Have you ever imagined having 50 children? Certainly life would not be easy, each one of them, with different problems, imagine the hefty task of preparing a giant breakfast, counselling them and teaching them life skills. I know someone who may be the closest to having such an experience in his daily life. In the past 17 months I have been accompanying him in the peace building and conflict transformation training processes that he is facilitating Godoy Cruz Foundation in Cali.
Godoy Cruz Cali is a football club that has more than 50 young people living in vulnerable sectors of Cali Colombia. Sigifredo Godoy (founder of Godoy Cruz Cali) dedicates four hours daily providing physical and technical training. Other activities include teamwork, anger management, vocational training in different disciplines (Bakery, Woodwork, Art). However the foundation’s main focus is on peace building, conflict transformation and resolution both in the profession of football and everyday life.
Knowing Sigifredo has been a great honour and privilege, he is a man dedicated to serving the community youth, helping them to develop their talents and creating opportunities and positive inspiration.
He is a member of the Luz y Vida Life the Mennonite Brethren Church and believes in pacifism. During a personal interview Sigifredo stated that Colombian football has a history of violence and this is due to little or no peace education in the discipline. He further expressed that peace education and nonviolent conflict resolution begins at home and in the pre match training sessions, that way the young boys learn nonviolent action at an early stage,
Due to his dedication and passion to change and serve, most of his students refer to him as Father rather than coach. He also regularly does home visits, prayer sessions, spiritual guidance and more. However, what surprises me is his sacrifice, passion, dedication to serve.
Kevin Machado, one of the students Godoy Cruz’s said that Sigifredo is not only a coach but a father who assures him that he can do better, not only in the field but in life in general. Like many other parents, seeing the positive impact and changes in her son, Kevin’s mother visited one of the training sessions so she could personally give thanks and Sigifredo in recognition of his work.
Sigifredo is a member of the community that has been a source of inspiration and has shown that there is hope, even in communities where the majority have lost faith in their leaders, but with foundations such as Godoy Cruz and passion to serve all is possible. Please watch the video below with more information and a personal interview of Sigifredo Godoy.
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