Location and general information
School dropout rates are increasing in Mumbai’s slums. Underprivileged children are being sent to work to help meet their families’ needs. Entering the labour market at such a young age and working long days in dangerous conditions is disastrous for their mental and physical development. They are exposed to a higher risk of addiction to alcohol and drugs.
Of the children who fail to complete their education, 67% are girls. The main reason for this is child marriage, which parents think will give their daughters economic security. However, cutting short girls’ education and pushing them into repeated early pregnancies limits their opportunities. The cycle of poverty therefore self-perpetuates.
The project in Mumbai comprises football and education programmes that rely on the power of football to bring about social change. The game is used as a hook to engage young people in a variety of activities, but also to teach them about key social topics such as teamwork, respect and fair play. The life skills learned through football help empower individuals and enhance their psychosocial well-being, increasing their resilience, self-esteem and motivation. Activities aimed at less privileged children and young people can help reduce the number of boys and girls who are forced to drop out of education.
New digital learning centres will be set up in four targeted communities, creating an essential link between on- and off-field activities. Twice a week throughout the year, more than 800 children will have the opportunity to boost their self-esteem, confidence, teamwork skills and football ability by participating in football and life skills sessions.
- Gender equality and women’s empowerment: there is a clear correlation between higher levels of female education and lower fertility rates. Population growth and climate change are also directly linked, so investing in girls’ education and promoting girls’ reproductive rights can play a powerful role in combating climate change. Through our football programmes, girls improve their confidence and self-esteem, and are given the chance to become leaders and challenge female stereotypes in their community.
- Sanitation and hygiene: the urban population is increasing rapidly, putting enormous pressure on water and sanitation services. One of the main goals of the football and life skills programme is to tackle the taboos related to sanitation and hygiene, promote behaviour change amongst children and raise awareness of the importance of sanitation and hygiene.
- Waste management: the inherent link between a clean environment and participation in sport is part of what makes football a powerful tool for communicating environmental messages to groups of young people and encouraging them to take action to clean up their own environment.
Sessions will be held in local open spaces. During each session, issues such as dropping out of school, child marriage, child labour or health and hygiene will be discussed. If players identify as being at risk of dropping out of school, they will be invited to attend informal education and computer classes at one of the four education hubs in Mumbai, improving their chances of passing exams and providing a platform for future employment opportunities.
- Reduce the dropout rate in years 1 to 7 from 13% to 10%, with 90% of children participating in our programmes.
- Reduce the dropout rate in years 5 to 7 from 16% to 10%, with 90% of children participating in our programmes.
- Increase by 20% the number of year 7 children participating in our programmes who successfully make the transition to year 8.