The “Football3 for Peace – Football as a tool of social change and development of young people” project was successfully implemented in eight elementary schools in the municipalities of Jajce, Busovača and Vitez. The teachers and students who participated in the project were trained to use football as a good communication tool, and all of the schools were donated the sports equipment too.
“The objective of this project is to use football not only as a tool for promoting good communication, but also as a tool for respecting diversity among students who grow up under the impact of conflict and ethnic divisions”, says Dijana Pejić, Executive Director of the Genesis Project, the organization that implemented the project under the auspices the of the US Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina with the support of the Ministry of education, science, culture and sports of the Central Bosnia Canton. Football3 is a unique way of playing football which changes lives around the world.
It is based on the principle that the basic values such as fair play, gender equality, teamwork, respect and responsibility are just as important as the football skills. Named after “three halves”: conversation before the match, match and conversation after the match, the football3 methodology includes key life lessons in every match. No matter where is played and applied the central idea of the football3 methodology is always the same: to use the football itself to educate and empower young people.
According to Saša Šarić, the coordinator of activities, it is particularly satisfying that the project was recognized as important by donors, and its realization fulfilled the expectations.
Participants’ statements testify to the successful implementation of the project.
“Football3 treats both girls and boys equally, and we should bring it into schools, because it teaches us how to work as a team,” says Marija Popović, a pupil from the “Busovača” Elementary School.
According to the teachers of the physical education Indira Popaja and Almir Vunić at the the “Jajce” Elementary School from Kruščica in the football3 match the victory of one of the teams is the least important.
“Both teams act as one big family. Through football3, students learn how to properly resolve the conflict and respect the players from the rival team, “said Indira Popaja.
Almir Vunić emphasizes that through the football3 matches the pupils are offered various opportunities regardless of their skills.
“The pupils have the opportunity to participate in healthy, sporting activities, to learn about life values, to learn to respect and to be accountable towards the sport rival regardless of who that opponent is,” concludes Almir Vunić.