Football for Unity 2.0

Location and general information

En cours
Location Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Spain
Start date 09/01/2023
End date 08/31/2025
Cost of the project €833,223,98
Foundation funding €83,322,39
Project identifier 20232024
Partners European Commission (DG HOME); Common Goal
Categories Access to Sport - Children with disabilities - Conflict victims - Gender Equality - Strengthening partnerships


EC-UEFA Arrangement for Cooperation

The EC-UEFA Arrangement for Cooperation that was signed in October 2022 by UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin and Margaritis Schinas, vice-president of the European Commission and the commissioner for Promoting our European Way of Life, follows two other cooperation agreements signed in 2014 and 2018. This third EC-UEFA Arrangement for Cooperation refers specifically to Football for Unity as an example of how the agreement can be successfully implemented by the two parties.

Football for Unity 1.0

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the first UEFA European Football Championship, the European Commission's DG HOME, UEFA, the UEFA Foundation for Children and Common Goal joined forces through the EU's Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) to implement the Football for Unity project during UEFA EURO 2020. In response to its success, the European Commission, UEFA, the UEFA Foundation for Children and Common Goal have decided to expand their collaboration, with Football for Unity 2.0 including activities outside the framework of the European Football Championship.


Project goals

A multi-stakeholder collaboration spearheaded by the UEFA Foundation for Children and Common Goal will foster pan-European exchange and networking, cross-sectoral collaboration, capacity development and peer-to-peer learning with a view to raising awareness, inspiring desired behaviour and leading thinking on how sport can enable and accelerate the empowerment of young refugees/migrants and vulnerable young people in host communities in Europe.

Football for Unity 2.0 seeks to fundamentally transform the way sports clubs, grassroots organisations and national football associations work with young refugees and migrants. The project will offer a systemic approach to the scaling-up and dissemination of impact-proven, innovative sport‑based social inclusion practices, working with 190 coaches, educators and youth/social workers at organisational, local, regional, national and European level.

Those actors, in turn, will seek to engage with 2,900 of the hardest-to-reach young Europeans, refugees and migrants through structured sport-based integration initiatives and non-formal education programmes. That strengthening of cooperation, capacity and professionalism at transnational level will help sports clubs, national football associations and grassroots organisations to foster social inclusion and equal opportunities, especially by setting quality standards for innovative practices.

A consortium of 14 project partners in 11 EU Member States (Austria, Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Romania, Spain, Latvia, the Netherlands and Italy) will establish expertise and a common understanding in the areas of social inclusion/integration, anti-racism and the tackling of discrimination through sport. Each of those partners has great experience because of many years of successful work at local and regional level, ensuring sustainability, ownership and societal transformation both on and off the pitch.

Football for Unity 2.0 will be guided by the following objectives over the two-year project period:

  1. Tackle racial discrimination against young migrants and refugees in European football – on the field, on the side lines, in the stands and across our communities
    1. Development and launch of an online curriculum for Switch the Pitch in German and English
    2. Use of the Switch the Pitch online platform and in-person workshops for 40 coaches working with three to six local football teams in Germany and 20 coaches working with four organisations in four other EU Member States (Austria, Latvia, Italy and Spain) to increase their knowledge and awareness of inclusive coaching and the fight against discrimination and xenophobia in football
    3. Training for four European grassroots football organisations, a number of NGOs and the national football associations of four EU Member States (Austria, Latvia, Italy and Spain) to increase their knowledge of Common Goal’s anti-racism methodology and prepare them for pan-European dissemination
    4. Three training sessions for 30 fan group leaders (e.g. Football Supporters Europe) and 100 fan zone volunteers (in Berlin) to increase their awareness of diversity, equality and inclusion and give them practical tools to address discrimination at fan events.
  2. Improve the safety, protection and well-being of young migrants/refugees and young people in host communities, helping them to cope with crises and supporting their recovery
    1. Implementation of sport-based integration sessions (using methodologies such as football3) in seven EU Member States (Austria, Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Greece, Romania and Spain) in order to build trust, dialogue and understanding between young migrants/refugees and young people in host communities, seeking to foster sensitivity to the needs of other people (respect, empathy, cooperation, equality, etc.)
    2. Implementation of a ‘train the trainer’ programme, helping 130 coaches, teachers and young leaders to deliver training independently and pass knowledge and skills on to young refugees/migrants and young people in host communities in two EU Member States (Poland and the Czech Republic)
  3. Make the European public aware of the diversity that exists within Europe and the contribution that successful integration makes to the well-being, prosperity and cohesion of European societies
    1. Raising awareness of issues surrounding the integration of refugees and migrants across Europe and promoting a positive image of migration

In addition, UEFA, as a formal supporter of this project, will promote knowledge generated by the project within the wider football ecosystem in the hope that European football will continue to increase its inclusion of and support for refugees and migrants.

Project content


Football for Unity 2.0 will enable the implementation of (i) Switch the Pitch and (ii) Team Up for Solidarity.

Switch the Pitch

Our Switch the Pitch curriculum unites the football community behind anti-racism education and action; it aims to create a more inclusive and anti-racist environment for coaches and players of all ages. Its comprehensive action-oriented approach to educating players and coaches across the youth game is a revolutionary way of combating racism in the sport. One of the central components of Switch the Pitch, an ‘inclusive coach’ training programme, revolves around six topics – empathy, safety, vulnerability, appreciation, awareness and authenticity. For every topic, expert trainers explain three essential skills in a video, giving coaches tools that can immediately be incorporated into their training plans. In addition, an anti-racism curriculum consisting of 36 team activities enables youth coaches to engage their teams in a series of on-field team challenges that are designed to educate, activate and facilitate conversations around key topics such as racial identity, allyship, activism and leadership. We are launching a full European pilot for Switch the Pitch, and Germany – the host of EURO 2024 – has been chosen owing to the potential to activate Switch the Pitch as part of that tournament. In addition, a European scaling plan for Switch the Pitch will be developed and implemented.

Switch the Pitch Europe

We believe that the Switch the Pitch methodology should be utilised across Europe. As part of the Football for Unity 2.0 programme, we will therefore host a cohort of European grassroots organisations and national football associations to develop a European scaling strategy for Switch the Pitch. That cohort (comprising organisations from Italy, Austria, Latvia and Spain) will participate in two three-day events (one in the summer of 2024 and one in early 2025), which will be hosted by a German football club (Fortuna Düsseldorf). At the first of those workshops, they will receive training on the Switch the Pitch methodology, and our curriculum experts will help them to develop an implementation plan for Switch the Pitch in their community. Over a period of six to eight months, each cohort member will implement its version of Switch the Pitch in its community, and there will be regular online check-ins and further learning opportunities across this period. The cohort will then reconvene at the second workshop in early 2025 to discuss their experiences with implementing Switch the Pitch and develop a sustainable scaling plan for the methodology.

Expert partners: RheinFlanke (Germany), Fare (pan-European) and Breaking Grounds (Austria)

Implementation partners: Latvian Football Federation (Latvia), Balon Mundial (Italy), Dragones de Lavapiés (Spain) and Breaking Grounds (Austria)

Team Up for Solidarity

Team Up for Solidarity involves active collaboration with local organisations, using sport as an impactful, cost-effective, and low-threshold methodology in a structured and systemic way. Our project creates inclusive spaces that improve the safety, protection and well-being of young migrants and refugees across Europe, facilitate emotional and social stabilisation, foster the acquisition of new skills and abilities, strengthen resilience and create short to long-term opportunities in the areas of health, education and training. Sport-based integration/inclusion methodologies create a dynamic informal learning environment for young people, reinforcing formal educational curricula. They promote confidence, trust and safety, enabling players to put values they learn into action and become engaged in their communities. Engaging with those methodologies encourages informed decision-making and stimulates interest in how social challenges can be overcome. An emphasis on dialogue and conflict resolution enables players to grasp the power of consensual decision-making, allowing them to bridge cultural differences in a social environment marked by a constant inflow and outflow of community members. Furthermore, individuals who have been involved in sport-based integration/inclusion programmes also show greater dedication and responsibility and are more accountable to themselves and their communities.

Implementation partners: Trenuj Bycie Dobrym (Poland), Fundación Fútbol Más (Spain), Breaking Grounds (Austria), INEX – Sdruženi Dobrovolných Aktivit, Z.S. (Czech Republic), Oltalom Sport Association (Hungary), Organization Earth (Greece) and Romanian Football Federation (Romania)


Leveraging EURO 2024 to increase visibility and impact

Leveraging UEFA’s strong footprint across the continent in order to maximise visibility and impact, EURO 2024 will (i) harness football’s potential as a catalyst with a view to improving the social, mental, emotional and physical well-being of young refugees and migrants, and (ii) generate awareness and knowledge of sport’s potential to be an effective driver of integration, gender equality, anti-racism, fairness, respect, inclusion and youth empowerment.

EURO 2024 will provide an opportunity for people from diverse backgrounds across the EU to come together and celebrate their love of the sport, promoting understanding and respect between cultures. Additionally, the project will also provide a platform for players, officials and clubs to speak out against racism and discrimination, which will help to raise awareness of the issue and encourage others to act.

EURO 2024 will serve as a platform to make European citizens aware of how sport can enable young migrants/refugees and young people from host communities to acquire transferable skills, supporting their integration into society and strengthening their ability to make conscious decisions about their livelihoods. The tournament will have a profound impact on global and European audiences through its visibility and the media, allowing us to target the European public, policy-makers, media representatives and stakeholders in the fields of sport, education, gender equality, youth empowerment and social inclusion/integration. By mobilising global and European influencers, relevant agencies, and local or thematic influencers, the objectives of the programme will be communicated widely across Europe and around the world.



Location and general information

Location 15 regions of Ukraine
Start date 01/01/2023
End date 12/31/2023
Cost of the project €267,628
Foundation funding €125,000
Project identifier 20220528
Partners The Charity Found "Around Football”
Categories Access to Sport - Children with disabilities - Conflict victims - Healthy lifestyle - Personal development


Children, affected by war, experienced fear, are withdrawn, and psychologically stressed. And sport is one of the tools that can provide psychosocial support to such children.

Project goals

  • Create a network of professional volunteers (managers, coaches, medical and psychological volunteers) in 15 regions of Ukraine.
  • Conduct training for the teams of specialists: briefings by instructors, child protection courses.
  • Conduct psychosocial sessions for children and youth.

Project content

The main purpose of the project is provision of targeted psychosocial support to children and teenagers, affected by war. This support will be provided through sport activities. A network of trained teams of specialists (managers, sport coaches, medical volunteers, psychologists) will work with children, involve them in sport activities. Such form of work with children will help the direct beneficiaries to overcome fear and to return to normal life.


Football for Future

Location and general information

Location Urban areas of Ukraine: Kyiv, Irpin, Bucha, Svitlovodsk, Myrhorod, Rivne, Brovary, Kremenchuk
Start date 03/01/2022
End date 04/30/2024
Cost of the project €59,875
Foundation funding €53,460
Project identifier 20220924
Partners Shakhtar Social charity organisation
Categories Access to Sport - Conflict victims - Personal development


According to the Ukraine Internal Displacement Report produced by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), there were 5,088,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Ukraine in May 2023. The report also indicates that:

  • 47% of IDPs are aged 5-17 years old;
  • 17% of IDP households lack access to education for their children.

Project goals

Football for Future is a social football project designed to promote inclusion and social cohesion, providing equal chances for 640 internally displaced children and socially disadvantaged kids to play football and get involved in extracurricular activities, providing relief from their circumstances.

Project content

The 640 children will be able to participate in free football sessions and local tournaments in eight cities around the country.

  • Free football sessions are run year-round and include physical exercises, fun games, educational personal training and football, three times a week for each participant.
  • Local tournaments are organised twice a year to unite all participants, enhancing their experience, enjoyment and connection within the local community.


Refugee Youth Empowerment

Location and general information

Location Penang, Malaysia
Start date 01/01/2023
End date 12/31/2024
Cost of the project €23,839
Foundation funding €23,839
Project identifier 20220154
Partners Persatuan Komuniti Berdikari (also known as ASPIRE Penang and Penang Stop Human Trafficking Campaign)
Categories Access to Sport - Conflict victims - Infrastructure and equipment - Personal development


In Malaysia, young refugees often live in an environment that offers few opportunities for recreation, education or social interaction. The Malaysian government provides no legal or administrative framework to protect or support refugees. Instead, it has invited the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to verify, register and resettle refugees, based on the concept that refugees are simply in transit. However, the severe lack of resettlement places means that refugees end up staying in Malaysia for decades, without access to mainstream education and protection at work and few safeguards against extortion, harassment, arrest and detention. Consequently, women, men and young people often feel helpless and without hope, as their opportunities in Malaysia are very limited and the chances of resettlement slim.

Project goals

1. Significantly increase opportunities for young refugees to learn about and engage in organised activities, including sports and other recreation, and to acquire life skills

2. Build teamwork, responsibility, decision-making and leadership skills through participants’ ‘ownership’ of project planning and management

3. Improve prospects by learning vocational and life skills

Project content

Over a two-year period, this project will offer young refugees in Penang greater opportunities to engage in activities that bring hope and positivity: an organised football project for boys, other culturally appropriate recreational activities for girls, and life skills classes in language and computer literacy. These are skills the young refugees themselves have identified as critical for their future. In the football programmes, the players themselves will be responsible for all aspects of team management, which will build a sense of ownership, leadership and responsibility. In the other parts of the project, the young people will play a key role in initiating and directing activities.


U14 football programme boys One practice session + one match a week
U19 football programme boys One practice session + one match a week
Girls’ recreational activity Frequency to be determined
Computer classes Once a week at weekends (note: young refugees are only available for classes at weekends)
English classes Once a week at weekends (note: young refugees are only available for classes at weekends)


Sports for Resilience and Empowerment Project, phase 2

Location and general information

Location Acholi neighbourhood, Kinuuma Masindi district, Kampala city, Uganda
Start date 12/01/2022
End date 12/01/2024
Cost of the project €350000
Foundation funding €200000
Project identifier 20220122
Partners The Aliguma Foundation
Categories Access to Sport - Children with disabilities - Conflict victims - Employability - Environmental protection - Gender Equality - Healthy lifestyle - Infrastructure and equipment - Personal development - Strengthening partnerships


The Aliguma Foundation is a charitable organisation that helps marginalised communities access the basic requirements of life. The organisation aims to improve the living standards of mothers and children. The foundation currently operates in Acholi, a slum neighbourhood on the outskirts of Kampala, mostly inhabited by refugees from northern Uganda.

Project goals

1. Identify and develop the career goals of individuals through sport

2. Enhance education and literacy among children to promote holistic development

3. Provide decent housing and a safe environment in which women from deprived backgrounds can raise their children

4. Create income-generating alternatives for mothers who are suffering severe hardships

5. Consolidate the progress made by the project by using sport and businesses as catalysts to allow 1,500 women and 5,000 children and young people to move out of social and economic exclusion

6. Extend the Sports for Resilience and Empowerment Project to refugee communities in the West Nile region and parts of western Uganda by organising football tournaments for refugee and host communities

7. Establish a football tournament for primary schools as a means to campaign for the protection of children, and girls in particular

8. Use football matches as a vehicle to offer more educational scholarships

9. Continue the construction of the Sports and Empowerment Centre, including two football pitches, volleyball and basketball courts and dormitories at the Women and Child Empowerment Centre in Masindi

10. Establish a practical skills unit at the Sports and Empowerment Centre in Masindi


Project content

- Girl child campaign in schools and communities

- Slum Soccer tournament

- UEFA Foundation ball project in schools

- Education

- Infrastructure development

- Income-generating activities at the empowerment centre


Football for Climate Change

Location and general information

Location Cairo, Egypt
Start date 02/01/2023
End date 05/31/2024
Cost of the project €100,000
Foundation funding €100,000
Project identifier 20220602
Partners Terre des Hommes Egypt
Categories Access to Sport - Conflict victims - Environmental protection - Gender Equality - Personal development


Egypt currently hosts nearly 290,000 registered refugees and asylum seekers. Children and young people from these communities report high levels of discrimination, exploitation and insecurity, among other protection issues.

Programmes based around sports, playing and art are important for the physical health and social, psychological and developmental needs of young people who have experienced the stress and anxiety of forced displacement.            

Project goals

Football for Climate Change promotes sport as a way to improve social cohesion among vulnerable young Egyptians and refugees living in Egypt and offers them the opportunity to take action on climate change. It does this by:

  1. Implementing and maintaining a sustainable, safe environment for youth participation through football in 20 schools in the El-Obour district;
  2. Organising a Climate Change Football tournament in El-Obour to promote behaviour to address climate change among local students, caregivers and families.

Project content

The project leverages the potential of Terre des Hommes’s Football for Protection (F4P) methodology to develop young people’s skills and well-being. This interactive approach consists of four interrelated programmes:

1. F4P Training of Trainers for staff and teachers in 20 schools in El-Obour district

Five-day training programmes are provided for 20 sports teachers and ten community facilitators on F4P methodology and using football to enhance knowledge of climate change issues. The programme includes technical sport skills and soft skills for children and young people, focusing on child protection, intercultural education, leadership, conflict management, community engagement, experiential learning, etc.

2. Technical and financial support to enable schools to implement an F4P programme for 400 students (at least 25% of whom are girls and 5% are disabled students)

Trained facilitators and teachers carry out weekly F4P coaching sessions to enhance the well-being and inclusion of the participating students. The project team sets up the groups, some of which are girls-only groups to encourage participation, and provides the necessary sports equipment. Safeguarding procedures monitored by the project team ensure protective, gender-sensitive environments and climate change awareness is integrated into the coaching sessions.

3. Supporting social sports initiatives

The 400 participating children, supported by the project team, facilitators and teachers, work in groups to coordinate three social sports initiatives per school. These initiatives use sport to raise awareness of climate change, reaching at least 2,000 fellow students.

4. A football tournament for the 20 participating schools in the El-Obour district

The project team organises a district football tournament between the participating schools. The students of each school design their own kit, which should promote climate change messages.

Terre des Hommes Egypt posts short videos, testimonies and success stories on social media to promote the project.



Location and general information

Location Germany & Iraq
Start date 01/01/2023
End date 12/31/2023
Cost of the project €435,000
Foundation funding €115,000
Project identifier 20220430
Partners HÁ
Categories Access to Sport - Children with disabilities - Conflict victims - Gender Equality - Healthy lifestyle - Personal development


More people are displaced today than at any time since World War II. In Germany, there are approximately 1.4 million refugees, while in post-conflict Iraq, some 1.2 million inhabitants are internally displaced persons (IDPs). Action is needed to tackle barriers to the integration of refugees and IDPs, especially women and girls. Female refugees face additional hurdles to integration, from family pressures to cultural and host community expectations. These issues need to be addressed.

Project goals

SCORING GIRLS* uses football as a tool to empower a unique target group – refugee, migrant and underprivileged girls aged 9–18. A weekly programme promotes self-esteem and a sense of community to boost social integration. The SCORING GIRLS* project has been implemented in three IDP camps in Iraq and seven locations in Germany and encourages the development of a shared identity among the participants and their host communities.


  1. Empower refugee and IDP girls through soft-skill development and psychosocial support
  2. Support the development of a strong, inclusive community by strengthening social cohesion and community services for refugees and their families
  3. Promote direct engagement and mutual understanding between refugee and IDP girls and host communities in Germany and Iraq
  4. Raise awareness of the potential of sport as a tool to empower and integrate refugees

Expected results

  1. Improved soft skills such as self-confidence, teamwork and resilience in 280 girls
  2. The construction of cohesive communities of girls with diverse backgrounds in nine locations
  3. Active support of girls involved in the project by 500 family members
  4. Some 700,000 people taught the power of sport to build cohesive communities and empower girls

Project content

The following activities will take place with 160 girls at two venues in Germany and three IDP camps in Iraq.

Weekly empowerment programme

  1. Recruitment of girls and relationship-building
  2. Weekly football-based, soft-skills programme
  3. Empowerment dialogues with role models

Community-building programme

  1. Group excursions
  2. Family engagement events and training
  3. Friendly football matches


Team up for Ukraine emergency fund

Location and general information

Location Germany, Spain, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Austria, France, Switzerland, Sweden, Hungary, Italy, UK, Ireland, Norway, Belgium, Netherlands, Estonia, Portugal, Romania, Moldova
Start date 03/01/2022
End date 06/30/2023
Cost of the project €496,210
Foundation funding €50,000
Project identifier 20211111
Partners Common Goal
Categories Access to Sport - Conflict victims - Strengthening partnerships


The war in Ukraine has given rise to a severe humanitarian crisis and widespread displacement.  

At the outset, there was an immediate need for emergency humanitarian aid including food, transport to safer locations, accommodation, medical assistance, psychological support, schooling and childcare.  

Since then, 8.1 million Ukrainian refugees have found themselves scattered throughout various host countries, struggling to integrate and adapt to their new surroundings. Their needs are multifaceted and pressing, from material assistance and food security to healthcare, employment, accommodation, education, and access to vital information.  

Of particular concern is the plight of refugee children. An estimated 44% of Ukrainian refugee households across Europe comprise school-aged children between 5 and 17 years old. Their need for structured support is of paramount importance. Not only do they require access to quality education, but also structured psychological support to address the traumas they have endured. 

Project goals

  • Secure basic supplies, medical assistance and psychological support for displaced people on the move within Ukraine and in neighbouring countries.​ 
  • Provide access to accommodation, medical assistance, childcare, schools and information about access to employment  
  • Offer structured psychosocial support and inclusive activities that encourage integration through football  

Project content

Through the Team up for Ukraine emergency response fund, Common Goal has activated a team of organisations, players, foundations, brands and other stakeholders in football to provide immediate humanitarian aid and ensure long-term support to those affected by the war.  

With the support of the UEFA Foundation for Children and others, a total of 14 organisations in 11 countries have got involved: SpreeFlanke, Fundación Red Deporte y Cooperación​, Spirit of Football​, War Child Germany​, Trenuj Bycie Dobrym​, Oltalom Sport Association​, INEX-SDA​, Cross Cultures Project Association​, Champions ohne Grenzen​, Fútbol Más Foundation​, AMANDLA, Kicken ohne Grenzen​, League of Tolerance,​ and Policy Center for Roma and Minorities​.

These organisations have offered different types of support in and outside Ukraine, including logistical support, transport to safer locations, accommodation, medicines and other basic supplies, cultural integration and adaptation, access to psychosocial support and stress relief, job integration, adaptation and training​; and school or childcare placements​.

Within Ukraine, 3,000 humanitarian kits containing medicine, food and essential goods have been distributed to internally displaced families, and 56 communities have received tools, materials and equipment for events. 

Collectively, the projects and organisations supported by the fund have collaborated with 183 partner organisations, including schools, football clubs, local authorities and another NGOs.​ A total of 16,937 children and adults have directly benefited. 


Education and sports for vulnerable children in Afghanistan

Location and general information

Location Afghanistan
Start date 01/01/2023
End date 12/31/2023
Cost of the project €293,915
Foundation funding €50,000
Project identifier 20220474
Partners Action for Development
Categories Access to Sport - Conflict victims - Employability - Gender Equality - Healthy lifestyle - Infrastructure and equipment - Personal development


Recent drought, flooding, earthquakes, COVID-19 and regime change have had a devastating impact on the most vulnerable groups in Afghanistan, including children who work on the streets and girls in particular.

Large numbers of Afghans have moved to the major cities in search of a means of survival and many children end up working on the streets in dangerous jobs to support their families. They are vulnerable to being abused, sexually exploited, subjected to forced labour, exposed to drugs and recruited by terrorist groups.

Engaging these children in education reduces these risks and helps them to reintegrate into society. Sadly, children in Afghanistan face multiple barriers to education and girls have been barred from school and university entirely.

Project goals

Action for Development's overall goal is to provide high-quality schooling to girls and disadvantaged children in Afghanistan. The aim is to improve their well-being in the short term and reduce poverty and child labour in the long term.

Project content

Education for street-working children

AfD’s schools offer 320 children two hours of high-quality schooling per day, close to where they work, in line with SDGs 1 (no poverty) and 4 (quality education). AfD is working on setting up new learning centres, as well as recruiting and training more teachers in the special needs of street children. AfD develops innovative tailormade teaching materials and is currently establishing a Montessori curriculum and harmonising the existing materials with the formal school curriculum. It is increasing synergies with local schools and continuing to organise awareness sessions promoting education and sports for girls. We also try to integrate as many children as possible into public schools to increase their chances of getting good jobs and break the cycle of poverty.

Health and well-being

All children enrolled in AfD’s education programme receive one healthy meal each day, which for many is the only meal they eat that day (SDG 2: zero hunger). Our Comprehensive Health Centre performs regular health checks, growth monitoring, vaccinations and psychological support in line with SDG 3 (good health and well-being). AfD also offers football coaching in order to entertain and educate the children and let them enjoy their childhoods in a safe environment.

Education for girls above 13 years old

AfD has recently set up a home-based education programme for secondary school aged girls who have been banned from formal government education (SDG 5: gender equality). Currently, 180 girls are enrolled and AfD is working to hire and train more female teachers, find partners to certify exams, improve the programme and identify digital platforms to give more girls access to education.

Vocational trainings

AfD has established a vocational training programme for 20 male students aged 14–16 (SDG 8: decent work and economic growth). AfD is working with local partners to further improve the learning modules it provides in in-demand skills, such as mechanics, carpentry and gem cutting. We are also working to raise awareness of the importance of providing digital learning to children in emergency situations and conflict zones.


Sports and Play for Asylum-Seeking Unaccompanied Minors

Location and general information

Location Netherlands
Start date 12/01/2022
End date 12/01/2024
Cost of the project €108,257
Foundation funding €38,829
Project identifier 20220370
Partners KLABU Foundation
Categories Access to Sport - Conflict victims - Employability - Healthy lifestyle - Infrastructure and equipment - Personal development - Strengthening partnerships


The initial reception, medical check and first application interview of all asylum-seekers arriving in the Netherlands takes place at the Central Reception Centre in Ter Apel. In recent months, the centre has faced challenges with a higher influx of asylum seekers and slightly prolonged process times. Unaccompanied minors (UAM) – asylum seekers under the age of 18 who are not accompanied by a parent or adult relative – are particularly vulnerable. UAM are exposed to many challenges and traumas during their journeys and need special care. UAM numbers at the centre have increased in recent months, putting pressure on social workers who already lack sufficient time and resources. The stress of the asylum-seeking process coupled with the lack of meaningful daytime activities for UAM clearly have a direct impact on their mental well-being.

Project goals

  • Improve the mental well-being of UAM by providing access to sports
  • Create a safe space for young asylum-seekers to relax and socialise
  • Offer the adult residents of the centre training through a volunteering programme
  • Create an effective activity schedule around and beyond sports with a focus on well-being and personal growth

Project content

Community volunteers organise activities for UAM including art workshops and sports coaching days. The container-based clubhouse has been transformed into a sports library that is entirely managed and run by community volunteers. Improvements will be made to the clubhouse to further encourage social interactions.

As well as day-to-day activities, the project also hosts special events to bring young people together. The first Social Sports Day consisted of indoor sports, music, dance and arts workshops, all of which were much enjoyed by the young participants. A workshop is planned to design a sports kit for the centre’s young residents.

Regular workshops are led by refugees who have previously stayed in Ter Apel. They share their experiences of settling in the Netherlands after leaving the reception centre.


Football: A universal language

Location and general information

Location Lithuania
Start date 01/01/2023
End date 12/31/2023
Cost of the project €50,000
Foundation funding €37,000
Project identifier 20220179
Partners Vilnius social club
Categories Access to Sport - Conflict victims - Gender Equality - Healthy lifestyle - Personal development


Lithuanian society has faced various challenges over the last few years:

  • Deterioration in the population’s psychological health following the pandemic;
  • Large number of refugees arriving from Africa and the Middle east in 2021 after the border with Belarus opened;
  • Tensions with Russian community and migration from Ukraine as a result of the war in Ukraine;
  • Economic hardship, inflation and increased poverty.

In Lithuania, football is not accessible to vulnerable children and young adults because of the high fees and too much focus on results.

Project goals

Vilnius Social Club has run the football programme since 2013. The main goal is not sporting results, but a qualitative change in the life of each participant:

  • To help develop children and young people to develop skills and qualities that will help them to overcome various life challenges, such as independence, communication skills and the ability to work as a team, take responsibility, solve conflicts, find compromises and come to agreement.
  • To improve the participants’ social and sporting skills, thereby expanding the options available to teenagers in the future.

Principles of the project:

  1. Football is just a tool: we want participants in the football programme to grow as individuals, and we aim to create a space in which children and young people can take part in regular and long-term activities at their own pace. Playing football helps them to learn to be on time and stay until the end, to work as a team, to manage their emotions, to deal constructively with stressful and challenging situations, to win and lose, to interact with peers and adults, and to reflect on their experiences.
  1. Equal opportunities for all: we encourage diversity among the children who attend our football sessions, who include girls and boys, quieter and louder children, those of different nationalities, and weaker and stronger individuals.
  1. Empowering performance: we constantly reflect on our work and try to be clear about the limits of our responsibilities. Instead of playing the role of saviour, we choose to collaborate with our partners, provide them with feedback and work together to make a positive difference in the lives of children and young people.

Project content

Participants of the football activities are divided into different age groups, with each having a two-hour session once a week. The sessions are structured as follows:

  1. Informal activities (free play): 20 minutes
  2. Opening circle: 10 minutes
  3. Football exercises: 30 minutes
  4. Football match: 30 minutes
  5. Discussion (circle): 30 minutes

Around 120 people aged from 7 to 20, with different experiences and facing different challenges, participate in the football programme each year. They all find a space where they are accepted regardless of their behaviour, financial situation or physical ability.

Additional activities include collaborating with families, one-to-one communication, work with individuals, activities during school holidays, and a summer camp.


Together for the Ukrainians

Location and general information

Location Italy
Start date 03/01/2023
End date 12/31/2023
Cost of the project €50,000
Foundation funding €25,000
Project identifier 20220892
Partners Comitato Regionale Emigrazione Immigrazione - CREI ACLI Sardegna
Categories Access to Sport - Conflict victims - Employability - Personal development - Strengthening partnerships


The Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 triggered a forced migration of Ukrainian citizens across Europe. Although refugee flows can change rapidly, Italy has received the fourth largest number of Ukrainian refugees in Europe (220,000), after Poland, Germany and the Czech Republic.

Project goals

The project’s short-term goals are to help refugees cope with trauma and restore their mental well-being as well as overcome communication barriers that hinder social interactions.

The medium-term objectives are to promote refugees’ personal development and growth in different contexts.

The long-term goals are to prevent isolation and discrimination, nurture relationships and offer healthy opportunities for cultural exchanges.

Project content

CREI ACLI acted immediately to address the critical issues of the emergency. However, these were short-term actions, whereas the integration of refugees is a long and difficult process, requiring efforts to prevent isolation, discrimination and, ultimately, social delinquency. Our refugee integration project is based on a social inclusion model that will address these difficulties.

In addition to the services we have offered since March 2022 (psychological support, Italian classes, support for enrolment in school and university, professional and career counselling), we will carry out the following activities:

Sport, art and cultural orientation: activities to present children with the opportunities in our area. Sports-based educational activities are great tools to reduce aggression, bring people together and build good relationships between different groups.

Enrolment in sports clubs: team sports favour interactions and integration. Refugee children will play in heterogeneous teams of local children and children from various ethnic origins. Special game-based training sessions and tournaments will be held in the province of Cagliari based on the theme of solidarity.

Recreation and fun activities: together with local children and second-generation immigrants in the same age range, young refugee will take part in social games and activities in the park. There will also be art workshops and discussions on customs, traditions, current affairs, etc.

Guided tours around Cagliari and trips further afield with local and second-generation immigrant children to visit places of historical, artistic, cultural and natural interest in Sardinia.


Football Friends – Together is OK!

Location and general information

Location Bosnia and Herzegovina
Start date 03/01/2023
End date 12/01/2023
Cost of the project €58,000
Foundation funding €43,720
Project identifier 20220196
Partners Football Friends
Categories Access to Sport - Conflict victims - Gender Equality - Personal development - Strengthening partnerships


Bosnia and Herzegovina is one of Europe's poorest countries that is still facing unresolved post-conflict tensions and the negative consequences of the ruthless war of the 1990s that affect young people and ethnic groups in Bosnia.

Project goals

  • Prevent conflict and promote long-lasting peace
  • Improve relationships between different national groups
  • Challenge stereotypes and social roles
  • Promote more active female participation in all football-related activities

Project content

The Football Friends – Together is OK! 2.0.23 project will extend the age range from players aged up to 14 to those aged up to 18. It will also incorporate the towns of Čajniče and Ustikolina from the same region as the existing project towns of Foča and Goražde.

The project will continue to adopt a football3 approach with teams of mixed genders and ethnicities from the four municipalities. Teams will be assembled using the Viber messaging app.


Education Through Sports

Location and general information

Location Yemen
Start date 12/01/2022
End date 06/30/2023
Cost of the project €86,283
Foundation funding €73,700
Project identifier 20220348
Partners Helpcode
Categories Access to Sport - Conflict victims - Healthy lifestyle


After seven years of conflict, Yemen is still suffering the effects of one of the world’s most severe humanitarian crises, with an estimated 24.1 million people in need of urgent assistance. Four million of these people are internally displaced. Vulnerable women, girls and children are paying the heaviest price; they tend to suffer the most from a limited access to basic services, threats and the lack of privacy, compromising their safety and making them even more exposed to violence.

Project goals

- Address the psychosocial needs of children affected by conflict and displacement by improving access to sport and psychosocial and social education.

- Promote children’s rights and strengthen protection mechanisms in the broader community.

Project content

  1. Provide training workshops for psychosocial support facilitators and teachers on the delivery of psychosocial support and the use of play-based activities as a tool for integration and development.
  2. The delivery of psychosocial support sessions to in-school and out-of-school children by supplying sports equipment and using recreational activities to help children deal with trauma and build life skills.
  3. Community awareness-raising campaigns on children’s rights and protection services.


SHARE: my story

Location and general information

Location Senegal, Palestine and Burkina Faso
Start date 01/10/2023
End date 12/31/2023
Cost of the project €88,770,00
Foundation funding €72,140,00
Project identifier 20220581
Partners Exodos Ljubljana
Categories Access to Sport - Children with disabilities - Conflict victims - Employability - Environmental protection - Healthy lifestyle - Personal development - Strengthening partnerships


We strongly believe that sport and culture should be more connected and the Share: My Story programme promotes this. Children who hope to be the best footballers in the world should learn about culture for their personal growth and to broaden their horizons. We advocate for equality for girls and boys who, although from different backgrounds, all share the same passion.

Project goals

Our project encourages social, sporting and artistic bonds, promoting the talent of young people and strengthening their physical, cultural and intellectual capital.

Specific objectives

  • Provide young people from different countries with new training and cultural skills, enabling them to express their voices through art.
  • Connect sport with cultural activities, the physical with the imagination, for the surrounding communities: families, neighbours, schoolmates.
  • Empower small clubs and NGOs in their efforts to inspire creative teamwork.

Project content

Creative camps in three countries: Senegal, Burkina Faso, Palestine

  • My story – a workshop in documentary filmmaking
  • Urban dance and movement – a workshop in urban dance

Location 1: Dakar, Senegal, 10–21 January 2023

Location 2: Jenin, Ramallah, Palestine, 1–14 July 2023

Location 3: Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, 1–11 December 2023

Creating and updating project website and social media accounts, producing PR content

1 December 2022 – 31 December 2024

Completion of the professional documentary film My Story

30 March 2024

Setting up and developing local football clubs

20 January 2023 – 31 December 2023


First Aid Project

Location and general information

Location Ukraine
Start date 01/15/2023
End date 12/30/2023
Cost of the project €90,000,00
Foundation funding €70,000,00
Project identifier 20221155
Partners Charitable Foundation Klitschko Foundation
Categories Conflict victims - Infrastructure and equipment - Strengthening partnerships


According to the UN and the Prosecutor General's Office, 6,755 civilians have died in Ukraine since the beginning of the war, including 424 children. This number is constantly increasing due to daily rocket and artillery attacks on civilian objects by Russian forces. A large proportion of deaths are a result of the delayed or insufficient provision of first aid. According to research, up to 54% of injured individuals could be saved by relatively simple actions such as stopping bleeding. We work specifically with teachers, since they spend a significant amount of time with children throughout the day but only a small percentage of them know first aid.

Project goals

  • Create a safe school environment
  • Train teachers and students in first aid and safety during a war
  • Provide schools with first-aid kits
  • Promote awareness in society of the importance of those who work with children being able to administer pre-medical care

Project content

Thirty two-day training courses delivered in general education and sports schools over three months. Thirty participants from 100 schools will take part in each training course. During the project, we will educate 900 teachers and coaches in first aid.

Provision of first aid-kits to 100 schools.

Certificates of completion for all participants of the first aid course, who will have acquired the skills to deliver pre-medical care classes to school students.