Highlights of our experience at FFAV

After one month spent at FFAV as volunteers, we would like to share our impressions and feelings about this amazing and unforgettable experience. We felt really privileged to discover how the organisation works, to visit some clubs and to meet a very special team: our estimated colleagues.

We were touched by the warm welcome, the invitations to professional meetings and social dinners and everything we could discover about the city and the Vietnamese culture through all the sharing and talking.

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But let’s say more about the huge work performed by FFAV.

We will keep in mind how the name of the organisation speaks for itself: Football for All in Vietnam. We could indeed witness how football is promoted within the whole children population: boys AND girls (that part really impressed us, as already stated in our article on our first impressions), of all abilities, and from various social areas. FFAV indeed contributed to create clubs in very different contexts. But wherever the clubs we visited were, some parameters always appeared: smiles, laughs and fun! One of the challenges for the future might be to make the motto “Football for All” also applicable for adults.

We will also remember how the collaboration with school is important to make football available for a maximum of children in the context of Vietnam. This was interesting in our opinion, as in most countries in Europe, the club situation relies on the involvement of the local community: every village or region has its own club, including several teams. Given that there is not such a structure yet in Vietnam, it was a good strategy to focus on schools to involve a maximum of players. This could then be the start of clubs growing and involving a bigger part of the local community.

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Another big achievement fulfilled by FFAV in our opinion is the fact that they represent a very attractive employer. Given that employment is a challenge in Hue, especially for young people, providing an attractive job opportunity should really be considered as a big success. Several people that we met during our stay here mentioned how important their first experience at FFAV was, not only to improve their English skills, but also to get a first taste of professional life, which considerably improves their chances on the job market.

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Matthieu and Cyndie with children and their parents volunteering at the Tran Quoc Toan Club

We also think that FFAV is a great example of how volunteering can improve the career prospects. There are many examples of persons within the FFAV staff that have had a similar pathway: starting as a volunteer, then getting an internship and finally a fixed position. These examples should really be emphasized, as they demonstrate that volunteers are not only essential for the development of football, but that this involvement can also have a positive impact on the professional career of the concerned persons. Volunteering can also, when it comes to parents, be a great way to spend more time with the children while developing new relationships with other parents (cf. the parents volunteering at the Tran Quoc Toan Club).

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FFAV’s volunteers in FFAV Cup  2016

Our experience here will definitely be remembered as the most valuable of our 6-months trip around Oceania and South-East Asia. We will do our best to continue to share the work of FFAV in Switzerland.

Hẹn gặp lại!

Matthieu and Cyndie

 

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