Location and general information

Location Anambra, Kaduna, Benue and Kano (Nigeria)
Start date 01/01/2024
End date 03/31/2025
Cost of the project €200,000
Foundation funding €100,000
Project identifier 20230056
Partners Cross Cultures Project Association
Categories Access to Sport - Conflict victims - Employability - Gender Equality - Healthy lifestyle - Personal development - Strengthening partnerships


Nigeria has a population of nearly 224 million, of which 63% are 24 years old or younger. Since gaining independence in 1960, Nigeria has faced almost constant conflict between the two major religions, between different ethnic groups and between pastoralists and farmers. This fighting has resulted in millions of deaths and unquantifiable social and material damage. In 2023, approximately 9.3 million people required emergency humanitarian assistance and nearly 3 million remained internally displaced. Women and children are particularly vulnerable: UNICEF estimates that six out of ten children in Nigeria experience some form of violence daily and nearly 20 million do not attend school, which puts them at an increased risk of violence, crime, child labour, poverty and recruitment by militias. In the northern regions, only 44% of girls receive primary education, and 48% marry before the age of 15. Moreover, unemployment among Nigerians aged 15–24 reached almost 53.4% in 2021. Nigeria is also highly susceptible to climate-change-related disasters such as floods and droughts, which exacerbate the humanitarian crises, conflict and poverty.

Project goals

Overall objective:

To promote peaceful coexistence, youth empowerment and child protection in Nigeria.

Specific goals:

  • To empower unemployed individuals with the skills and networks to promote peaceful coexistence, cooperation and social cohesion through Fun Football activities, while also enhancing their own resilience and opportunities to earn a living in grassroots sport or physical education.
  • To enhance child protection in conflict-sensitive areas with a focus on the most vulnerable, notably unschooled and internally displaced children.
  • To incorporate Fun Football into the curricula of primary schools in vulnerable communities as a means of promoting children's wellbeing and development and reducing the number of drop-outs.

Project content

Fun Football unites people across social divisions by helping them to find common ground around their passion for football and their hopes for their children's development and future. It also fosters children's social and psychological development by providing them with safe spaces to play, positive role models, new friendships, life skills and psychosocial support. Sport has been shown to play an effective role in keeping children in school since it promotes their social skills, mental well-being and self-confidence, all of which contribute to increased motivation and performance. Cross Cultures' Fun Football programme consists of three main activities:

  • Training for young leaders and coaches

Cross Cultures trains unemployed former footballers and women who are not in employment, education or training in action learning methods and the child-centred Fun Football philosophy so that they can take control of their lives and become more involved in their communities as volunteer leaders and coaches.

  • Open Fun Football Schools, Fun Festivals and other Fun Football activities

Children are given the opportunity to experience Fun Football with children from different backgrounds in a safe and peaceful environment characterised by friendship, non-violence, child protection and gender equality. The activities are led by the volunteer coaches and leaders.

  • Cross-sectoral cooperation:

The project works with 20 primary schools committed to introducing the concept of Fun Football. Cross Cultures aims to train 80 physical education teachers and coaches who will, in turn, train 5,000 participating students.


Other projects in Africa

Sport in the Village
Diangsport (Education through sport in Wolof)
Mpira Fursa: Football for Primary School Girls and Child
Fostering Youth Leadership