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Diplomacy through Football

Colombia and Germany Become Closer through Sport Exchange-Program

June 22nd, 2016

16 youngsters from El Orejón and Pueblo Nuevo are already in Berlin as a part of a Program for Sport, Coexistence and Peace, supported by the Embassy of Colombia.

From the 11th to the 21st of June 2016, 16 youngsters (nine boys, seven girls) from the villages of El Orejón and Pueblo Nuevo, Colombia, are taking part in a sports exchange in Berlin, Leipzig and Frankfurt. The initiative, “Sports and Cultural Diplomacy,” has been organized by the Colombian Foreign Ministry with the assistance of the Colombian Embassy in Berlin.

The exchange is part of the initiative “Sports and Cultural Diplomacy”, developed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Colombia. The project is aimed at promoting inclusion, peaceful coexistence and intercultural dialogue for children and adolescents in towns that have been affected by violence, especially those who have suffered forced recruitment from armed groups like the FARC.

The “Program for Sport, Coexistence and Peace”, has been implemented in two of the villages most affected by guerrilla violence, El Orejón and Pueblo Nuevo. In the areas where this program is being developed, the aim is to help economic and social development and, mainly, the reconstruction of the social fabric of the region. The opportunity which this program provides, of coming to Europe and experiencing other cultures and ways of living through football, is an excellent way of helping these underprivileged kids find a way out of an environment where violence and drug-abuse is commonplace.

During the exchange, the 16 participants will participate in training and friendly matches with young refugees in Berlin. In addition, they will have the opportunity to visit the Embassy of Colombia and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany and to participate in training workshops on the Second World War. Afterwards, they will move on to Leipzig.

Here, they will take classes at the Faculty of Sport at the local University, where they will conduct training and sports clinics as well as attending a didactic concert at the Bach Festival, which is being held during their stay in the city. Finally, in Frankfurt they will participate in a variety of sport activities which have been designed exclusively for them, with the support of the German Football Association.

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News from Berlin
Nicolás Pan-Montojo, Berlin Global