During our regional partners‘ meeting last week, we had the pleasure to count on the presence of Govinda Rathod, a young leader from OSCAR Foundation and Alberto Prieto, our new team member who recently joined Fotbal Pro Rozvoj for one year as part of the European Voluntary Service.
During those days, they got to know eachother and have been exploring and touring around Prague, sharing stories and different perspectives between India, Europe, Mumbai and Prague. Of course football took a large part of their conversation aswell.
Govinda Rathod, born in Mumbai in 1993, the youngest of four brothers,joined OSCAR Foundation in 2006, after being dropped out from school and having financial issues in his family.
“I’m what I am because of OSCAR Foundation” says Govinda with a haunting gaze, remembering his first days there. He started playing football in OSCAR when he was 13. He then quickly became a strong figure and role model for the organisation. He quickly took the role of youth leader trainer and had the opportunity to represent OSCAR abroad in Brazil, South Korea and Vietnam. “Organisations such as Streetfootballworld, Albion in the Community and United Nations have been important actors for my personal and vocational development” states the young leader.
Alberto was born in La Coruna and has studied Business Administration and Sports Marketing and he has been working in the corporate sector in the last 3 years, researching and looking for something which could fulfil him professionally and personally.
“What I’m looking for is to connect football with people” says Alberto when he is asked what his expectations from Fotbal Pro Rozvoj are.
These days in Prague have been intense but very productive for both, who agreed on the good Czech food, the beer and how beautiful Prague is.
For Govinda, who has just completed a course in Sports Management at the University of Leipzig in Germany and an internship in Streetfoootballworld ,the main differences he finds between Europe and India are the cleanliness of the streets and the order of public transports. One thing he misses though is the weather of Mumbai.
He adds that what he has learnt from people in Europe are four things: the punctuality, not to say any excuse at any occasion, the healthy life style of people and to ride a bike as much as possible.
With regards to the meeting, Govinda highlights the great and open communication between all the partners within the project, which according to him is not happening in India, where people are less personal and more reserved.
For Alberto, “it’s been a good chance to know how Fotbal Pro Rozvoj works and all the upcoming projects I will be involved in“
Both might come from a different background and have a different story, but they share the same goals.
Govinda says „I want to implement in India what I’ve learned here and my dream now is to set-up a program for disabled people based on my experience from the young leader training“ and Govinda mentions, without forgetting his family and his organization „ now, it’s not Govinda, but OSCAR Govinda“
Finally Alberto responds with humour to Govinda when asked about his future„I hope I will be able to travel and get the experience that you already have”.