I’ve got an exciting update on the Confederation of Independent Football Associations (CONIFA) World Championships 2014. The organization is working hard to make sure the promotion of cultures and youth is just as important and highlighted as the football. One of many projects they’ve been working on is a youth exchange. The youth exchange will take place alongside the World Championship in Ostersund, and will seek to include youth participants from regions of teams that will be competing in the World Championships, including France, Sweden, Italy, Zanzibar, Cyprus, Palau, and the Darfur refugee camps.


The aim of the youth exchange is to empower minority youth, ages 16 – 25, by teaching them the power of sport and how sport can be used as a tool for social change and peace. During the exchange, youth will take part in cultural activities, including sharing their own culture with other youth participants and with World Championship fans and visitors. They will visit culture sites in the host city of Ostersund, Sweden, and attend some of the World Championship football matches together. Youth will also learn program design and planning skills, so that they may be equipped to return to their community and develop a sports program for social change.

The opportunity to take part of this youth exchange for Darfuri refugees would no doubt be extremely impactful. Not only could they be present to cheer on their Darfur United team, but they would also have the opportunity to interact with youth from around the world, to share their stories, culture, and experiences with a large audience, and gain invaluable skills to be leaders in their communities.

I’ve become very involved in CONIFA, and in developing and shaping the youth exchange program. Therefore I’d like to ask YOU, what other types of activities would be fun, informative, and empowering for the youth to take part in during their exchange!? If you have any IDEAS, suggestions or lessons from previous experiences, please share them with me! You can write a comment on this post, or send me a direct email at scd@iactivism.org. Thanks!

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