16 February 2016

A day before the CHAN 2016 final, streetfootballworld teamed up with CAF and Association des Jeunes Sportifs de Kigali (Esperance), ran the “Unleash African Football” festival on Saturday February 6.


Hosted by Esperance at the Kimisagara Football for Hope Centre in Kigali, the event brought together young boys and girls, musicians, current and former football legends, alongside senior CAF and Rwandese Football Confederation delegates, to celebrate the power of football for good.


Glibert Ndayambaje, deputy legal representative of Esperance and event organiser said, “Football has the power to unify different people from different domains. This event allowed our organisation to demonstrate how we use football to achieve social transformation.”


The event showcased two football for good education methodologies: ‘Football for Peace’ (Football Amahoro) and football3’, both of which use football as a medium to promote dialogue, conflict resolution and respect among participants. In addition, a panel featuring representatives from CAF, streetfootballworld, Esperance and Football for Peace and Unity, engaged young programme beneficiaries about what football means in their lives and how it can be channelled for social good.


In the ‘Football for Peace’ game, players became actors in a social theatre, addressing issues such as gender equality, discrimination and HIV/AIDS by soliciting feedback from spectators and officials. Ndayambaje said, “Initially I was a beneficiary of the ‘Football for Peace’ programme, and later trained as a coach to conduct training workshops in Rwanda and abroad. I have realised that the lessons of ‘Football for Peace’ can be used as a tool for conflict management and peace.”


The event also featured football3, an educational approach to football that promotes values of fair play, teamwork and respect. Named after its three halves, mixed gender teams decide on rules before the game, and following the match, reflect on theirs and the opposing team’s behaviour, with points awarded for goals as well as for fair play.


Kayumbe, who has been supported by Esperance’s programmes since he was twelve, has also benefitted from football3 and took part in the demonstration. He says, “When I was trained about football3 I was thinking about how I can play with girls and how girls can also score. It is important to me because it has helped me to feel them as friends which helped me to join them, to know that girls have the same opportunity as boys in Rwanda and in society in general.”


After meeting Bakame, his national team hero, Kayumbe said, “Thanks for bringing him around to the festival. It was so good for me because he is my role model in Africa and let me take photos with him. I want to be like him in my career”. Kayumbe was also one of a hundred festival participants to be awarded a ticket to the finals of CHAN, kindly donated by CAF.

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