The National Children’s Football Alliance, The Peace Village and GroepINTRO, facilitated football for fun games for refugees on International Day of Peace, 21st September, 2016. For more information on how an International Children’s Football Alliance can create Peace Makers For The Future contact www.childrensfootballalliance.com
THE FIRST CLUB IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Bainbridge Island Football Club, Seattle, USA are the first soccer club in the States of America to twin their soccer pitch with Flander’s Peace Field, site of the 1914 Christmas Truces. Paul Cooper, National Projects Director at The International Children’s Football Allaince presented Matti Vandemeale, Director of The Peace Village, BIFC’s Peace Field Project Plaque on the United Nations International Day of Peace (21st September, 2016) in Messines, Belgium.
Thank you to Roselyn Roy a dear friend of the project who helped us with the translation of the interview.
An interview by Christoph Mbedi, Responsible for the Tala Mosika Project and journalist, with Jean-Marie Vianney Nshombo, Ciperfoot, Coordinator of the Football Initiation and Development Centre.
Q: Would you please, Mr. Jean-Marie, introduce yourself to our viewers and provide us with information on your organization and on the work that you do.
A: Thank you very much Mr. Christoph, Mr. the Journalist. My name is Jean-Marie Vianney Nshombo, Coordinator of the Football Initiation and Development Centre Ciperfoot. We are a not-for-profit organization under the Congolese law, created on May 29 2010 and we have a sport school that includes environment, health and education aiming at tutoring unprivileged orphan children and other children to help them reach graduation.
Q: What are the objective and the mission of you work?
A: As I said earlier in my introduction, we wish to educate children, starting from their existing -or not- talent in football, in order to provide them with a future and make them efficient towards themselves and society, using football as an opportunity, which in fact is the basic activity of our organization.
Q: Who benefits from your organization and how do you wish they benefit from it?
A: We target young children aged between 9 and 15, and we hope that all, girls and boys, can learn how to play football, as well as get a life discipline. We educate them so that they become useful to society and to the nation.
Q: Within your organization, who works for the organization and who does volunteer work?
A: Our organization counts 12 founding members, who are all volunteers, tough three of them are technical trainers who get a small retribution.
Q:Can you tell us on which days are your activities are spread?
A: We work almost all week. The football training with the kids take place on odd days. After class, the kids take a rest and eat, and get back to the field around 2:00 or 3:00 pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Even days allow the technical trainers to prepare the training sessions for the kids.
Q: What is the importance of fun, pleasure and sport in what you do?
A: As coaches confirm, football is a fun and pleasant sport. The kid must, first of all, feel the pleasure of playing, and offer the audience that same pleasure. It is important to us that the kids be in good health, strong and efficient. When they aim to join other teams as good players, they must be able to keep and live the pleasure of playing, in order to stay away from violence and other mischiefs. The fun of playing must remain central today and in the future.
Q: What advantage does the Peace football offer to education?
A: Through the FIFA Fairplay Code that we received, kids learn to support each other. They learn to like each other before, during and after the game or after the practice, or after a particular game. Therefore they benefit from an education on self-control, and on the pleasure of giving and being in peace with their neighbor, on offering peace to their neighbor. This aspect is very important to us in our organization and in our curriculum developed for the kids.
Q: Mr. Jean-Marie, between us, is childhood important in Democratic Republic of Congo?
A: Yes, Democratic Republic of Congo has children everywhere, of all ages and even in conflict zones. The child needs a place to play, the child needs to a place to laugh, to scream and to move around. DRC, as other countries, is well aware of this and makes efforts, as other countries around us do, to provide the children with this necessary space to play and provide peace to all children. A broken child will not be able to give in his life. So our organization aims at helping DRC to provide the kids with this space for peace, pleasure and development.
Q: Do you think that, once in place, peace will provide kids and adults a reason to promote peace through play?
A: Yes, as soon as kids start playing, as soon as they reach the football field, we see adults interested join them, they come and watch, and we see that they take pleasure in watching the children play. And if during a game there is a conflict between players, we see parents, even though there are coaches on site, we see parents and adults intervene to resolve the conflict, to bring peace back on the site, to bring peace back around the ball. Promotion of peace is intrinsic to the hearth of the adults. Children, while growing around them, get this importance of peace and make it their own. A peace they will keep, promote and offer around them. So peace is always important to both adults and children on a football field, even though it is a contact sport. It is important to learn to understand each other, it is important to learn to shake hands and make piece once and for all.
Q: Do you think Mr. Jean-Marie, that the link with schools from around the world will be appreciated by the kids and the adults living in the village?
A: We are proud and we thank the Peace Field Project. It is important to us to thank them and tell them that we have hope in seeing this link with our village materialize. This twinning will bring a lot to the village. We are in a village where people still do not know themselves, a village that does not realize what it really is. But gradually, with help and support from this great organization, we think that this twinning will be of wonderful help and support to the village. So we insist that they come and help us promote the village, promote the kids and promote all who will eventually join us in this great development project so that the whole village and the kids become wonderful citizens of this country and of the world.
I thank you.
BIFC is a medium sized non-profit Soccer Club serving the Bainbridge Island WA community and attracting players from around the Kitsap Pennisula. We offer a range of programs and competitive levels at all ages. At BIFC we believe soccer is about doing things properly. About making sure everyone has a chance to be involved in soccer, regardless of ability, gender, or disability. About encouraging and increasing the involvement at all levels of soccer, and about having fun doing it. It’s about making opportunities available, and about using the power of soccer to build the best environment for our players to thrive as they seek their own pathway in playing the beautiful game. Our club logo provides the essence of our program where our stars on our jerseys represent soccer for all. There is a place for you at BIFC – come join us!
Why doe your club think it is important to twin with Flanders Peace Field?
This is a brilliant concept that offers BIFC a way to expand, in a positive and global sense, our soccer culture on Bainbridge Island. For our youth, this is important and positive history to know and understand at a time when typical news on a global scale is about tragedy, conflict and war. Allows for the application of modern day sportsmanship and fair play in a historical context. We also would like to twin with Flanders Peace Field and create links with like-minded clubs through the International Children’s Football Alliance across Europe and the rest of the world.