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The meaning of «buntkicktgut»

buntkicktgut is an intercultural street football league for children and young people. Unique in Europe,[1] the non-profit organisation brings children, young people and adults together from different cultures and social backgrounds in a playful way through its ongoing pioneering work. The approach develops boys and girls all year round in summer as well as in winter, through continuous leagues in several different age categories. With its special form of participation, integration and identification, buntkicktgut harnesses the power of street football to enhance the social prospects of children and young people, based on the premise that football is a common language that it is understood worldwide.[2]

The initiative has given itself the target of bringing together people from different cultural, social, ethnic and religious backgrounds, through their involvement not only as participants, but also as organisers and creators. In addition to the location in Munich, there are now street football leagues following the model and accreditation of buntkicktgut in Dortmund, Berlin, Düsseldorf, Basel, Würzburg and a multi-city league in Niederbayern.

buntkickgut was founded in 1997 as a wave of refugees entered Munich fleeing the Yugoslav Wars. It was an initiative of three social workers engaged in refugee work at the time – the geographer Rüdiger Heid as well as students Memo Arikan and Hans Peter Niessner. With their youth teams “Harras Bulls” and “Weigl Heroes” from two social housing developments they laid the foundations for the first league, in the U14 age category. Through football, the founders wanted to break down the inter-cultural barriers and language barriers between the young people.[3] The “Refugee League” grew as more and more teams formed and started playing. Since 1998 it has operated under the name of buntkicktgut.[4]

Moulded according to the vision of cofounder and director Rüdiger Heid, the project expanded and, in Munich alone, it now includes over 2500 participants in over 200 teams from over 100 different countries of origin (correct as of 2015). The most strongly represented countries/regions continue to reflect the origins of the project: as well as former Yugoslavia (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Serbia, Croatia), these include Kurdistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Palestine, Angola, Togo, DR Congo, Nigeria, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. Alongside these, there is an increasing number of participants with migrant backgrounds from EU member states, Turkey, eastern Europe as well as young German people.[5] The leagues (originally supported by the City of Munich Department for Refugees and now by the Initiativgruppe – Interkulturelle Begegnung und Bildung e.V) are firmly established and are being set up in other cities and communities.[6] Through strong cooperation with these institutions, a broad network has been developed with those who provide youth, social and migration work whether independently or on behalf of the community (Kreisjugendring; AWO; Caritas Social Services; Diakonie; Condrobs; Bildungszentren; Kinder- und Mutterschutz e.V.; Verein für Sozialarbeit e.V.)) and involving all relevant government departments (Department for Schooling/Sport; City Youth Department; Streetwork; Department for Health and Environment; Department for Work and Business; Foreign Advisory Council; Regional Committee)[7]

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