Focus 2006

Football for street kids - AUS15-06-2006

Project: “Football for street kids" Austrian NGO "Jugend Eine Welt - Don Bosco Aktion Austria"
Date of foundation: 1997
Place: Vienna, Austria
Province: AUS

In the Salesian Football scene we don't only talk of goals!

Football and the Salesians of Don Bosco - an inseparable pair
Don Bosco in Turin was someone who saw ball-games as an appropriate sport for the education of the young in the 19th century. When Football became famous the Salesians integrated this sport within their Oratories. In African and Latin American countries especially, football is a first step for youngsters on the streets to be able to escape that environment and get an appropriate education along with new opportunities for their future.

Bro. Raymundo Mesquita SDB of Brazil has been working for many years with the Austrian "Jugend Eine Welt - Don Bosco Aktion Austria" NGO. He has received many awards for his work with street children in Brazil. "They learn to play as a team and with a correct attitude to their opponent in football. They also learn to respect the referee and accept defeat. They can all share a victory in common. But not everyone has the ability to be a football star and we would not achieve all of our aims just through sport" says Bro. Raymund, who does so much for the rights of minors. "We encourage the boys to go to school or learn a trade."

In Ecuador, too, the Salesians have had projects in place for "Street kids” since the 80's. In the "GolA.S.O." football schools in Quito, Esmeraldas, Santo Domingo and Guayaquil they have a motto: "play and study." TheGolA.S.O sports school is an education programme that has the street children's interests in football as a basis and where the acronym is evidence of the values that these youngsters approve of: Friendship, Solidarity and Organisation (Amicizia Solidarietà Organizzazione). As well as football's ability to bring them together, it also involves other family members, a fact that helps the youngsters to be re-integarted into family and to abandon their street existence.

In the formation centre inTijuana, Mexico the first aim is to support the childrenl and older youngsters in all their needs and problems. Formal and informal education is on offer. Football is one of the main activities in their free time there are also religion courses and a "school for parents"

"Keep your eye on the ball" for children and young people in need
T he Salesians of Don Bosco also gain support in Austria itself. The "Jugend Eine Welt - Don Bosco Aktion Austria" has worked with the Salesian Congregation since being founded in 1997. It is part of the (OSGS) or Austrian Donors Certificate.
In Austria programmes are developed to increase awarenees of third World problems.
Through its Volunteer Programme Jugend Eine Welt each year sends around 30 young Austrians to carry our their civil service in Salesian projects. More than 250 young people have already carried out this volunteer service with Jugend Eine Welt. The Salesian volunteer programme is conducted in Mexico, Ecuador, Ghana, Zambia, Gabon, India and Perù. The young Austrians who take part in these projects play football with youngsters in their free time and teach them and help them with school work.

Jugend Eine Welt also supports the Salesians of Don Bosco and Salesian Sisters with funding plans for young people in need. Between them they have centres of formation and leisure centres, schools and homes for street children.

The “ Football for street kids" work as a support for football schools
With the World Cup 2006 in Germany in view, Jugend Eine Welt has started up the “Football for street kids" project. Through an information campaign and the sale of ' fair trade' footballs and educational material for schools, parishes and groups of young people, Jugend Eine Welt has been presenting another point of view on the World Cup. These activities will make the life of street kids and Salesian approaches known using the football as a teaching aid.
The aim of all this is to promote Salesian work and collect donations for the football schools in Ecuador, Brazil, Mexico and other places. One of the programmes supported by Jugend Eine Welt is the Salesian GolA.S.O Football School in Quito-Ecuador, where 170 street kids receive football training . They take part in Club tournaments. Today, more than 500 boys throughout Ecuador are trained in these schools.

"The footballs we sell are a motivation" says Reinhard Heiserer, Jugend Eine Welt Director. "Buying fair trade footballs from this campaign is a symbol of global loyalty and solidarity."
In Pakistan the fair trade workers who make the footballs work in acceptable production conditions. The sale of these products in Austria makes it possible to pay the workers a proper salary and their families can then live in a dignified way and their children can attend school. Therefore the Jugend Eine Welt footballs bear the "Fairtrade" sticker.

In the last two years more than 4,000 of these balls have been sold and have enabled much benefit as a result. The Austrian Football League, famous football stars and artists support the Jugend Eine Welt campaign.

Further information on the football schools and the campaign can be found on the Jugend Eine Welt website: and

Address: Direzione:
Jugend Eine Welt - Don Bosco Aktion Austria
Director: Reinhard Heiserer
St. Veit-Gasse 25,
1130 Wien/Austria
Tel: +43/1/879 07 07 - 0
Web site: