to the war in northern Uganda and difficult family circumstances Shabella was mostly left on her own and lacking care when she was a child. Becoming a Young Coach gave her the powerful impulse to build a community of peer coaches that share the passion for football to support abandoned and deprived children.
Gabriel and Evans have known each other for quite some time through the training they carry out together in various special-need schools. Every Wednesday, as part of a programme from “Schalke hilft!”, they train around twenty youths between the ages of fourteen and seventeen, who each have a disability.
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.
Yasin plays football in a team for people with disabilities with Gregorio as his coach. Despite being very young, Yasin enjoys taking on responsibility and assisting Gregorio during the football training. Following the education, Gregorio hopes he will be able to include Yasin even more in coaching their team.
Hilko plays for the Werder Youngstars but also has some experience as a Junior coach. Markus – Hilko’s Tandem Partner – is already an experienced coach, who is responsible for two disability football teams at Werder Bremen. His goal is to pass on his experience to Hilko, his Young Coach.
Eva is an incredibly inspiring woman. Not only has she represented her country on the international stage playing football, but she is also a coach for boys and girls in her community. Her sessions create a fun learning environment for children, where they can come to hone their football skills and also learn about important social issues.
Throughout his childhood, Kamal faced rejection and emotional abuse due to his disability. His experiences inspired him to become a social activist and help children. Due to an unfortunate encounter, however, Kamal was forced to flee Syria and now wants to use sports to teach the children in Lebanon.
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.
Jacqueline and Patrick supported each other during the Tandem Young Coach Education 2015. Together as a “Tandem” they completed the Programme in Bremen and Basel. Since then, both of them work as Young Coaches with the disability football team of SV Werder Bremen – the Werder Youngstars.
While Elly used to be punished for playing sports as a child, he never gave up his love for it. As a result, he was able to acquire a degree in sport science and started coaching in 2013. Elly has discovered the power of football to bring people together, make the community safer and have a positive impact on children in Uganda.
Philbert is from Arusha and is working with the organisation Umoja Tanzania. There he is a sports coordinator and an IT trainer. He regularly organises training sessions for children and youth. These sessions are called sport and health and he helped to create a workbook, which helps to train peer coaches to get the necessary knowledge to become a coach.
Matthias and Moritz are both part of the same inclusion team – a team made up of children, youth and young adults with varying level of abilities. The Tandem Young Coach Education was a first step for both of them to become coaches in that very team. The education helped them to strengthen their bond and trust in each other – not only because they match well as a tandem, but also because of their strong friendship.
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.
Being a staff member at a Children’s Cultural Centre, Thu teaches art performance and offers cultural activities to children and teenagers. Not a football player herself, she is excited to implement what she has learned as a Young Coach in her work with the kids. Combining her activities with educational messages is especially important for Thu.
Ibadi works as a kindergarten teacher in Tanga. During his education he faced many challenges, as there are many prejudices against male kindergarten teachers. Undeterred, Ibadi moved from city to city in order to finish his studies and after he graduated in Tanga he stayed there. He now teaches kids in a kindergarten, but he also runs sports activities outside of school hours.
Daniela works at Programa Casa Refugiados (PCR), an NGO that focuses on the integration of asylum seekers and refugees. She thus is involved with people from all ages and is convinced that sport can help them to get to know each other and to make friends on whom they can rely on.
Football has always been Sang’s favourite sport. Even without having a ball to play with, he and his friends would find whatever way possible to play. Sang now works in an SOS Children’s Village, conducting sports activities for children on a regular basis. He likes to use football as a tool to work with and help them to grow and develop.
Mayron is from from Ocana, in the Colombian department of Norte Santander. Ocana is a place surrounded by forests and an area that has many cocaine plantations. Due to this, there are a lot of armed groups and illegal activities in the region, leading to many displaced people who seek safety in the city of Ocana. Mayron wants to give the children in his community an alternative to all the violence, which is why he became a football coach.
Sarah and George are a true success story of the FCSA Tandem Young Coach Education. In 2014 they formed a so called “Tandem” – a team that supports and guides each other throughout the education. Since then, every Friday evening, they team up again for training a group of the Old Boys Basel Dream Team.
Disney is from an indigenous community called Chijurephan, that was displaced due to armed conflict. Her community is facing many challenges in terms of housing, food, and employment but despite these harsh living conditions Disney wanted the kids in her community to have some fun, so she became a coach.
In 2017, Ross and James participated in our Tandem Education in Belfast, Northern Ireland. They both gained tremendously from the training and the reciprocal nature of the learning that we promote. Read their story to discover how the FCSA disability football programme helped shape their journey as coaches.
Jan plays in an inclusion team of which Marco, his Tandem Partner, is the coach. Even though he loves playing, Jan has always dreamed of becoming a football coach himself. The education has given them a new common goal: together, as a father-son-tandem, they want to create more opportunities for children with disabilities and include them in their football team.
Due to the armed conflict that erupted in 2014, Oleksandr was forced to leave Donetsk. He is now coaching underprivileged children in Western Ukraine. In addition to coaching his own group of children, Oleksandr takes pride in training volunteers to use football as a means of teaching about Child Rights.
Founded in 2007, The Football Club Social Alliance has successfully implemented the Young Coach Education programme in numerous conflict, post-war or developing regions around the world over the past years. In each case, the Alliance clubs sent highly qualified football instructors to the project regions in order to jointly inspire the Young Coaches in their work and teach valuable social and football-related education skills.
All partners and friends of the Football Club Social Alliance are united by the goal of using their social commitment to foster positive change. The long-term co-operation with our strategic partners is an important component to our success. We much appreciate the collaboration of all partnerships and hope to keep achieving great things together in the future.