- KICKFAIR is committed to giving disadvantaged young people a helping hand
- Specific initiatives delivered through the medium of street football
- Active in approximately 40 locations in Germany
While education is an important part of human development, not everyone has the same access or opportunities. German NGO KICKFAIR is committed to giving disadvantaged young people a helping hand with specific initiatives delivered through the medium of street football. The organisation is active in approximately 40 locations in Germany.
The result is a well thought-out educational concept centred around street football projects across the country. One key element is that young people are given the responsibility of being ‘youth leaders’ at the earliest opportunity while simultaneously acting as role models to children a few years younger than them. For example, KICKFAIR employees help 12 and 13-year-olds to organise football tournaments at their schools for 10 and 11-year-olds, who will take on the role of organisers two years later.
What have the ‘youth leaders’ learned from their experiences?
“KICKFAIR taught me about taking responsibility, working in a team and approaching people. I’ve also become a more open person.”
“I have learned to be more confident in my abilities, and to learn from the experience and keep going when things don’t work out sometimes.”
“My personal experiences here encourage me to keep working for other young people.”
“For me, the really cool thing about the project is that young people learn from other young people, because it works.”
So how did KICKFAIR get such a great response?
“For us, it’s about enabling learning rather than imparting knowledge,” explained Steffi Biester, who is responsible for the overall management of KICKFAIR together with Jochen Fall. “Football is a phenomenon that extends well beyond the sport itself. Football is so appealing to our young people; it stirs up so much emotion.”
The organisation’s street football concept is a simple one. “Boys and girls play together, agree the rules themselves before each match and talk about how well they stuck to those rules in the ‘dialogue zone’ after the game. There are as many points for fairness as there are for goals scored.”
Other features of the KICKFAIR concept:
- Street football mediation: Young people act as mediators during games
- Organising and holding events: Young people plan kickabouts and tournaments
- Mentorship and youth leadership: Older young people serve as mentors and role models for the target group
- International communication and global learning: Dialogue with partner organisations around the world
- Communication and dialogue within communities: Workshops and project days themed around diversity for young people with different life stories and backgrounds
“Failing is part of any learning process,” added Biester. “What matters is that you ask yourself: how do I take the positives from this experience? For many of our young people, it is the first time they have heard that failure can be a good thing.” KICKFAIR are convinced that all young people should have the same opportunities to develop their personal and professional potential – and they are determined to do something about it.