Firstly, we set out to identify the root issues whenever and wherever dialogue has broken down. It’s essential to listen to every point of view in order to fully understand why misunderstanding and mistrust exist.
A JOURNEY TOWARDS PEACE
Football for Peace was Co-founded and established in 2013 by FIFA and Chilean legend Elias Figueroa and British Born Pakistani, Kashif Siddiqi. Siddiqi, inspired by his mother's struggles from Africa to the UK, and moved by the great work of Figueroa through the Gol iluminado Foundation in the Americas.
The Football for Peace initiative was based on the spirit of what had been achieved in the Americas, and brought to Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the Far East.
This newly formed diplomatic sports movement fully understood the influence and reach of football, and set out to harness its power to unite and create greater understanding between people, communites and governments.
To achieve our goal of bringing about peace and inspire a culture of greater understanding throughout communities, our entire organisation is built around a carefully considered plan of action. This peace process consists of five key steps we apply to every discussion we have, whether we’re engaging with community leaders, councils or heads of state.
We use our knowledge, experience and non-judgemental diplomacy to bring all sides together. These include city councils, governments, sports ministries, Football Federations, NGO’s and all other relevant stakeholders, and create a forum for open and honest debate around the issues highlighted.
Next we plan how to tackle them, giving all the relevant stakeholders the skills and means to achieve them.
A vital part of this step is evaluating whether the initiative will be best suited to the individual needs of the country or community.
When everything is in place, we create a neutral environment for people, communities and countries, to come together. What better way to do this than using football as a forum?
Activities can include organising International Peace Matches, Community Peace Tournaments and post tournament workshops, or the delivery of Sports Diplomacy toolkits.
The success of all our initiatives is ultimately determined by the lasting effect we have on individuals, communities and countries as a whole.
That’s why we provide educational sports diplomacy toolkits and run workshops on equality, resolving conflict and leadership.
On completing these workshops, students are rewarded with a qualification and given further guidance on how to support their community by running Peace Tournaments for themselves. Ultimately, becoming our Ambassadors for Peace.
We continue to monitor and evaluate the impact on the community or country involved, to ensure the vital work we started continues to change minds, perceptions and attitudes.
This is our legacy.