8 December 2015

Francis Ojilo is a young leader from TYSA with a special role at East Africa Festival 2015. As an experienced player and mediator of football3, he is responsible introducing the methodology to the next generation of football for good leaders.


Francis took time out from his busy schedule to explain what it means to be a young leader and share his thoughts on football3 more generally:


“Being a young leader means a lot to me because it enables me to address issues that my community is facing and engage young people in getting to know these important issues of the community. When I am implementing programmes on the pitch I make sure that I am combining both football and life skills to make sure that these young people are informed of what are their rights, what does it means to work together as a team, and make sure that we are developing better community practices meeting and working together. Young leaders can benefit from the programme in terms of gaining confidence, in terms of expressing themselves and raising the issues they are facing”.


On the topic of football3 rules, which are determined by players before the game, Francis highlighted the value of gender equality:


“I am always looking to how football3 can benefit the girls by giving them an opportunity and recognition. In Africa, and specifically where I am coming from, many times girls are not given the opportunity to raise their issues. For me when girls score a goal I feel very proud and if I have the ball I will always try to pass it to them and give them this opportunity. So regarding football3 free rule, I would say anything related to gender equality, because I want to promote girls at a community level.”


Francis also spoke at length about the importance of enlarging the network and raising the profile of football3: 


“We would like to enlarge the network of young leaders and brand football3 to achieve more popularity than it has now. We want more young leaders to join us for this reason and also to enable them to grow holistically and better help the community. East Africa has a big percentage of young people so we are in a position were young leaders can be a great support for their communities. I am personally very proud of training these young leaders and spreading the world about football3. I am looking for bringing new ideas and innovation in terms of developing the methodology of football3 and promoting it in East Africa, as well as exploring new ways on how football3 can be a tool to approach the challenges that we are facing nowadays.”


The next few days will see a diverse range of young people interact and establish dialogues through football3. For Francis, this is an exciting prospect:


“I am looking for this Festival in Iringa and I have been talking with these young leaders that are taking part of the programme to become mediators this week and I have seen that some of them have had some experiences with football3 in the past and others not. I am looking forward for them to learn more about football3, being able to execute the programmes themselves and come back to their countries and incorporate it in their community practices and their community developments.”


Francis expressed his gratitude for being part of the festival, which represents a big opportunity for the East African organisations in attendance to come together for the good of the game. 


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