Location and general information
The issue of female genital mutilation (FGM) involves complex social, cultural and gender-specific factors. Since that practice contributes to the risk of contracting HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, eliminating FGM is also an essential step on the road to achieving other sustainable development goals (SDGs), including targets relating to health and well-being, high-quality education, safe motherhood and economic growth, all of which are underpinned by work that empowers women and girls. It is clear, moreover, that the struggle against HIV/AIDS requires a far greater focus on women, since the reasons for women’s particular vulnerability to HIV are complex and varied. Indeed, social obligations and the lack of dialogue between men and women remain persistent barriers to the containment of both FGM and HIV.
With all of that in mind, this project focuses on female empowerment, education and the life skills of marginalised young people (both male and female).
This project offers low-threshold access to safe spaces where girls and young women can open up, build trust and acquire the knowledge they need to lead healthy, autonomous lives, ultimately acting as an important vehicle for change. We use football as a way of engaging in a sustainable manner with an extremely hard-to-reach target group: vulnerable children between the ages of 10 and who are living in areas that are particularly affected by HIV/AIDS and FGM. That target group will be given comprehensive information relating to sexual health, personal rights, and the risks and realities of both HIV/AIDS and FGM via a fun, innovative and educational football-based programme. The project will seek to engage with young people and other members of the community through training sessions, football festivals, discussions and workshops, and these activities will be delivered with the support of local multipliers. Educators and coaches will be trained to deliver HIV/AIDS and FGM-related football activities in their own local communities, and they will be given extensive support in this regard. Activities will be implemented in cooperation with health facilities, community centres, sports clubs and other local organisations with a view to providing information, testing and appropriate counselling to a wide audience.
The UEFA Foundation for Children, streetfootballworld and the various local partners are aiming to achieve the following objectives:
- Local partners acquire competence and expertise in a controlled organisational environment and systematically anchor the Football4Good method within their respective organisations. Those partners take responsibility for implementing project activities for disadvantaged children and adolescents and develop the skills needed to teach the Football4Good method at local/regional/national level.
- 3,000 participating children and young people learn to protect themselves and others against health risks such as HIV/AIDS and the practice of FGM.
- 40 volunteer multipliers establish civic structures and independent training courses where health messages are conveyed. In addition, 20 young programme alumni between the ages of 18 and 35 serve as mentors for a new generation of volunteers, further improving their own knowledge and skills, which they can then pass on.
- Parents, siblings, teachers of participating children and adolescents, and decision-makers from the worlds of politics, religion and civil society gain knowledge about innovative approaches to health education as regards FGM, the prevention of HIV/AIDS and sexual/reproductive health/rights. As part of this, knowledge transfer will take place through target groups’ participation in community festivals.
- The concept of ‘quality management’ is developed and implemented in project operations, laying the foundations for its future use outside West Africa.
- Thus far, 3,000 children between the ages of 10 and 18 (30% of whom are girls) have participated in at least 60% of all weekly training sessions in project locations in West Africa.
- 70% of those 3,000 children have gained knowledge about FGM, the prevention of HIV and sexual/reproductive health/rights through their participation in such training sessions.
- Participants have access to a sheltered forum where they can engage in open discussions about sexual/reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, FGM and health education in general.
- At least 70% of the 40 volunteer multipliers have successfully completed their training and received their certificates.
- At least 70% of those 40 multipliers are running weekly local education and football training sessions, providing simple and effective health messages to more than 3,000 young people.
- Five high-impact festivals have been successfully implemented with a view to engaging with communities, families and local stakeholders as regards health education (FGM, prevention of HIV/AIDS, sexual/reproductive health/rights, etc.), gender equality, football and life skills.
- 80% of local partners have reported an increase in their competence and expertise as regards the implementation and assessment of Football4Good
- In cooperation with local stakeholders, a sustainability strategy for safe spaces (community pitches) is being developed and put in place in Dano, Burkina Faso, to ensure that usage remains in line with the project’s developmental objectives in the longer term.
- Health education: Reduction in new HIV infections and a decline in the incidence of FGM in Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast through (i) the delivery of football-based life skills training sessions which improve knowledge and encourage positive behavioural change, and (ii) the training/education of multipliers, who communicate the project’s values, activities and methods to children and peers in their own communities.
- Establishment of safe spaces: Building of football pitches, which creates a safe space for young people and the broader community, underlining football’s ability to foster behavioural and social change.
- Quality assurance: Establishment of a quality management process that supports the implementation of programmes in the West African region and serves as a basis for the design and implementation of Football4Good projects in general.