FHPU’S JOURNEY TO DATE
The initial FHPU project started in 2010, and its intention was to foster ties between Rwandans living in both the UK and Rwanda itself through football. A year later, in addition to promoting sports activities, FHPU began supporting community engagement in social reform, governance and democracy enhancement.
FHPU quickly evolved to a “social enterprise” with activities in both the UK and Rwanda. In the UK, FHPU Enterprise started a programme called “Team Rwanda UK” which runs football sessions for the Rwandan community in London for boys and girls aged 7 and above.
In Rwanda itself, FHPU Enterprise works closely with the Association des Anciens Footballeurs du Rwanda/Association of Former Rwandan Football Players (A.A.F.R.) and as a result of the partnership in 2011 Dream Team Football Academy was set up with an aim to provide a safe after-school environment for hundreds of children who participate in a football skills program that teaches them how to become Champions in football and Champions in Life.
FHPU Enterprise has since been able to build relationships with many other local youth groups such as IREBERO Goalkeepers Centre, GIHISI Youth Football Centre, Rubavu Football Centre, Rwamagana Football Centre, Kivu Vision Football Centre, Togetherness Youth Cooperative, AGAHOZO-Shalom Youth Village and Root Foundation – Rwanda.
In the process FHPU has also established working relationships with various local organisations including the Rwandan Football Federation (FERWAFA), the Ministry of Sports and Culture, the Ministry of Education, the Rwandan National Olympic Committee, The Rwandan Sport School Federation and the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission (N.U.R.C.).
These relationships have resulted in projects such as the “One World Futbol Project” in Rwanda, which 34,200 indestructible “One World Futbols” have been given to Rwanda and made available to schools, youth community groups and other organisations working with disadvantaged communities throughout Rwanda. The Play For Hope: Rwanda20 program has also been initiated in collaboration with Coaches Across Continents. The 3 years programme aims to develop ways of using sports, and football in particular, as a tool for “Sport for Peace Education and Social Change” in Rwanda. PFH Rwanda20 will be a multi collaboration project programme between FHPU, CAC and other local government and non government organisations. The initial pilot programme took place between July and August 2014 with 320 community leaders, sports coaches and teachers learning how to use football to address topics such as Conflict Resolution including social inclusion, Female Empowerment including gender equity, Health and Wellness including HIV behaviour change, children’s rights and other life skills. The participants from 4 different parts of Rwanda (Rubavu in North West, Rwamagana in the East, Nyanza in South and Kigali in the capital city) gained the knowledge of using football to engage and educate children in their communities and they will continue to learn more about these skills for the next 3 years and possibly more. Another project programme “Sport for Peace” has also been launched in the summer of 2014 in Kigali Rwanda. Sport for Peace project is a long-term program championed by Aegis Trust to create activities that deliver a forum for dialogue and discussions about the genocide and to promote unity and social cohesion through active involvement and promotion of sports activities. The program involves a number of sport disciplines and FHPU Enterprise will be acting as Aegis Trust partner to develop the program using football as a tool.
MOVING FORWARD: THE NEXT STEPS
The “Rwanda: One Game, One Goal” Project.
An example of a partnership F.H.P.U. is currently seeking to promote is the “Rwanda: One Game, One Goal” project, which has the ambitious aim of ensuring that each and every child has the opportunity to become an actor and an ambassador in the process of the reconstruction of Rwanda.
Developed in collaboration with schools from each province, “One Game, One Goal” will be a long-term project, emphasising the encouragement and empowerment of local organizations to enable them to develop local sports and football initiatives. The project has been redesigned to meet the new F.H.P.U. and Aegis Trust partnership, which aims at developing methodology and practice that might be adapted for the “Sport for Peace Education” in Rwanda.
Through One Game One Goal project, F.H.P.U. and Aegis Trust will work to create activities that deliver a process of dialogue and discussion around the genocide that promotes unity and social cohesion through active involvement in, and promotion of, sports activity.
To this end “One Game, One Goal” has five objectives:
- To train coaches and educators how to use sport as a tool for development, fight discrimination and promote peace and health education
- To create youth football clubs and run tournaments in order to foster the development of children in a safe environment,
- To develop Youth Leadership opportunities
- To establish outreach to schools and local communities
- To establish a Rwandan National Sports Centre for Peace.
The aim is to involve as many young people as possible by working for example, in schools, youth centres, football academies, with street children, in refugee camps and in any other national set ups for the youth.
“One Game, One Goal” is also consistent with the aims set out in the Government of Rwanda’s “2020 Vision” manifesto. In this document the Government is very clear about what it wants Rwanda to be.
“Rwanda is longing for building a nation which is modern, prosperous, strong, united, dignified and proud of its fundamental values, politically stable without any discrimination among its sons and daughters even those of the diaspora. And this should be done in social cohesion and equity. The reconstruction of the country and its social capital as well its regional and international integration will facilitate and condition the achievement of sustainable development.”
It is intended that FHPU’s work must and therefore will contribute to the realisation of the Government’s objectives as set out in the “2020 Vision”
As a result of our experience of working in both the UK and Rwanda since FHPU was established in 2010 we have now established a robust strategy for moving forward based on a clear understanding of what FHPU is seeking to achieve as reflected in its Vision, Mission, Values and Aims and as expressed in terms of specific objectives