News: June 2014

As part of his commitment to support projects that evolve around sport, children, values and social change, Michael Pedersen facilitated two workshops during the month of June in Lima, Peru. The workshops were given for free and focused on helping teenage girls develop a common understanding of values in sport. The girls, who participated, play football in La Victoria, one of the poorest neighborhoods of Peru's capital.

During the workshops, Michael Pedersen offered a framework and an engaging process for the teenage girls to develop a common understanding of values in sport and fair play in particular. In the workshops, the girls highlighted the importance of having fun and developing friendships as key motivational factors for playing football. They also emphasized how their engagement in football supports them in further developing important life skills such as self-esteem, character, professionalism, citizenship and the ability to work in teams. Last but not least, the girls put words and drawings to what it means to them to exemplify fair play vis-a-vis other members of their team, referees and players of teams that they play against.

Hugo Navarrete, General Director at ‘Escuela de Futbol Femenino Colombia Perú’, said: “The girls and I are truly grateful for Michael’s work. It was a very important contribution to the process of further forming and establishing the team. Michael is a good person for this kind of work, and we look forward to his return to Peru”. Milagros Del Carmen Manchego Bustíos, Deputy Mayor at the Municipality of La Victoria, Lima, said: “When I attended one of Michael’s workshops, I was reminded of a song by John Lennon, in which he emphasizes that at the end of the day, we are all human beings. Through activities like the ones offered by Michael, underprivileged children get a chance to learn to be free, to dream and to imagine how a better life in a better world is achievable for them too. I am very grateful for the work that Michael did with the girls.”

Reflecting on the workshops and how he has seen the teenage girls grow and develop over the last year, Michael Pedersen emphasized that to him the girls in La Victoria showcase, how powerful a vehicle sport can be in creating social change. In terms of values in sport, he highlighted that while the teenage girls in La Victoria have fun and develop friendships by playing football, it also teaches them some further qualities of character and important life skills such as discipline, respect and the ability to follow rules.

The teenage girls play football in La Victoria in Lima, Peru in the context of ‘Escuela de Futbol Femenino Colombia Perú’ (EFF). EFF currently engages approx. 110 girls in La Victoria along with approx. 220 girls in other districts of Lima. It is in the process of recruiting even more girls and integrating boys into the program as well. For further information about EFF, see the following Facebook page:ú/612993102045129.