Colombia is marked of over 50 years of internal conflict, including countless of internally displaced people. Additionally, nearly two million of Venezuelan refugees have been arriving in Colombia to seek refuge. In collaboration with our local partners, UNHCR and FCC, the FCSA educated 41 Young Coaches to use football as a tool to help integrate refugee children into their new communities.
Atlántico and Antioquia
July, 2022 – October, 2022
For over 50 years, Colombia had been ravaged by a violent conflict involving armed groups and drug cartels. The conflict officially ended with a peace agreement in 2016. However, the agreement has not yet been fully implemented: Armed violence continues in some regions and continues to drive thousands of people to flee within their own country. Children, young people and especially the Afro-Colombian and indigenous population suffer most from the outbreaks of violence and the associated risks and restrictions. And not to forget, eight million people have been fleeing this conflict to other parts of the country, and many have not been able to return to this day.
Additionally, Colombia is not only confronted with the suffering of internally displaced persons, but also with the humanitarian challenge of the approximately 1.8 million Venezuelan refugees. They are fleeing persistent insecurity, violence and persecution, hoping for a better future in their neighbouring country. The impoverishment and local circumstances, combined with the large influx of people seeking protection, are draining the Colombian population’s willingness to help. This in turn makes it difficult for the displaced or refugees to deal with trauma, integrate into the host communities and build a new life.
To support the integration of refugee children and their families, the Football Club Social Alliance (FCSA), in cooperation with the local partners, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and Fútbol con Corazón (FCC), trained 41 young, committed people to become children’s football coaches. The participants have the task of using football to convey values such as acceptance, openness, and tolerance, thereby promoting the integration of refugee children and peaceful coexistence in their communities. The project contributes to creating a safe environment for children and supports UNHCR’s efforts to reduce xenophobia and discrimination.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Participating partner clubs
Main local partners
Further partner organisations