Girl drinking a cup of milk in the kitchen, SOS…
More Peace in Our Homes, Schools and Neighbourhoods
Girl drinking a cup of milk in the kitchen, SOS mother in the back - CV São Domingos, Cape Verde
The cities of Praia and Sao Vicente successfully hosted the Global Peace Games 2008 on 8 November 2008. Initiated by FIFA and Play Soccer, in collaboration with SOS Children's Villages Cape Verde, the games once again gathered several schools and were another opportunity to spread messages of peace. Recently, the Cape Verdean Ministry of Education also jumped on board to promote the spirit of non-violence and fair-play, by signing a partnership agreement SOS Children's Villages Cape Verde.
The Global Peace Games are more than simple soccer games. They should, as Mr Dionisio Pereira, director of SOS Children's Villages Cape Verde rightly explained, "not only be a moment of leisure and conviviality, but also a moment of reflection on the objective to eradicate the millennium's conflicts and an incentive to say "No" to all forms of violence". He also appealed for "more peace in our homes, our schools, our neighbourhoods and cities".
Prior to the games, the various schools gathered for the event had organised a march for peace, displaying various slogans calling for peace and understanding.
This is the seventh year such games are organised with the aim of teaching a culture of peace, friendship, tolerance and mutual understanding among people, from their youngest age.
An average of 600 children participated in the games this year, and many others came to support their teams.
Two SOS players defending their penalty area (football) - CV Owu-Ijebu, Nigeria
Friendly Match between the "SOS Football Team" and the Nearby Community
SOS Children's Village Owu-Ijebu, Nigeria, was in jubilation on 22 January 2005, on the occasion of a friendly match opposing the "SOS team" to that of the local community. Many people were present to this event, among them political and traditional authorities.
The crowd was made up of notable chiefs from the nearby communities, ex-members of parliament and curious people, in addition to SOS mothers, children and youths, making up the capacity of about three hundred people. Considering that this was an impromptu match, it turned out to be an impressive event through which one could see passion of Owu-Ijebu's population for football.
In his address before the beginning of the match, the village director, Benjamin Buraimoh, asked the players for fair play before, during and after the match. He also informed the audience of the proposed FIFA sports field soon to be build. This news was warmly applauded as the village doesn't have an appropriate football field with standard norms.
The atmosphere was ecstatic, compared with what one would expect at any official match. The referees were smartly dressed in navy blue striped shirts, blue trousers and socks, giving an air of professionalism. The two teams were dressed in their usual colours: Yellow-black for SOS Children's Village Owu-Ijebu, and green for the visitors. The kick-off was taken by Beatrice Okeowo, the "Iyalode" of Owu-Ijebu. "Iyalode" is the name of a high traditional chief in the local language.
During the first ten minutes of the game, skills were tested by both sides. They were supported with shouts of jubilation for their effort by their respective supporting clubs. A free kick was given to the community team but, this was brilliantly caught by the "SOS goalkeeper". Further attempts of scoring goals from both sides were kicked over the goal post. The SOS Children's Village supporting club, (composed by SOS mothers and children) beefed of the tempo with choruses, informing the players through their songs that it's time to score a goal. After 40 minutes of play, a goal was scored by an "SOS player" with cheers from the crowd and more singing. This time, not only by the SOS Children's Village supporting club but also by the entire population who was watching the game. A brilliant kick from the community followed but this was saved by a high jump of the "SOS goalkeeper" as he caught the ball. It was already time for another goal, as the supporting voices became louder. With shouts by the coach of the community players came a vigorous kick, equalising the score (1 - 1). This was immediately followed by another goal of the community, putting them into the lead at 2 - 1. This prompted SOS mothers to motivate the "SOS players" and with their spiritual choruses, they sang "Jesus never fails", slamming their hands and dancing in sign of victory. The agility of the players left no one in doubt that more goals will be scored. With four minutes of play left and a goal saved by the "SOS goalkeeper", it was now half time.
With anxious faces, the sound of the whistle ushered in second half of the match, kick off by an "SOS player" under a corner. With anxious shouts to the players from their coaches, desperate moves were made to score more goals by both sides. The SOS mothers continued with their choruses. One of them asked supporters not to be afraid of the defeat. "The match is just starting again and we still have enough time to score", she said. Shouts of "don't be afraid of Goliath" ran the air. A spectator was appealing to a particular player to go forward and score a goal for him. This was hilarious as he seemed familiar with the names of the community players. The children were so enthusiastic that it was a job keeping them within the boundaries of where they should sit, as they kept moving closer and closer.
After twenty five minutes of play, the players appeared tired but were fully supported with various singing choruses from the SOS mothers on one side, the children on the other, without forgetting the community supporters. The songs of the children were now " All we are saying is give us more goal". With statistical football skills, a kick towards the net brought the score to 3 - 1, in favour of the community team. More shouts occurred, as the community team exercised their superior skills in the match.
The play was disrupted for a short while as an "SOS player" was hit by the ball but, this wasn't serious and the match continued immediately. With another outplay by the community, this put them to a 4 - 1 lead over SOS Children's Village Owu-Ijebu, with shouts of jubilation. At five goals in the last minutes, the community players obviously proved that they were a stronger team with superior skills. The final blow of the whistle occurred at 5.55 p.m. No extra time was added.
The two teams greeted each other in sign of fair play. Many of the players recognized each other and chatted for a while as they frequent the same SOS Hermann Gmeiner Primary School Owu-Ijebu. Then, they approached the top table to thank the eminent guests in the traditional way, by prostration. Refreshments were served, after which the players and coaches from both teams were presented with a token of gifts by Otunda Adesina, a traditional chief from Owu-Ijebu.