Gerson Florez is a man committed to peace and the Founder of the Cop Colombia International, a social football club located in Usme, a vulnerable district of Bogota.
“When I was a child, I became the spokeperson of children affected by anti-personnel mines. I was nominated to several high distinctions such as the Youth Prize for Peace and Tolerance. During a trip to Norway, I met the President of the Norwegian Football Federation and discovered the Norway Cup; an international youth football tournament held in Oslo.”
“The story of COP Colombia and the story of our beneficiaries demonstrates that global efforts towards the achievement of the sustainable development goals will not be achieved without peace education programs and the meaningful participation of the youth. In the aftermath of a conflict, such as Colombia’s conflict, peace-oriented education and sport activities are essential to foster resilience and help young people to manage conflicts in a non-violent manner.”
"I realized that soccer can be a powerful tool for social work, and it became evident to me that social sports programs can foster a culture of peace and reconciliation from the field of play. This is why, supported by my father, I decided to create Cop Colombia."