Success story from Excelsior Rotterdam

12 January 2023

Success story from Excelsior Rotterdam

When it comes to Excelsior Rotterdam, Fadewa starts to shine. She started as an intern without self-confidence at the Excelsior Foundation, but now there is a completely different Fadewa on the squares. Someone who believes in herself much more and is even employed by the foundation.

“At Excelsior people believed in me and they still do. That’s how I grew.”


Fadewa (now 17) had no confidence in herself. She grew up in a neighborhood where opportunities are not self-evident. Moreover, she was not one to enjoy school. She ended up at HPC Centrum practical school, where the first years were not easy.

“Others said I was stupid because I went to a practical school. But I had no interest in learning, at least not at school. I like doing things better and doing something with football. But nobody gave me a chance and that’s why I didn’t believe in it myself.”


Fadewa and Excelsior’s paths crossed when her school partnered with the Excelsior Foundation. Together with two directors, she was allowed to go to the stadium to sign the collaboration. 

“I stood there with a big smile on the field, together with Demi and Iris van Excelsior. I then asked if I could come and do an internship. They were immediately enthusiastic, but partly because I didn’t believe in myself, I didn’t say anything after that.”

“I’m lucky that I met Iris afterwards”

 “I did an internship somewhere else, but I didn’t like that very much. I wanted to work with children, so when I saw Iris I immediately asked if I could still do an internship. Fortunately that was allowed. It took some getting used to at first, mainly because I didn’t know what I could do. Fortunately, I quickly received compliments and that gave me more and more confidence in myself.”


“I developed my talents at Excelsior”

 “The most important thing was that the people of the foundation gave me confidence and that made me more daring. I started working on myself, but I didn’t do it alone. I really wanted to work with children, but I didn’t dare to take that step myself. Thanks to Excelsior I was able to take that step after all. They can see whether you can do it or not and with me they saw that I could do it.”


She now works for the Excelsior Foundation. Fadewa helps with the Excelsior Girls Clinics and the Excelsior Street League, but also performs other activities:

“I help Iris and Demi and make sure that our clothing room stays tidy. I also help with Walking Football and Football Memories. At first I found it difficult to talk to the elderly, but I just started doing that and I really like it. They’re really funny.”


Fadewa is the example of someone who has been able to develop her talents simply by being given the opportunity and trust.

“I think you should let everyone in his or her worth, especially children. Really really ugly things were said to me and I felt really bad about that. I want to teach children themselves that they should not give up and that they should get everything out of it. I have had the right help and wish everyone that they get it too. Because everyone has talents and can do something.”


“And being allowed to make mistakes, because that’s how you learn. In the neighborhood they know what I do and that I work at Excelsior. Some children come to me to tell me what’s bothering them and I try to help them. I enjoy working with children so much that I plan to do an education. The road is long, but I really want it and it will be fine.”


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