Location and general information

Location Montenegro
Start date 02/01/2022
End date 05/31/2022
Cost of the project €78,180
Foundation funding €59,180
Project identifier 20210481
Partners NGO Parents
Categories Access to Sport - Gender Equality - Infrastructure and equipment - Personal development


Although they are enrolled in school, vulnerable children often do not attend regularly, and often drop out at an early age due to difficulties fulfilling basic needs (food, shelter).

  • Only 7 % of them continue to high school (source: UNICEF). After primary school, girls often get married (aged 14–15) and boys start to work on the street collecting raw materials.
  • Most are victims of discrimination, rejected by their peers and socially very isolated.
  • Alcohol, deviant behaviour, and violence are often present in their lives.
  • Their parents are often unable to support them, so the youngsters do not acquire basic knowledge and have very low school achievement, with only basic reading and writing.
  • Roma minority children have additional problems as they do not speak Montenegrin well, which is a further barrier to social inclusion.
  • None of them have ever had an opportunity to do any sport and are additionally deprived of opportunities to improve their health or have social interactions with their peers.

Project content

The Learn&Play project will help these 1,400 children, through sport and education, to socialise and become involved in peer activities to improve their social skills, which are neglected because of extreme poverty.

Equal educational and sports opportunities for all children! The project will improve opportunities for children aged 6–12 who live in poverty in suburban and rural areas of Podgorica, by supporting their education and social inclusion through sport. The project consists of football training, literacy classes, and a final event, the Learn&Play Cup. The project will help children turn their lives around by finishing school and gaining social skills.


Support education and social inclusion of 1,200 children who live in extreme poverty.

Specific objectives

  1. Provide access to sport – free football training for 1,200 children who live in extreme poverty.
  2. Provide free literacy lessons for 400 children.
  3. Increase the children’s self-esteem, motivation, and social skills.
  4. Promote equal opportunities for all children among the main stakeholders.

Project activities

Organisation of free football training in 10 schools

Select ten elementary schools in Podgorica, with a total of 1,200 pupils, in coordination with the ministry for education, culture, science and sport.

Selected schools will be in areas with the greatest poverty.

2 near to an informal settlement with mostly Roma children

5 in suburban areas

3 in rural areas

Football training, twice a week for 120 children per school in two groups:

Years 1–3 (6 to 8)

Years 4–6 (9 to 12)

Each group will consist of two teams of 30 children, both boys and girls, with a minimum of 30% of girls, and 5% of children with disabilities. Each team will be trained by one coach (licensed physical education teacher from the school or a licensed coach) and one volunteer.

Training programme

This activity will involve 20 physical education teachers or licensed coaches and 20 volunteers. The training will focus specifically on working with children who live in poverty and offer guidance on its mission and values: equality, social inclusion, tolerance, teamwork, stressing the importance of education.

Providing sports equipment:

  • T-shirts will be provided for all 1,200 children (branded with project logo and UEFA logo)
  • Donated second-hand sneakers will be provided for the most vulnerable children
  • Football jerseys and sneakers with the name of their school will be provided for 400 children taking part in the tournament

Visits by famous football players

To motivate the children and promote the project, Montenegrin football players will visit each school and play football with the children.

 Free literacy classes

  1. a) In coordination with the schools, a group of children with literacy difficulties will be chosen for support.
  • 400 children will be provided with free literacy classes (40 children per school): 50% will be girls, 40% Roma children, 5% children with disabilities.
  • Children will be divided into two groups, regardless of age or grade: children with no knowledge of reading (including Roma children who do not speak Montenegrin) and children with reading skills below the normal level for their age.
  • 90-minute classes will be held in schools once a week.
  1. b) Recruiting and training coordinator and volunteers who will help children to learn
  • This activity will involve ten learning supervisors (Montenegrin language teachers) and 40 volunteers. The supervisors will develop learning plans and supervise the volunteers.
  • A training programme will be organised for all of them, focusing on the specific approach in working with children who live in poverty and guidance for the project’s mission and values: equality, social inclusion, tolerance, teamwork, and stressing the importance of education.

Learn&Play Cup – one-day football tournament

  • The Learn&Play Cup will be the first tournament of its kind in Montenegro, promoting social inclusion, equal opportunities and the importance of education and sport for all children.
  • 400 children (4 teams from each selected school) will take part in the tournament.
  • A detailed schedule of football matches will be drawn up in cooperation with the Football Association of Montenegro.
  • The tournament will be organised in the country’s largest stadium, belonging to FC Budućnost, and will resemble regular matches in every way – anthem, lights, security, judges, medals, and a trophy.
  • Football jersey and sneakers will be provided for all children taking part.
  • Transport and snacks will be provided for all children taking part.
  • After the tournament final, a press conference will be held to highlight the project’s achievements and results.

Expected results

  • 840 will children take part in sport for the first time in their lives (a total of 1,200 children given training).
  • 400 children learn to read and write.
  • 1,200 children will improve football skills, self-esteem, self-awareness, motivation, social skills.
  • Increased awareness of social isolation and education challenges of children living in poverty and importance of creating equal opportunities for all.


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