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I love soccer. I love taking pictures. I always have. Especially from people. And then there was this life-changing experience in 2009. About 12 years ago I met up with an friend in Hamburg. At that time he worked for an NGO called streetfootballworld, which use football as a catalyst to tackle social change: children’s rights , social integration, environmental protection, health and peaceful coexistence. They create a network to identify, connect and empower girls and boys across the world. My friend – who new that I love photography – asked me if I would join one of streetfootballworlds projects and capture the Football for Hope Festival in Cape Town end of 2009. This event featured a football tournament where 8 teams battled in a 5-a-side round robin competition. During the competition there will be no referees and the teams will negotiate their own rules to promote communication, understanding and respect. A few weeks later, my plane touched down at Cape Town International airport. It was December, summer in the Cape and almost 30 degrees Celsius. I was rather nervous. I had been to South Africa before, back in 1996, but I was sure that both I and the country had […]
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If the history of soccer had been dominated by women, Monica Santino would be on the tip of everyone’s tongue today. Not only because of her strong personality but also because of what she has achieved on the pitch. For the sports journalist and sports teacher, who is now 54 years old, soccer is her life. She sees soccer as a possible path to freedom. Since she was born, Monica fought to break out of norms and become an “anti-princess”. Her first memory, which has to do with happiness, had to do with soccer. She was still a child then. For Monica it was natural to start playing football because she was born into a family that loved football. The family gathering on Sunday consisted of going to the field in Vélez. When she got older, however, she experienced the first resistance to her wanting to play the game she loved from the same people who had urged her to play: her father and grandfather. When her body changed in puberty, it didn’t look so good when playing soccer. She was embarrassed by the looks of others and she suffered. When she grew up, playing soccer no longer fitted into the […]
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“I want to have a future with a good education and the freedom to do what I want.” Havere Morina When I met Hava, I got to know a smart, dedicated and passionate young woman. She wants to change the world and be a role model. She is growing up in Hodonoc in Kosovo. She had a happy childhood. When she started to play soccer, things got complicated. Where she lived, no girl played soccer. Women’s soccer was not accepted. But her love for soccer grew every day. And soon she was the only girl playing with boys from her neighborhood. She felt happy and free on the field. But as she got older, neighbors started talking about her behind her back. But her family strengthened her back. You only live once and should live your life freely they encouraged her. But suddenly her life at home became difficult. They were exposed to persecution and her family had to leave home. 2014 they arrived in Germany. A new life began for Hava. She said it felt like being born again. The beginning was not easy. But she is curious about the country she now lives in. She is ambitious. At […]
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Decision between Soccer and Tennis Martina is from Heilbronn. Then she also played tennis. She used to be very good in both — soccer and tennis. At one point, it turned out to be too much with both trainings and she had to decide for one of it — she chose soccer. Why? That is quite simple: “Football is a winning team; you celebrate your wins altogether. In tennis you are standing alone with everything.”   Good Performance kills Prejudices  Martina plays soccer for more then 19 years! She started at the age of 6. She only played with boys, no matter where — on the football ground or in unions. In the start, they didn’t take her seriously, but when they saw her kicking, they started to worship her. Performance kills prejudices! Her life theme: Live now, in the presence and make sure to be happy. Her dream for the future is to develop forward and solidify — in job and in football. Soccer helps to grow as a person  Through playing soccer, Martina was able to grow as a person. She learned to stand up and keep her head up. She can aim at her targets and reach them. All that she learned on the football field. In her chest there is beating an warrior’s heart. […]
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Growing up sheltered  The first chapter of her life began in the southern part of Germany. Pia grew up in Kochel am See. It’s close to the alps and therefore very idyllic with beautiful landscapes. In 2001 her family  moved to Mosbach, where she went to school and graduated with the university-entrance diploma in 2012. Pia started academic studies in ‘media and communication sciences’ at the university in Mannheim. Because it was too stressful for her driving from Mosbach to Mannheim every day, she moved to the city she studied in. Love at second sight Pia’s older brother is 2 years older than her. He has already played football when the family still lived in Bavaria. She always accompanied him, but hasn’t played herself. Not until they’ve moved to Mosbach. Then she started with 2 other classmates, girls, to play in the minor league of the FC Mosbach. But the others soon lost interest in playing football and Pia didn’t want to play solely with boys. So, she stopped playing football until she was around 16 years old. Pia started to stand on the field again when the VfK Diedesheim formed a girls-team. To her many stops lead to the goal  After Pia moved to Mannheim, she started to play for the TSV Amicitia Viernheim. In 2015 she graduated from university with her bachelor’s degree. Luckily, she got an internship at the press office of the football association in Baden. For this job […]
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To My Younger Self

by Dana· April 14, 2020· in Personal Life· 0 comments
As a life-affirming enthusiast I believe that everything happens for a reason. And even from the most painful situations, I’m always confident that fulfilling and happier situations will emerge.  I’ve lived across two continents and I’ve traveled to countless countries. I’ve worked in different roles and I am committed to fight for an equal world for girls and women in particular in sport. I’ve gotten to know amazing people and feel the power of love. Full of all these experiences I wish I could tell my younger self about that. Stuff that’s based on how I thought, felt, and viewed the world at around 20 years old. It could have saved me time, worry, and lots of unnecessary drama. I’d like to find her and say these things, not because I’m unhappy where I am now, but because of the wasted time, wasted emotions, and wasted growth. Expressing Gratitude Sometimes we forget how amazing it is to simply wake up to a new day and be grateful for being alive. Never take your present day for granted and acknowledge it. You will see how your day changes. Take More Risks Nobody walks up to you and lifts the veil on […]
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I‘ve always been very fascinated by the history of the Arab countries. The Arab peoples have some of the most diverse and colourful stories, fairy tales and legends in the world. As a child I devoured them all. And it was Syria that I longed for most. The year my grandfather died, I had to get out and free myself from my grief. A change of scenery always helped me work through things. So I packed my things and was on my way to my dream from 1001 nights. To a country with its variety of landscapes, rich cultural heritage and above all great cordiality.   Damascus, for me one of the most beautiful cities in the Orient Ah, Damascus, ancient city and the most oriental I’ve ever seen. It smells like strong coffee and tastes like cardamom. The old town around the Omajaden Mosque looks exactly as you would expect it to. Narrow alleys, narrow passages, every now and then a minaret flashes above the roofs and sometimes you look into a house, into an inner courtyard and there the fountain splashes softly. A jumble of small streets where it is fun to get lost. Especially in the evening, […]
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Bᴇ ᴛʜᴇ ᴡᴏᴍᴀɴ ʏᴏᴜ ɴᴇᴇᴅᴇᴅ ᴀs ᴀ ɢɪʀʟ… …ᴀɴᴅ ғɪɢʜᴛ ғᴏʀ ʜᴜᴍᴀɴɪᴛʏ, ᴊᴜsᴛɪᴄᴇ ᴀɴᴅ ᴘᴇᴀᴄᴇ ᴡɪᴛʜ ᴀʟʟ ʏᴏᴜʀ ʜᴇᴀʀᴛ. 𝖨𝗇 𝗍𝗁𝖾 𝗅𝖺𝗌𝗍 𝗍𝗐𝗈 𝗒𝖾𝖺𝗋𝗌 𝖪𝖺𝗍𝗁𝖺𝗋𝗂𝗇𝖺 𝖺𝗇𝖽 𝖨 𝗁𝖺𝗏𝖾 𝗆𝖾𝗍 𝖺𝗍 𝗏𝖺𝗋𝗂𝗈𝗎𝗌 𝖾𝗏𝖾𝗇𝗍𝗌. 𝖨 𝗐𝖺𝗌 𝗂𝗆𝗉𝗋𝖾𝗌𝗌𝖾𝖽 𝖻𝗒 𝗁𝖾𝗋 𝗐𝗂𝗅𝗅𝗉𝗈𝗐𝖾𝗋 𝖺𝗇𝖽 𝗋𝖾𝗌𝗂𝗅𝗂𝖾𝗇𝖼𝖾. 𝖠𝗇𝖽 𝖨 𝗆𝖾𝗍 𝗁𝖾𝗋 𝗍𝖾𝖺𝗆𝗆𝖺𝗍𝖾𝗌 𝖽𝗎𝗋𝗂𝗇𝗀 𝗍𝗁𝖾 𝖦𝖦𝖶𝖢 𝟤𝟢𝟣𝟫 𝗂𝗇 𝖢𝗈𝗉𝖾𝗇𝗁𝖺𝗀𝖾𝗇 𝗍𝗈𝗈. 𝖳𝗁𝖾𝗒 𝗍𝗈𝗈𝗄 𝗍𝗁𝖾 𝗉𝗅𝖺𝖼𝖾 𝖿𝗈𝗋 𝗍𝗁𝖾 𝗉𝗅𝖺𝗒𝖾𝗋𝗌 𝖿𝗋𝗈𝗆 𝖧𝖾𝗌𝗍𝗂𝖺 𝗐𝗁𝗈 𝖼𝗈𝗎𝗅𝖽𝗇’𝗍 𝗍𝗋𝖺𝗏𝖾𝗅 𝖻𝖾𝖼𝖺𝗎𝗌𝖾 𝗈𝖿 𝗍𝗁𝖾𝗂𝗋 𝗋𝖾𝖿𝗎𝗀𝖾𝖾 𝗌𝗍𝖺𝗍𝗎𝗌. 𝖨 𝗌𝗍𝗂𝗅𝗅 𝗀𝖾𝗍 𝗀𝗈𝗈𝗌𝖾 𝖻𝗎𝗆𝗉𝗌 𝗍𝗁𝗂𝗇𝗄𝗂𝗇𝗀 𝗈𝖿 𝗍𝗁𝖾𝗂𝗋 𝖿𝗂𝗀𝗁𝗍 𝖺𝗇𝖽 𝗉𝖺𝗌𝗌𝗂𝗈𝗇. 𝖲𝖴𝖯𝖤𝖱𝖶𝖮𝖬𝖤𝖭. 𝖳𝗁𝖺𝗍 𝗍𝗁𝖾𝗒 𝗍𝗈𝗈𝗄 𝗁𝗈𝗆𝖾 𝗍𝗁𝖾 𝗍𝗋𝗈𝗉𝗁𝗒 𝗐𝖺𝗌 𝖿𝖺𝗍𝖾. 𝖧𝖾𝗌𝗍𝗂𝖺 𝗂𝗌 𝖺𝗇 𝖺𝗇𝖼𝗂𝖾𝗇𝗍 𝖦𝗋𝖾𝖾𝗄 𝗀𝗈𝖽𝖽𝖾𝗌𝗌 𝗈𝖿 𝗍𝗁𝖾 𝗁𝖾𝖺𝗋𝗍𝗁, 𝖺𝗋𝖼𝗁𝗂𝗍𝖾𝖼𝗍𝗎𝗋𝖾, 𝖺𝗇𝖽 𝗍𝗁𝖾 𝗋𝗂𝗀𝗁𝗍 𝗈𝗋𝖽𝖾𝗋𝗂𝗇𝗀 𝗈𝖿 𝖽𝗈𝗆𝖾𝗌𝗍𝗂𝖼𝗂𝗍𝗒, 𝗍𝗁𝖾 𝖿𝖺𝗆𝗂𝗅𝗒 𝖺𝗇𝖽 𝗍𝗁𝖾 𝗁𝗈𝗆𝖾. 𝖲𝗁𝖾 𝗐𝖺𝗌 𝗍𝗁𝖾 𝗉𝗈𝗐𝖾𝗋 𝗈𝖿 𝗍𝗁𝖾 𝗅𝗂𝗀𝗁𝗍. 𝖳𝗁𝖾 𝖺𝗌𝗌𝗎𝗆𝗉𝗍𝗂𝗈𝗇 𝖻𝖺𝖼𝗄 𝗐𝖺𝗌 𝗍𝗁𝖺𝗍 𝖻𝖾𝗅𝗂𝖾𝗏𝗂𝗇𝗀 𝗂𝗇 𝗁𝖾𝗋 𝗐𝗈𝗎𝗅𝖽 𝗋𝖾𝗌𝗎𝗅𝗍 𝗂𝗇 𝗉𝖾𝖺𝖼𝖾 𝖺𝗇𝖽 𝗁𝖺𝗋𝗆𝗈𝗇𝗒 𝗂𝗇 𝗍𝗁𝖾 𝗁𝗈𝗆𝖾. 𝖧𝖾𝗌𝗍𝗂𝖺 𝖥𝖢,  which was founded in March 2019, 𝗂𝗌 𝗍𝗁𝖾 𝖿𝗂𝗋𝗌𝗍 𝗋𝖾𝖿𝗎𝗀𝖾𝖾 𝖺𝗇𝖽 𝗆𝗂𝗀𝗋𝖺𝗇𝗍 𝗐𝗈𝗆𝖾𝗇 𝖿𝗈𝗈𝗍𝖻𝖺𝗅𝗅 𝗍𝖾𝖺𝗆 𝗂𝗇 𝖦𝗋𝖾𝖾𝖼𝖾. The name was chosen with purpose. Because these women lost their home and family life in their countries and trying to rebuild their lives in their new home in Europe. 𝖳𝗁𝖾 𝖺𝗂𝗆 𝗈𝖿 Hestia FC 𝗂𝗌 𝗍𝗁𝖾 𝗉𝗋𝗈𝗍𝖾𝖼𝗍𝗂𝗈𝗇, 𝗍𝗁𝖾 𝗉𝗌𝗒𝖼𝗁𝗈𝗅𝗈𝗀𝗂𝖼𝖺𝗅 𝗐𝖾𝗅𝗅-𝖻𝖾𝗂𝗇𝗀, 𝗍𝗁𝖾 𝖾𝗆𝗉𝗈𝗐𝖾𝗋𝗆𝖾𝗇𝗍 𝖺𝗇𝖽 𝗍𝗁𝖾 𝗌𝗈𝖼𝗂𝖺𝗅 𝗂𝗇𝗍𝖾𝗀𝗋𝖺𝗍𝗂𝗈𝗇 […]
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Sporty Gen. Friederike Abt is originally from Bielefeld, North Rhine-Westphalia. When she was about 6 years old, a friend of her introduced her to football — and her passion for life was found! Her family members played handball, for a certain time she has also tried, to be successful in both. But one day her mum told her to choose between both sports! Because it was too much time and effort to have one’s cake and eat it, too. So, Rike stopped playing handball when she was 7 years old. From this decision on, the football goal started to be her second home on the field.” What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger! This was the mental part of the situation she was in: Football sport has always been a masculine domain. So, due to the lack of girls, she had to play with boys since she started with football. At the beginning it was hard from time to time, but it gradually led her to a state of mind in which she felt quite empowered. She developed strength and learned to assert herself. Shaping Facts. And there were also the physical components: She had to deal with the embodied […]
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Women were once silenced in Lebanon. But since the October revolution 2019 it changed. They are fed up with their spot on the sidelines. They are on the frontlines now, demanding their rights. They want to rewrite their own stories in hopes of a better Lebanon for their future female generations. And involving women in sports is a small step for better conditions and equality for women in Lebanon, but it is a clever way to start changing society. Northern Lebanon is a region that is significantly influenced by the Syrian conflict. The region is characterized by high unemployment rates, religious diversity, and high drug abuse. It is extremely important to support and empower girls and women in this particular region. Women’s rights are often overlooked and neglected when communities experience a crisis or undergo a sudden change process, but it is exactly in these times when it is most necessary to advocate for women’s rights and to empower women in the community. DISCOVER FOOTBALL is partnering with GIZ Local Development Programme for Urban Areas in North Lebanon (UDP_NL) to help to strengthen Northern Lebanon. The overall objective of the project is to increase gender equality by supporting and strengthening […]
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