In January 2014 team members Janine and Matthias paid a visit to our projects in South Africa and Mozambique. During their private travels they took the time in their role as FFWU Marketing and Communication managers to see the projects themselves and gather first-hand experience by meeting with the local project leaders.
In Cape Town they met with Mario von Niekerk, founder and leader of GCU Academy, to find out about the challenges, new developments and ideas for further collaborations. The timing of their visit was not ideal as it was summer break – the Academy was closed and the majority of students had left for their summer vacation. Mario was on his way to an important football tournament some distance away. Still, all were able to agree future support for the Academy as much as possible with emphasis on trainer education provided by our chief coach Sascha, depending on his job commitments in Brazil.
Matthias and Janine then went on to meet the project team Jair and Arthur, who have been responsible for organizing and running the Festa de Futebol in Mozambique’s capital Maputo since 2013. The positive results of our previous training are obvious – Arthur and Jair showed the right approach with lots of motivation and enthusiasm to establish the Festas as a regular event. We are proud to have Arthur and Jair in our team and are looking to transfer more responsibilities to them such as accurate reporting which is vital to secure future funding.
Janine and Matthias had the chance to observe a Festa on 25th of January which was attended by more then 70 children. Most of the players and trainers participate in the Festas regularly. Some players qualified for the finals in one of the inter-city tournaments – the first time this has occurred in 25 years. This shows the positive effects of our initial training education, although our main goal – to support further development for coaches and players – remains to be fulfilled. We plan to establish a small office as logistic base for running the Festas, and as a social education point to involve the whole community.