By Tom Perez from Football Beyond Borders,
On Saturday 20th September Football Beyond Borders celebrated Peace Day by taking part in a community football tournament organised by Football for Hope Peace and Unity (FHPU), a Rwandan charity that uses football to promote education and integration. The event was part of a wider series of #OneDayOneGoalactivities happening all over the world and organised by NGO Peace One Day to mark Peace Day.
We were represented by an ‘FBB All Stars’ team made up of senior FBB members, young people from ourSouth London youth projects and women from our Women Beyond Borders project, two of whom played their first ever competitive match!
In the spirit of the day, the tournament began with an hour of ‘Peace Games’ led by the founder of FHPU, Eric Murangwa, a former professional goalkeeper in Rwanda who fled the country during the 1994 genocide. Using ‘Coaches Across Continents’ icebreaker activities, Eric facilitated communication and integration between FBB and members of the Rwandan and South African diaspora communities in London.
We then progressed to a tournament, with teams comprised of members of each community. To encourage respect and empowerment of the female players, the only goals that counted were those that were scored or assisted by women.
Meanwhile in Rwanda, similar tournaments were being held in Nyanza, Rubavu, Rwamagana, Nyamirambo and Agahozo, as well as a Peace Day march in the capital, Kigali. All in all it was a brilliant day and a pleasure to celebrate the unifying power of football with our Rwandan friends!