Location and general information

Location Iraq
Start date 03/01/2022
End date 12/31/2022
Cost of the project €100,000
Foundation funding €100,000
Project identifier 20211041
Partners Cross Cultures
Categories Access to Sport - Personal development


Iraq is a fragile country suffering from decades of war, violent uprisings, sectarian conflicts, tyranny and rampant corruption. In addition, the poverty rate is estimated to be 27%, the youth unemployment rate is 36%, female participation in the workforce is just 13%, and more than 3.2 million children are out of school. Iraq's stability, social cohesion and future prosperity cannot be improved without giving the young generation better life opportunities and a collective voice in political, civic and social life.

Project content

The purpose of this project is to bring an updated version of Cross Cultures’ successful Open Fun Football Schools (OFFS) concept to Iraq, with an additional focus on strengthening the resilience of young voluntary coaches and children by paying special attention to the beneficiaries' education and employability.

The project uses Cross Cultures’ Youth Leadership Education initiative as a platform to mobilise and empower a network of young people as OFFS Coaches and Youth Leaders. The aims of the social and civic activities undertaken are as follows:

  1. Help at-risk children to stay in school or return to school.
  2. Provide the young coaches and leaders with a platform and an "anchor" in their local community with a view to enhancing their resilience, employability and life opportunities.


  • To mobilise and empower a network of young people and enhance their capacity to use OFFS and other self-organised social football activities as a platform for their voluntary social and civic commitment.
  • To facilitate child protection activities for at-risk children and help them to stay in school or return to school. These activities include OFFS, other social football activities, teaching of relevant life skills and non-formal schooling.


Project activities

  • Train 60 young people as OFFS leaders and coaches.
  • OFFS leaders and coaches organise OFFS, Fun Festivals and FSR activities for 1,000 children aged 6–12 years old. At least 50% of the participants must be unschooled and 40% must be girls.
  • OFFS leaders facilitate the teaching of essential life skills to at-risk children.
  • Train OFFS leaders in social entrepreneurship and civil society organisation.

Expected results

  • 60 young OFFS leaders and coaches are empowered as Youth Leaders and gain the knowledge and skills to use OFFS in the best interests of vulnerable children while also enhancing their own resilience and life opportunities.
  • 1,000 children enjoy fun football activities and learn life skills with peers from different backgrounds in a context that promotes friendship, peace, child protection and gender equality.
  • Together with Cross Cultures, the local partner organisations refresh, strengthen and further develop their unique nationwide FSR network in Iraq.


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