Our strategy
Enabling leaders to empower girls and
change social norms in their local communities through football.
Our strategy
Providing girls with equal opportunities to exercise their rights and choice in strategic life choices, requires working both directly with girls as well as with the structures and social norms that influence girls' opportunities. Ultimately change will take place within local communities, but can be enabled and supported globally through effective strategies and collaborative efforts. Working within football provides a scalable low-threshold and resource-effective platform for mobilisation and engagement to address girls' lack of equal opportunities and implement effective strategies to empower girls and enable communities to support girls' development, and eventually a more inclusive and equal development in society in general.

Working directly with girls - and social norms in their local communities
Providing girls with equal opportunities to exercise their rights and choice in strategic life choices, requires working both directly with girls as well as with the structures and social norms that influence girls' opportunities. Girls need safe spaces free from social pressure, where they can develop self-esteem and agency with support from a leader and role model as well as a supportive peer group with whom they can discuss and reflect upon issues important in their lives to be able to make informed decisions in the interest of their well-being. At the same time, girls' families, other community members and local stakeholders need to be engaged in the efforts to change harmful social norms and attitudes, widening girls' safe space so that entire local communities become a place where girls are continuously empowered within their community to live a life they value.

Football as a strategic platform for change
Ultimately change will take place within local communities, but can be enabled and supported through effective strategies and collaborative efforts at national, regional and international levels. Changing structures and social norms to enable girls to exercise their rights and equal opportunities, is not easy, nor will change come quickly. Thus, long-term persistent efforts are needed for effective change. Working within football provides a scalable low-threshold and resource-effective platform for mobilisation and engagement to address girls' lack of equal opportunities and implement effective strategies working both to empower girls and to enable communities to support girls' development, and eventually a more inclusive and equal development in society in general.

Football provides an effective mobilizing strategy resulting in regular local activities that can enable change in local communities over time. This can accelerate change by engaging millions of people all over the world and enabling them to adopt strategies for effective change that ultimately will impact society in general. In order for football to become this platform, we need to re-define the purpose of football and how football coaches work, equipping them with leadership and evidence-based knowledge and tools to lead change.

Recognising that football is not played in a vacuum, efforts to use football as a platform to empower girls with agency and equal opportunities should not be isolated from other initiatives promoting gender equality or other broader development efforts, contributing to achieving development goals around the world.

A strategy built on values
Behind Futebol dá força and our strategy, there are strong values that guide us in everything we do:
Everyone's equal value, rights and potential
We believe in everyone's equal value, rights and potential. Everyone has equal value and rights, and should have the same opportunities to access their full potential. Everyone can thrive if they are aware of their potential and also have the possibility to explore it.
Determined courage
We know where we want to go, and we are on our way there. We have the courage and determination to be different, to dare to change and to lead change. We have the strength to always stand up for our values and to continue making our vision reality.
Transparent co-creation
We invite and include everyone to create Futebol dá força - what we do, how we do it and why we do it. We trust that everyone can contribute, and that the more people that join in and co-create what we do, the stronger we will be. To be able to co-create, we base our work on equality, inclusion, trust and transparency. We do this because we know that we are stronger together.
Sustainable change
We lead change and strive to be a bridge between the old world and a new one, where everyone is provided with equal opportunities. We are however not here to stay, but our goal is that what we do will become the norm in football, and through football, in society in general. We therefore never own activities, but always integrate our work within local structures to create a sustainable platform to make our vision reality. Since we lead change and work in an ever-changing environment, we have to be flexible, entrepreneurial and adapt to local circumstances. By basing our work on co-creation, we can be everything we need to be and also make sure that we are relevant in the local contexts where we work irrespective of where in the world we are.
Building a social movement
Our overarching goal: to not exist
We love doing what we do - but we really do not believe that we should be doing it. Our overarching goal is to not have to exist. To create long-lasting systemic impact, we strive to establish strategies within football that enable football coaches to work with evidence-based knowledge and tools to empower girls and involve the wider community in supporting girls' development. By doing so, we aim at establishing a new norm of leadership within football, that ultimately influences how football sessions take place, why they take place and what their main purpose should be - eventually enabling football to influence society in general.

Our strategies are therefore designed to be scalable low-threshold and resource-effective, in order to not drive costs that the current football structure cannot cover. We have also adapted our strategies to be flexible and relevant to different local contexts, facilitating the integration of the strategies within existing football structures, rather than building a parallel structure. Our methodology is designed to be simple, hands-on and accessible for anyone that wants to join our mission, facilitating mobilisation and engagement. Therefore, all activities resulting from the implementation of our strategies take place within local structures with football coaches leading the implementation in collaboration with local stakeholders, such as football clubs, schools and other relevant community structures.

Building a social movement
Before we can cease to exist, we need to spread our methodology to all football fields around the world in order for it to become the norm within football and through that enabling systemic impact. There are two ways to take Futebol dá força to all football fields around the world; either by building a huge organisation with employees putting the methodology into practice on all football fields around the world, or by building a social movement enabling anyone anywhere in the world to lead change on their local football field and in their local community allowing for organic expansion of the methodology where it is needed and where local role models can leverage change from within their local community. This also implies that we never decide where Futebol dá força should expand, but that we only initiate activities when there is a local demand and people from within their local communities that want to join our movement. Our growth is therefore always organic.

We have chosen to build a social movement with the goal of taking Futebol dá força to every football field around the world. Our social movement is co-created by people from all over the world, with different backgrounds, different driving forces and different prerequisites - but with a common vision and mission. Futebol dá força provides a platform and community for all of these engaged people, connecting them with inspiring people just like them from around the world in order for them to realise the power they have in actually changing the world. We provide them with evidence-based knowledge and simple hands-on tools, and ongoing support, in order for them to be able to use their passion and drive efficiently to empower girls and change norms and attitudes in their local communities. During implementation of the strategies and methodology, we then monitor, evaluate and learn from the implementation in order to always develop the strategies and methodology to only spread best practices that have proven impact.

Small team - big impact
To stay true to our values and overarching strategy and goal, we are determined to keep on expanding as a social movement without increasing the resources needed to increase our impact as we grow. We want to always increase our impact, reaching more and more girls, but without driving more costs. To do so, we maintain a very small and entrepreneurial organisation at the core of Futebol dá força that work with ensuring that quality is always prioritised before quantity, and that our strategies and our work actually lead to the impact we are striving towards. Being small and entrepreneurial at our core allows us to always develop, and stay relevant and efficient in implementation.

Our small core team in turn works with our team of voluntary certified facilitators around the world, that enable the implementation of our strategies by engaging, training and supporting voluntary leaders and football coaches, that in turn work with the methodology in practice to empower girls and create change in their local communities.

Real data, no bullshit
We are in general very humble people, curious and eager to learn and always develop - which is crucial for us to stay relevant and always increase our impact. However, one thing we take great pride in is that we never estimate, guess or base our work on anything other than real data. Since the beginning, we have always worked with actual numbers, making sure that someone within Futebol dá força knows the person behind every statistic. We don't guess, we measure. We take our work seriously, and we are very genuine about changing the world - and want to make sure that what we do is worth taking to every football field in the world. Therefore, our main focus areas are monitoring, evaluation and learning, and based on that learning, method development. Without consistent focus on monitoring, evaluation and learning, and method development, there is no way for us to maintain high quality in implementation - which would mean that there would be no reason for us to implement our work. However, based on real data we know that we have an impact and that our work makes a difference we want to continue to make.

Making it easy for anyone to change the world
To continue to increase our impact as a social movement taking Futebol dá força to every football field around the world, we need to make it easy to get engaged, acquire the knowledge and skills to implement our methodology - and to continue engaged implementing the methodology in practice over time.

Intentional recruitment to reach all potential leaders
Through football, we already have a low-threshold platform for engagement reaching numerous engaged people around the world that love football. However, within football today structures and norms place limits on who can be engaged, especially as a football coach. These norms limit especially women and girls, non-binary and transgender people as well as people that simply do not fit into the normative image of a football coach, be it based on age, ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic status or one's own background, or lack of background, in football. This places barriers to engagement within football, and leaves numerous potential leaders without the possibility to contribute to change within and beyond football. This also to a great extent limits the implementation of our strategies, since girls that do not have a coach or role model they can identify with are less likely to join a football team and develop through our methodology.

We want everyone to feel that they can be part of the football family. Therefore we intentionally recruit potential leaders and football coaches with diverse backgrounds, to ensure that everyone that wants to get engaged, irrespective of their gender, gender identity, age, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, function or background[1], can get engaged, so that all girls can find a coach on a football field in their local community that they can identify with.

Even though we are at a point today where we can fill a leadership training with new leaders and coaches from our waiting list, we do not believe that we have done our job if we fill all spots on a training without effort. If we fill a training only with people that have themselves enrolled to get engaged and signed up to join the training and Futebol dá força, we are only reaching people that already can see themselves as leaders. This means that we are missing a big number of potential leaders that for various reasons might not view themselves as someone that can be a leader and role model to others. Therefore, our intentional recruitment is important as a part of our empowerment process to enable potential leaders and role models, especially from underrepresented groups, to actually see their own potential and explore it by getting engaged.

By intentionally recruiting potential leaders to join Futebol dá força, we can also change the normative image of a football coach, diversifying the norms around leadership in football, and through football in society in general, allowing for a new diverse generation of leaders and coaches.

Everyone has the potential to change the world
We believe that everyone has something to contribute, and that everyone has the potential to change the world if they are enabled to do so. Therefore, irrespective of who you are - you are welcome to join our movement.

We of course run background checks on all leaders and coaches that join Futebol dá força to mitigate risks to girls' safety. We also sign agreements with all volunteers to ensure that all girls have leaders and coaches that safeguard them at all times.

However, other than that our only criteria for engaging with us is that you share our values, you want to get engaged by your own free will (thus, no one else is making you join, but you are volunteering yourself) and you show up and complete the full leadership training. Since our leadership training requires a 30 hour investment of time and energy from each volunteer, we rest assured that only the people that really want to get engaged actually do complete the training, and that once you do - we trust that you are the right person to be engaged.

Building trust as an implementing strategy

Every individual volunteer matters to us, and is equally important for us to reach our vision. Once you engage and undergo our leadership training, we start building an individual relationship with each volunteer, acknowledging that each and every individual is unique and has their own set of values, driving forces and prerequisites, and come from a local context providing both opportunities and constraints, that need to be taken into account when enabling them to develop their potential as leaders and changemakers. At the core of this relationship is mutual trust and shared values.

We acknowledge that every volunteer that will implement our methodology to empower and enable girls, will need the same safe space, support structure and continued process of discussion and reflection around issues important to them, that they are creating for their football players. Especially in order for them to work with changing social norms in their communities, they need a safe space and support structure to recharge their energy, motivation and tools. Providing this for all volunteers, individually and as a community, is Futebol dá força's most important job. To create a safe space, both in individual relationships, within on-site local networks and in our online forums, and to provide the support structure the leaders need, we need to build trust. Building trust, and safeguarding that trust, is vital for our strategies to achieve the impact we are striving towards.

By building and safeguarding the trust and relationship we have with every volunteer within Futebol dá força, we are able to provide relevant support when that support is needed, enabling leaders to maintain their motivation and dedication even in difficult times. When leaders feel supported, know that we are there for them when they need it, and there is a strong foundation of mutual trust in that relationship, we are also the first ones to know when difficult times come. Since volunteers within our movement know that they can turn to us when they need help and support, we are often the first ones to know when something goes wrong - enabling us to mitigate risks early, and to address issues immediately when they occur.

We are confident that basing our structure of implementation on trust rather than control is far more effective. We do not receive fancy reports from the ground, but are provided with real facts - irrespective of if they are disturbing or achievements to celebrate - simply because we work togetherwith our leaders. We trust each other for help and support, and to continue to develop and co-create Futebol dá força.

Engagement for the 21st century
To facilitate engagement, we need to design people's possibilities to get engaged in a way that suits them and their life. We believe that if you do something that you love, you will probably continue to do it for a long period of time, you will invest more time and effort to develop your skills and improve, and you will have fun along the way and engage other people to join you. Therefore, we do not have a one-size-fits-all format of engagement, but provide every leader with the possibility to tailor their engagement to their passion, driving forces and individual situation, and always provide personal support for all leaders to keep on developing and maximise their impact. When our leaders grow, we grow.

By providing the possibility to tailor your engagement, we can also acknowledge that life happens, and that your level of engagement might need to adapt to other things happening in your life during different periods of time. Our flexible approach to engagement allows for everyone to be involved in a way, in a role and to the extent they can and want to without time constraints. This allows for leaders to stay engaged during different periods of life. Since we are a global movement we can also maintain leaders' engagement if they move to a new place - and allow them to already upon arrival join like-minded engaged leaders within the movement.

Inner incentives for long term engagement
Everyone engaged within Futebol dá força, except our small core team, are volunteers. We do not provide any monetary remunerations or other external incentives such as material etc. Instead we aim at creating engagement by working with our volunteers' inner driving forces, and thus inner incentives. If volunteers within Futebol dá força love what they do, and get so much out of being engaged based on what drives them and what they believe is important in life, then we can create long term engagement and engage the right people. Of course, this implies that as a volunteer when you feel that you are not getting so much out of being engaged - we need to ensure that you have the support you need to maintain your motivation, and that you always feel that you have someone that can take responsibility and support you when you need it. We have to ensure that our volunteers not always prioritise others, but also prioritise themselves. This is especially important to safeguard our volunteers' well-being, and ensure that they can stay engaged over time, and reach their potential while also living healthy lives.

Change through role models
Through this approach, we consistently apply our methodology within our core team and while working with our facilitators, and in turn our facilitators apply our methodology when working with our leaders. This enables our leaders to develop an empowering leadership approach and apply the methodology working with girls and communities. We constantly work with highlighting the potential to drive change that you have as a leader, and that you will become a role model for your girls and within your community - and that you can either just let that be a fact, or you can take that opportunity and use it to drive change. This allows for leaders to consciously act and communicate as role models.

Social learning theories, most notably the Social Cognitive Theory developed by Robert Bandura, have stated the importance that role models have for people to learn new skills, tackle norms and making sense of one's own environment. Through working consistently with this approach and always working in accordance with our methodology, our leaders can understand and value the importance to consciously act and communicate as role models in their local communities, so that girls have positive role models that they can identify with and aspire towards being one themselves one day.

Working actively as role models in their local communities, being aware of how they as role models can drive change of attitudes and norms, our leaders can build relationships within their local community and attract a following in attitudes and behaviour among people within that local community, that allows for local change.

Global concept for local change
Our methodology is designed to be effective as a global concept for local change. We acknowledge that people are people all over the world, and that in the end of the day we are not as different as we tend to believe. Since we aim at changing social norms, the foundation of our methodology is based on evidence from behavioural science and psychology, providing a framework that is flexible and easy to adapt to any local context, culture and conditions. This enables the methodology to be universally effective in any local community around the world within the specific local context.

To understand the local context, culture and conditions, we always work with locally anchored leaders only. This ensures that we have experts at grassroots level driving local change from within their local community. With leaders working in their local communities, we can also ensure that change is not pushed on that community from the outside but rather that it can be nurtured from within enabling change to occur with less friction. To do so, our strategies and activities are always integrated in local structures, such as the school system, football club structure or similar, and implemented in collaboration with local stakeholders.

Sustainable impact through collaboration with key stakeholders
To achieve long term sustainable impact in local communities, our leaders work directly with girls within their communities as well as with girls' family members and other relevant community members.

We also always collaborate with key stakeholders: government agencies within education, youth, sports and health, and football federations, to integrate our work within existing football structures, or support the build-up of such structures where they are not already in place. We therefore never own activities, but always integrate our work within local structures to create a sustainable platform to make our vision reality.

In places where there already is an existing football structure for girls in place, our work aims at enabling that structure to become more inclusive for girls irrespective of their background or household income. Where there are no existing structures for girls' football, we support the organisation of football leagues with workshops on girls' rights every weekend creating both a football structure for girls as well as an educational platform outside school where girls can access information about their rights and sexual and reproductive health and rights in particular.

By working together with local stakeholders and within the traditional football structure, we are able to influence the structures and norms within football, and through football in society in general. Through our work we also initiate closer collaboration between our key stakeholders, especially when it comes to collaboration between school and out-of-school stakeholders and activities, building a holistic and sustainable approach to change through collaboration rather than different stakeholders working isolatedly.

We also work with other local stakeholders and community based organisations that work with advancing girls' rights and opportunities in order to maximise our joint impact by allowing for all stakeholders to contribute with their expertise to our common goal. This is especially important in order to locally be able to provide support to leaders and girls within their context.
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