The story of Free and Safe starts with Caron, one of our founders, as a little girl. When she was still in primary school everyone had to do an assignment on an animal and that’s when little Caron found out dragons really exist in Indonesia.
The Komodo dragon captured Caron’s imagination and she dreamt about the magical country that this dragon called home. However, in the years that followed Caron found out all was not well with Indonesia; a beautiful country, sure, but also flawed. That’s when she decided to move to Indonesia when she grew up.
She went to Indonesia for six weeks, and when she came back she had made her mind up. She would really do it. However, nothing disrupts stories like love can. Weeks after her return she meets Jorge and loves strikes. For a couple of years, there’s no progress in Caron’s plans until suddenly they decide to go for it.
Jorge and Caron move to Indonesia and go searching for how to help this beautiful country become even better. After a soccer match in a Papuan prison, Jorge has an idea — he could try something new in their hometown, Bandung…
Jorge was in love with soccer ever since he was a little boy and hardly did anything else. Now he was coaching a team in Bandung and he saw he could go to the juvenile prison and see if he could train the boys there as well.
Meetings are had, decisions are made, locked doors are opened and suddenly Jorge finds himself on a battered, small soccer field in Bandung prison. Every Tuesday he goes there and slowly but surely a bond is created. Between Jorge and the boys, between Jorge and the guards…
Then one day one of the boys pulls Jorge’s sleeve. He’s getting out soon, but he’s too afraid to go back home, out of fear of retaliation for his crimes. At this point Jorge no longer sees an ex-offender, a boy in prison, he sees a kid in trouble and he wants to help.
And that’s what he does and that’s how Free and Safe was founded.