Location and general information

Location Ecuador, Ibarra
Start date 11/01/2023
End date 03/24/2024
Cost of the project €198,341
Foundation funding €52,610
Project identifier 20230885
Partners Scort Foundation
Categories Access to Sport - Children with disabilities - Conflict victims - Gender Equality - Healthy lifestyle - Personal development - Strengthening partnerships


Once a safe haven in South America, the situation in Ecuador has visibly worsened over the past few years, with widespread insecurity and a vast increase in violence across the country, which nonetheless continues to host numerous refugees and migrants from Colombia and Venezuela. Almost 1 million people are exposed to violence, poverty and displacement. Children’s mental and physical well-being are particularly affected, with a heightened risk of discrimination, exploitation and abuse. Inclusive and safe spaces where children can play, learn, de-stress and simply be children are essential. Football in particular has proven to be an important means of restoring social connections, promoting learning and supporting psychosocial well-being.

For this reason, the Scort Foundation and its partner the Football Club Social Alliance (FCSA) have teamed up with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and local organisation Fundación de las Americas para el Desarrollo (Foundation of the Americas for Development, FUDELA) to train 45 committed young adults to become grassroots football coaches and community leaders. The Young Coaches not only learn how to provide safe and structured sports activities for children in their communities, but also how to use football to promote resilience and foster inclusion.

Project goals

  • Educate 45 young adults to become role models and coaches for children in vulnerable and/or conflict-prone communities
  • Promote access to quality, fun, educational activities for over 5,000 girls and boys from refugee and host communities
  • Promote social cohesion through sport
  • Promote access to sport for girls and disabled children
  • Strengthen the network of Young Coaches (and other organisations) within Ecuador using sport for protection

Project content

The Young Coach Education project empowers committed young coaches in their roles as proactive community leaders, on and off the pitch.

During their training, the Young Coaches learn how to use football to create a safe environment for children, promoting health, inclusion, social cohesion and protection. The project combines football and educational games to improve children’s life skills as well as their physical and mental well-being. It aims to be as inclusive as possible, including disability-specific educational content. This can help break down barriers and promote the inclusion of disabled children in the regular activities run by the Young Coaches.

The training consists of three modules: two five-day face-to-face modules in Ecuador, and one online. Interactive and illustrative learning is at the heart of the programme. During the on-site modules, a strong focus is placed on practical learning, in order to make optimal use of the FCSA instructors’ expertise and provide the Young Coaches with their first tools. While the instructors initially show solutions, they increasingly demand creative problem-solving from the Young Coaches, who come up with strategies in groups. The lessons are immediately put into practice at two festivals held during each on-site module for children from the local community. Additional workshops are delivered by experts on topics such as child protection and safeguarding, first aid, and the role of sport in strengthening resilience and mental well-being.

Between the two on-site modules, the Young Coaches are expected to apply what they have learned in their communities and independently complete the additional online module. Regular live webinars provide a space for mutual support and a deeper understanding of the content.


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