Location and general information

Location Greece
Start date 01/15/2019
End date 01/14/2020
Cost of the project €246,225
Foundation funding €198,020
Project identifier EUR‐2018738
Partners ActionAid Hellas
Categories Access to Sport - Conflict victims - Personal development


The beneficiaries are young people between 12 and 18 years old that live in and around the disadvantaged Kolonos district of Athens. Their families face financial issues and are at risk of social exclusion, with limited opportunities for engaging in athletic activities (lack of motivation or financial resources, gender stereotypes). Some of these young people face high stress, domestic violence, social exclusion and a lack of creative and life-skills education, which leads to fewer opportunities. The challenges they face can lead to depression, aggressive behaviour, misbehaviour, academic failure, inability to interact with other youngsters, a lack of self‐esteem and a lack of guidance. Family ties are often broken and the link to the community can be problematic.

Project content

The RISE project is a youth empowerment through football programme, led by international football player Dimitris Papadopoulos. It provides children with life values and skills, and enables them to have a better life, dignity and opportunities to develop themselves and their communities. Football players are role models for young people and can empower them to fight for a better life. Their role will be crucial in implementing and disseminating the project.

ActionAid is working closely with football clubs, national football associations and the Super League at national level to raise awareness of the methodology and potential of football as a driver for change and development in the communities.


  • Empower disadvantaged youth in vulnerable areas by helping them to gain skills, providing access to opportunities and building resilience that will help them improve their quality of life while fighting poverty and social exclusion through football.
  • Support young people, so that they own a community-led programme in all stages, from design to implementation.
  • Help footballers to become agents of change for a society of diversity, mutual respect and solidarity.
  • Empower young members of the football team to become agents of change for a society with diversity, mutual respect and solidarity.
  • Support the multiplication of programme methodology and principles and influence other institutions’ agendas.
  • Empower members of the youth club to develop sustainable valuable life skills.

Project activities


Football3 match with famous national football players to ‘lead by example’

Dimitris Papadopoulos and other famous football players (men and women) will demonstrate that, by changing the rules of the game, we can change ourselves and our society for the better.

Football matches with mixed teams

Bring together civil society associations, football clubs and athletics associations to share, play together, discuss and interact by taking part in friendly matches based on Football3, with mixed teams of girls and boys, locally and regionally. The aim is to give children from diverse vulnerabilities – migrants, children living in poverty, girls – the chance to interact.


Other football clubs’ matches

Initiate and train football clubs in the region on Football3 methodology to multiply the impact of this programme and raise awareness of the values that children can acquire from football.



The youth club will be based in the ActionAid Epikentro community centre in the deprived neighbourhood of Kolonos. Children will have the chance to attend the following courses:

Computer classes/digital literacy: A lack of computer skills one aspect of illiteracy. By teaching children how to navigate the internet and use basic computer programs, we help them break down barriers and open doors to new opportunities.

English lessons: English is essential in the global communities. It helps children improve school performance and integrate better into society.

Job orientation: The goal is to help children discover their skills and abilities, set a life plan and goals for themselves.

Psychological support: Children learn to deal with stress and regain self‐respect and self‐ confidence. This is a crucial part of the empowerment process that enables children to engage and commit to all other courses and to football training.

Empowerment/recreational activities: Children are given the opportunity to interact and have fun. Taking part in small festivals, celebrations and entertaining activities is important to engage young people in the community centre.

Video of the project.

Expected results

Direct beneficiaries

Football team: 20 young people between 12–18 years old (mixed gender) who are members of the football team

Youth club: 60 young people (mixed gender, social status, national/ethnic origin) actively engaged in youth club activities and in the long term.

Indirect beneficiaries:

80 beneficiaries of other organisations directly engaged in matches (diverse gender, ages, social status, ethnic origin)

40 beneficiaries of national level organisations directly engaged in matches.


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