14th July to 21st July: Gary Bennett, SRtRC Head Coach and Ged Grebby, SRtRC Chief Executive were invited to Colombia as guests of Northern Region UNISON and Nomadesc
"I fully support the aim of the tournament, which was to oppose any attempt to move these communities from their traditional homelands."
Gary Bennett, SRtRC Head Coach
The main purpose of the visit was to work alongside UNISON in meeting a range of organisations working in Colombia with Nomadesc. Nomadesc is a human rights organisations that advises and accompanies social organisations and unions as well as civic, women, indigenous, afro-descendent and peasant farmer organisations.
On Monday 18th, after the launch of the football tournament, SRtRC went to visit community organisations and trade unions in Buenaventura. On the way we went past a football field and could see a group of young people practicing the coaching session Gary Bennett had taught at the tournament. SRtRC were delighted to see this session being imbedded into the football training so quickly after the initial coaching.
On Tuesday 19th we attended the 7th Annual Women’s Forum for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. There was a fantastic turnout and Ged Grebby, Gary Bennett and Josie Bird (UNISON) all shared their experiences as well as speaking on their individual expertise at the Forum. The Forum was a real credit to the excellent networks that Nomadesc has built up in this area of Colombia and everyone was impressed by the quality and power of the speakers. The cultural exhibitions, songs and dances were fantastic and pulled in a large watching crowd from the general public.
The following day the team visited Cali where a number of meetings took place with the trade unions in the University and public sectors. SRtRC would like to thank Patrick Kane who acted as our interpreter for the week and to all those who took the time to meet us and discuss the situation in Colombia.
Ged Grebby said, “Our trip to Colombia totally exceeded all expectations. Wherever we went we were always met by organisations and individuals with such passion for the work they were engaged in. My highlight of the trip was seeing the response of the young people at the launch of the football tournament and meeting the staff from Nomadesc. Show Racism the Red Card are now committed to supporting their work in any way we can.”
The launch of the tournament was a massive success and SRtRC are calling on all our supporters to send messages of support to the young people and organisers via social media and email:
Show Racism the Red Card's Honorary President, Shaka Hislop and former Manchester United player, Dwight Yorke, have sent messages of support to Nomadesc both of which can be viewed below:
Photos from the trip can be viewed here and a short video here.
Read:Part 1 of the SRtRC report on the Colombia trip.