Call for projects 2019

Call for projects 2019

On 1 July the UEFA Foundation for Children launched its 2019 call for projects that seek to promote children’s fundamental rights across the globe.

This call for projects is aimed at any organisation that shares the values of the UEFA foundation and proposes practical measures to help children, in the areas of access to sport, health, education, employment, personal development and supporting vulnerable children.
Applications are invited from organisations anywhere in the world. Support is not limited to projects within Europe.

Eligibility criteria

The UEFA Foundation for Children will examine and evaluate each project.

The final decision on the selection of projects will be taken by the board of trustees in accordance with the foundation’s statutes and ethics code.
Specific conditions relating to funding are provided in the project criteria.

To submit your project, click on this link. The application deadline is 31 July 2019.

Candidates will be notified of the progress of their application by the end of 2019.

 

 

UEFA Foundation for Children launches 2018 call for projects

On 13 August, the UEFA Foundation for Children launched its 2018 call for projects that seek to promote children’s fundamental rights across the globe.

This call for projects is aimed at any organisation that shares the values of the UEFA foundation and proposes practical measures to help children, in particular in the areas of access to sport, health, education, employment, personal development and supporting vulnerable children.

Applications are invited from organisations anywhere in the world. Support is not limited to projects within Europe

The UEFA Foundation for Children will examine and evaluate each project. The final decision on the selection of projects will be taken by the board of trustees in accordance with the foundation’s statutes and ethics code.

Specific conditions relating to funding are provided in the project criteria.

To submit your project, click on this link. The application deadline is 14 September 2018.

Candidates will be notified of the progress of their application by the end of 2018.

Making football dreams come true

The foundation endeavours to put a smile on the faces of children and young people who are seriously ill or whose lives have been changed forever an accident by enabling them to meet their favourite player or a prestigious football team, or simply to enjoy the unique experience of watching a major European match.

For the last three years, we have been working closely with Etoile filante/Sternschnuppe and Make a Wish in Switzerland and the French association Rêves to provide unforgettable experiences for children and the families that support them day after day. We do all we can to give them a couple of magical days to help them through the more difficult moments.

The foundation made the dreams of 46 children come true during the 2017/18 season:

  • 18 children saw their favourite player in action for their club
  • 6 children met the players of their national team
  • 22 children watched the UEFA Europa League and UEFA Champions League finals

Club matches :

  • Gwendal’s dream came true when he met the FC Barcelona players and watched the Champions League match between FC Barcelona and Olympiacos FC on 18 October.
  • Larisa met the player David Luiz and attended the Champions League match between Chelsea FC and AS Roma on 18 October.
  • Christoph, whose dream was to see the Borussia Dortmund team, met them at their Champions League match against Tottenham Hotspur FC on 21 November.
  • Simone met Neymar at a training session and at the Champions League match between Celtic FC and Paris Saint-Germain on 22 November.
  • Bruno met his favourite team, Juventus, at their Champions League match against FC Barcelona on 22 November.
  • Dominic met the FC Bayern München players and watched their match against Paris Saint-Germain on 5 December.
  • Sami watched Paris Saint-Germain’s match against FC Bayern München in Munich on 5 December.
  • Mathis watched Paris Saint-Germain’s match against FC Bayern München in Munich on 5 December.
  • Mateo’s dream of seeing Real Madrid CF in action came true on 6 December 2017, when he watched them play Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League.
  • Marco had dreamt of meeting AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma and was given the chance to do so on 22 February.
  • Timoty fulfilled his dream of meeting Lionel Messi and watching an FC Barcelona match on 4 April, when they played AS Roma in the Champions League quarter-final second leg.
  • Enzo fulfilled his dream of meeting Lionel Messi and watching an FC Barcelona match on 4 April, when they played AS Roma in the Champions League quarter-final second leg.
  • Loic fulfilled his dream of meeting Lionel Messi and watching an FC Barcelona match on 4 April, when they played AS Roma in the Champions League quarter-final second leg.
  • Ulrich had dreamt of meeting Paul Pogba and was able to do so at a training session before Manchester United FC played Sevilla FC on 13 March.
  • Gabriele met the player David Luiz and watched the Champions League match between Chelsea FC and FC Barcelona on 20 February.
  • Océane’s dream of meeting Dimitri Payet came true at the Europa League semi-final in Marseille.
  • Azra attended the Istanbul derby between Galatasaray AŞ and Beşiktaş JK on 29 April.

National team matches:

  • Julien met Gianluigi Buffon and Giorgio Chiellini when Italy played their European Qualifier against FYR Macedonia on 6 October.
  • Noa met the Portugal team on 10 October, when they played their European Qualifier against Switzerland.
  • Jorim met the Portugal team on 10 October, when they played their European Qualifier against Switzerland.
  • Gautier met the French national team in Saint Denis (Paris) on 11 November after the friendly against Wales.
  • Alex met the French national team in Saint Denis (Paris) on 11 November after the friendly against Wales.
  • Calvyn met the French national team in Saint Denis (Paris) on 11 November after the friendly against Wales.

Finals:

  • Dylan fulfilled his dream by watching his favourite team, Olympique de Marseille, contest the Europa League final in Lyon.
  • A group of nine young people from the Air Pur et Soleil association, who were going through a tough time in their lives, attended the Europa League final. They also had lunch with famous French player Yann M’Vila of AS Saint-Étienne.
  • A group of 12 youngsters from the Sport dans la Ville association (France) were rewarded for their good behaviour and exemplary hard work for the association with a trip to Kyiv to watch the Champions League final.

Stars in their eyes

Local children will escort the players out onto the pitch thanks to a partnership between the UEFA Foundation for Children and FedEx

The UEFA Europa League final is a source of great excitement to its host city, and not least to the young fans who dream of seeing their heroes in the flesh.
The UEFA Foundation for Children and the competition’s main sponsor, FedEx, have worked together to make the dreams of 22 local children a reality. Those youngsters, aged between seven and nine, will walk onto the pitch hand in hand with the players from Olympique de Marseille and Club Atlético de Madrid prior to kick-off. They having been chosen by French non-profit organisation Sport dans la Ville. They learned of their role from none other than FedEx ambassador and Netherlands legend Ruud Gullit during a special trip to the Stade de Lyon.

“The news that the children would escort the football stars they admire most onto the field at the UEFA Europa League final was completely unexpected – a possibility that many would not even have dreamed of,” said Hélène Blondel-Ehni, director of partnerships at Sport dans la Ville.

FedEx donated its full player-escort line-up to local charities at previous UEFA Europa League finals in Basel and Stockholm, prior to the 2018 showpiece in Lyon. The sponsor works together with the UEFA Foundation for Children and global charity streetfootballworld on a collaborative social responsibility programme that uses football as a platform to connect people and possibilities around the world.

“To step out onto the field at the UEFA Europa League final is something completely out of the ordinary, and you can see a sense of pride in their faces on the night,” said Jérôme Ovion, vice-president of hub operations at FedEx Express France.

In addition to this player escort initiative, the UEFA Foundation for Children is also giving away 100 match tickets to other partner organisations, allowing even more children to attend the final and enjoy the experience of a lifetime.

New projects funded by the UEFA Foundation for Children

Additional funds allocated to 28 projects in support of vulnerable children around the world.

The UEFA Foundation for Children’s board of trustees, led by its new chairman, Aleksander Čeferin, met at the House of European Football in Nyon on 22 November, when they were invited to approve a host of new projects shortlisted following the 2017 call for projects held in August and September this year.

A great many project applications were received. In order to narrow down the selection, a working group of trustees was established to draw up a shortlist that took into account budgetary forecasts and the foundation’s ethics code. On the basis of this shortlist, the board has approved 28 projects, half of which are in Europe.

The new European programmes supported by the UEFA Foundation for Children use sport, and football in particular, to give the most vulnerable a chance to participate in physical activity, which is vital for their healthy physical and psychological development. They convey a wide range of societal values in a way that is relevant to children. Topics such as well-being, self-esteem, tolerance, inclusion of minorities, conflict resolution, learning to live together, education and employability are addressed alongside active training sessions. Four of the new European projects relate to the social integration of child refugees in host communities.

The 14 projects outside Europe give the UEFA Foundation for Children a presence on all continents. These programmes aim to protect children and young adults who are victims of social, economic, political or armed conflicts. In crisis-hit countries, the principles enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child often fall by the wayside. Through sport and games, a fun, educational approach can be adopted to address social issues such as early marriage, birth control, the importance of school, health, hygiene and well-being.

Nathalie Iannetta, one of the trustees who was part of the working group that shortlisted the projects, said: “All we ever hear about football concerns the big competitions, the transfers and the scandals. At the UEFA Foundation for Children, however, we can see on a daily basis how our sport is a powerful driver of social change. The projects that were sent to us from all over the world are proof that, thanks to football, it is possible to support the social integration of refugees, the empowerment of girls, the faster, more sustainable inclusion of disabled people, and so on. The wide variety of projects that we received is a hallmark of the extraordinary richness and generosity inherent in each of us.”

List of new partners and their projects:

Action for Development, Afghanistan School for Street Children
Association of Football Federations of Azerbaijan, Karabakh Brave Hearts
Baan Dek Foundation, Thailand Football4Good
Football United, Myanmar Football United Myanmar
Fotbal Pro Rozvoj, Czech Republic Football for development in Czech Republic
Foundation of Polish Soccer, Poland Football Film Festival
Fundación Red Deporte y Cooperacíon, Spain Football With No Limits
Game International, Kosovo Game Kosova
Johan Cruyff Foundation, Aruba, Caribbean Cruyff Courts in the Dutch Caribbean
Kick It Out, United Kingdom Diversity in Football Leadership Pathway
Light For The World International, Bolivia Inclusion of children & Youth with disabilities
National Children’s Football Alliance, Belgium Global Peace Game
Oceania Football Confederation, Oceania Just Play
Oltalom Sport Association, Hungary Football for Respect!
Orama Neon Youthorama, Thessaloniki, Greece A ball for all children, a goal for inclusion
Paris Saint-Germain Foundation, France Allez les Filles!
PluSport, Switzerland Goal Plus
Royal Europa 90 Kraainem Football Club, Belgium We welcome young refugees
Ruud Van Nistelrooy Foundation, Netherlands Talent group
SALT Academy, Cambodia Football For Development after-school programme
Soccer in the Streets, Atlanta, United States Refugee Life Skills and Employment Training Soccer Program Atlanta
Sport dans la Ville, France Job dans la Ville
Streetfootballworld, Jordan and Lebanon Empowering refugee and marginalised children
Terre des Hommes, Egypt Protection and social inclusion
Tiempo de Juego Foundation, Columbia Creciendo con el Balón/ Fútbol for Growth
Triangle Génération Humanitaire (TGH), Central African Republic and Republic of the Congo Improving the protection, education and reintegration of street children in Bangui and Brazzaville
UEFA Foundation for Children, Jordane Football at the Zaatari refugee camp
UNIS VERS le SPORT, Senegal UVS – Interational Education Centre

 

 

Using the power of football to unite the world

The UEFA Foundation for Children is supporting ELEVEN, a film project developed by the Eleven Campaign, a non-profit organisation based in the United Kingdom, which operates in 11 different countries. The campaign’s mission is to create educational audiovisual projects and charitable events that harness the power of sport to celebrate diversity and promote equality and cross-cultural collaboration.

Project summary
ELEVEN is a feature-length documentary about the power of football to unite the world. It follows the stories of 11 eleven-year-old football-loving children from 11 different countries as they come together to form a football team and prepare for the biggest match of their lives.

Over the past three years, the 11 young heroes have been documented in their hometowns, focusing on how their environment, family, culture and passion for football have shaped their character. By observing them in their individual environments, as well as during their joint training sessions, viewers will witness how the universal language of football can break down communication barriers and unite those who are seemingly so different. The finished documentary will be shown at festivals and in schools, universities and sports academies, and combined with interactive activities that promote the use of sport for development and peace.

The countries participating in the project are Australia, Brazil, Denmark, Egypt, Greece, Japan, Rwanda, Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, UK and USA.

For further information visit:

Foundation spotlight on parents in Cardiff

Parents will take a prominent part in the UEFA Women’s Champions League final celebrations on Thursday – which is also the UN Global Day of Parents – to mark their role in children participating in football.

The UEFA Women’s Champions League final in Cardiff will celebrate the family – thanks to the UEFA Foundation for Children.

Thursday’s big match at Cardiff City Stadium between Lyon and Paris Saint-Germain coincides with the UN Global Day of Parents, and parents will play a prominent role at the game, in tribute to their crucial contribution in getting children to participate in football.

The UEFA foundation – true to its mission to bring smiles to children’s faces and promote the magic of football – has planned activities involving children and parents.

At the opening ceremony ahead of the match, 15 girls and their parents will raise a giant centre-circle banner. On the eve of the final, the girls and families also had the opportunity to meet the players, who serve as important role models in inspiring young girls to take up football.

In partnership with streetfootballworld, the foundation has arranged match tickets for over 800 children and parents connected to charitable organisations in Cardiff that form part of the streetfootballworld network.

With Thursday’s final also heralding the kick-off of UEFA’s Together #WePlayStrong campaign aimed at encouraging girls to play football, the children will receive a Together #WePlayStrong tifo banner to hold, as well as inflatable bambam sticks.

“On the occasion of UEFA’s flagship women’s club competition final, the foundation would like to pay tribute to every child’s most important supporters: their families,” said Pascal Torres, general secretary of the UEFA Foundation for Children.

“Mothers and fathers have an essential role to play in getting their children, and their daughters in particular, to participate in this beautiful game.”

Goal in Life foundation

Representatives of the UEFA Foundation for Children travelled to Cyprus in April at the invitation of a new foundation founded by active footballers and veteran players whose aim is to use the power of football and its players to assist socially vulnerable groups.

The association, Goal in Life, is the first charity of its kind – a voluntary body comprised exclusively of footballers, established on the initiative of Cyprus and AEK Larnaca FC captain Constantinos Charalambides. He succeeded in rounding up 22 founding members – active footballers and veterans – representing teams from towns and cities across the Mediterranean island.

The legal basis for the foundation has been laid, a board has been set up, and the statutes are already in force. Support has been forthcoming from the Cyprus Football Association, the Cypriot government and businesses on the island.
The official launch ceremony is today (15 May) at the Presidential Palace in Nicosia, in presence of the president of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, and the minister of education and culture, Costas Kadis.

“Football is the biggest social phenomenon, not only in Cyprus but worldwide,” Constantinos Charalambides says. “Goal in Life uses the power of footballers to shape society on two important pillars: as a charity, collecting funds and resources and giving them to those who need them most, and through volunteering, in order to empower others to promote humanity, mutual assistance and unity, and move away from fanaticism and crime.”

Goal in Life has identified various ways of achieving its objectives. These include providing financial support to vulnerable groups, fundraising for specific causes and initiatives, and visiting schools and hospitals as a form of civic engagement.

Goal in Life membership is open to footballers aged 18 or over, from Cyprus or abroad, who are registered with the Cyprus Football Association, as well as to individuals, companies and organisations interested in providing financial support through annual subscriptions or donations.

Members are encouraged to lead by example, to show that all players – Cypriot or not – are united by a common goal, namely to help society. They are also asked to speak out against violence, drugs, crime and other social ills, and convey other equally important social messages.

“Since players are idols, through their actions they are able to penetrate the different layers of society and actually help people in need,” Goal in Life explains.
Goal in Life and the Cypriot education ministry have agreed to set up a two-year schools programme, to be launched in September. The association will cover the cost of teachers staying on after working hours to provide additional courses in sport and physical education. Another of the programme’s aims is to promote the essential values of sport among youngsters.

The UEFA Foundation for Children is proud of the players in Cyprus who have initiated this unique programme, using football and their prominence as a force for good in society. We welcome this initiative and hope that it will be echoed by other players all over Europe.

Young film directors seeking to capture the passion of the game

The top European footballers of tomorrow will soon be in action at Colovray stadium in Nyon in the finals of the fourth edition of the UEFA Youth League. While FC Barcelona, SL Benfica, Real Madrid CF and FC Salzburg are battling it out for the Lennart Johansson Trophy, the UEFA Foundation for Children will be giving six budding young film directors from the local Camp Cinema group extensive access to the finals and related events to help them develop and hone their film production skills.

Those 12 to 16-year-olds will produce a special documentary bringing a fresh young perspective to this competition. Their short film will have a dual focus, featuring both the Youth League finals and a local children’s tournament taking place in parallel at the same venue. Both events will be fuelled by the same passion for the game, and the emotion of the various sets of fans will give a special flavour to that film, which will be promoted by both the foundation and UEFA via their assorted communication platforms.

The UEFA Foundation for Children will also be present at the Youth Plaza, displaying videos, showcasing a photo exhibition and giving children the chance to take part in a big quiz with great prizes.

All ticketing revenue from the Youth League finals will be donated to the UEFA Foundation for Children, helping it to finance projects allowing very seriously ill children to fulfil their dreams by meeting their favourite players and attending big matches.

Back to 2016

2016 – A year full of great projects in support of children around the world

The UEFA Foundation for Children rose to many challenges in 2016, helping to organise football-related activities for disadvantaged children and at the same time supporting projects for children in need throughout the world. We have picked out a few images that illustrate what the foundation has done, how important sport is for children’s development and how it can create social changes for young people who seize the opportunity.

The UEFA Foundation for Children contributed to the legacy programme of UEFA Futsal EURO 2016 in Serbia through a photo exhibition on children’s lives at the Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan, shown to classes from underprivileged neighbourhoods in Belgrade. The exhibition was used as an educational tool to teach the pupils about the lives of the children in the camp and to show them how sport helps people to face and overcome all sorts of difficulties in life.

Kids from Belgrade at UEFA Futsal EURO 2016
Kids from Belgrade at UEFA Futsal EURO 2016

The UEFA Foundation for Children and FedEx set up an open community football pitch in Cañada Real, a shanty town in Madrid and one of Spain’s most economically disadvantaged areas. The pitch was donated to Red Deporte y Cooperación, a non-profit organisation that uses football to drive social change.

Football community pitch in Cañada Real, Madrid
Football community pitch in Cañada Real, Madrid

The UEFA Foundation for Children gave 22 children from difficult backgrounds the unique opportunity to be player escorts at UEFA Europa League semi-finals in Seville and Liverpool and at the final in Basel.

Player escorts at St. Jakob-Park on May 17, 2016 in Basel, Switzerland.
Player escorts at St. Jakob-Park on May 17, 2016 in Basel, Switzerland.

Putting smiles on children’s faces at UEFA EURO 2016 was the objective of an ambitious project through which the UEFA Foundation for Children provided 20,000 tickets to local children who would otherwise not have the opportunity to attend a match.

The 20 000 Smiles project ahead of Hungary v Portugal in Lyon
The 20 000 Smiles project ahead of Hungary v Portugal in Lyon

During UEFA EURO 2016, the UEFA Foundation for Children also supported streetworldfootball Festival 16, hosted by Sport dans la Ville in Lyon – a massive gathering of football communities from all around the world and a great demonstration of the power of football as a peacemaker and a driver of social change.

streetfootballworld festival 16 - anthem
streetfootballworld festival 16 - anthem

The opening ceremony of the UEFA Super Cup 2016 in Trondheim was used to send a message of peace and solidarity to civilian victims of bombings around the world. At the same time, and for the first time in the history of European football, two boys in wheelchairs escorted the players onto the pitch.

UEFA Super Cup Final, August 9, 2016 in Trondheim, Norway.
UEFA Super Cup Final, August 9, 2016 in Trondheim, Norway.

An important milestone was reached in the Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan with the inauguration of a House of Sports, an umbrella facility for all sports inside the camp.

Looking ahead, 2017 is shaping up to be another ambitious and rewarding year for the UEFA Foundation for Children, with 12 new programmes designed to help children in precarious situations overcome their daily challenges and acquire new skills that empower them and give them hope.

First activity report – April 2015 to June 2016

In a remarkably short time, the UEFA Foundation for Children  has made hundreds of thousands of youngsters smile with sheer happiness, fulfil cherished dreams and feel hope for the future.

Tireless work that has had a significant impact in Europe and across the world – using football and the game’s popularity as a powerful force for social good – is portrayed in the UEFA Foundation for Children activities report for 2015/16.

The foundation, which began its operations on 24 April 2015, holds true to solid objectives – to help children and protect their rights, mainly through sport in general and football in particular.

It has provided considerable support in areas such as health, education, access to sport, personal development, integration of minorities and defending children’s rights.

Today, the project is supporting 51 projects in 44 countries – and 500,000 children and young adults have benefitted as a result.

Through facts, figures, statistics and images, an impressive picture emerges in the report – underlining just why the foundation was such a necessary step for UEFA, and how it will continue to make a crucial difference to children’s lives and leave lasting legacies in the future.

 Key features in the report:

  • The foundation’s origins and history
  • Project portfolio
  • Project mapping
  • Partnerships
  • UEFA EURO 2016 programmes
  • Communication and promotion activities
  • Internal operations
  • Financial report.

The 2015/16 UEFA Foundation for Children activities report is available to read here.

Supporting refugees and migrant children across Europe

Football pitch with kids playing

In light of the sharp increase in migration to Europe and the humanitarian disasters this has triggered, the UEFA Foundation for Children has invested €2 million donated by UEFA to support those most affected by the crisis, including 15 countries across Europe, using football to help them offer new hope to refugee and migrant children.

While continuing to support countries bordering conflict zones, the UEFA Foundation for Children has been supporting the efforts of Terre des Hommes to provide emergency humanitarian assistance to unaccompanied children and families with children under five in FYR Macedonia and Greece since March 2016.

In addition, the foundation has created a €1,250,000 fund to support the integration of migrant populations, and child refugees in particular, in host communities in Europe. Activities have been run by NGOs, national football associations and the wider football family, with the streetfootballworld network helping to coordinate operations.

So far, 23 organisations in 15 countries have benefited from this fund:

Germany: AMANDLA EduFootball, Champions ohne Grenzen, KICKFAIR, and RheinFlanke and FC Internationale Berlin 1980 e.V.

Belgium: Royal Europa 90 Kraainem FC

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Football Friends

Spain: Red Deporte y Cooperación

France: Sport dans la Ville

Georgia: Cross Cultures Project Association (CCPA)

Greece: Diogenis, and Organization Earth

Hungary: Oltalom Sport Association

Italy: Balon Mundial

Netherlands: Johan Cruyff Foundation

Republic of Ireland: Sport Against Racism Ireland

Northern Ireland: Sport Against Racism Ireland

United Kingdom: Sport4Life, Start Again Project, and Tigers Sport and Education Trust

Serbia: Football Friends

Ukraine: Scort Foundation and FC Basel 1893

The activities run by these organisations in support of young refugees include:

  • weekly football sessions;
  • tournaments involving local host communities;
  • language courses and training for coaches;
  • CV writing and interview technique workshops for young adults.

More than 30,000 people have already benefited from these programmes. Of these 30,000, 65% are child refugees themselves and 35% are the teachers, coaches and social workers who have been trained to keep the various activities going.

The UEFA Foundation for Children is also supporting displaced persons in Ukraine and has donated €250,000 to the ‘Play away, Play everywhere’ project run by the Football Federation of Ukraine. The aim of the project is to promote the social integration of displaced children and encourage them to adopt healthy lifestyles by playing sport, in particular football.

UEFA foundation awards ceremony

The UEFA Foundation for Children has presented its 2016 awards to five bodies seeking to promote peace, integration, greater social harmony, respect for differences and non-discrimination.

The first UEFA Foundation for Children Award winners have received their awards in a ceremony at the House of European Football in Nyon.

UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin joined members of the foundation’s board of trustees – chairman José Manuel Durão Barroso, Viviane Reding, Norman Darmanin Demajo and Sándor Csányi – in presenting the 2016 awards.

The inaugural winners are:

  • streetfootballworld: a network that unites more than 100 community organisations behind a common goal – changing the world through football.
  • Colombianitos: a body striving to raise the quality of life of children and young people and their communities, through sport, recreation, education and health.
  • Just Play: a programme that improves the lives of children in the Pacific region through football.
  • Right To Play: an initiative using the power of play to educate and empower children to overcome the effects of poverty, conflict and disease in disadvantaged communities.
  • Magic Bus: a scheme that steers children towards a better life with better awareness, better life skills and better opportunities in the journey from childhood to livelihood.

Responsibility for managing and awarding the annual €1m UEFA Monaco charity cheque passed from the UEFA Fair Play and Social Responsibility Committee to the UEFA Foundation for Children in 2015, when it became the UEFA Foundation for Children Awards.

The board of trustees have established a new selection system to acknowledge and raise the profile of community groups and their contribution to the activities they support. To be eligible for an award, charities must be linked to football, or sport in general, and seek to promote peace, integration, greater social harmony, respect for differences and non-discrimination.

Hublot donation to UEFA Foundation

Hublot, official WATCH OF THE UEFA EURO 2016, made a donation to the UEFA Foundation for Children to help children and youngsters celebrate the joy of football at the tournament.

A cheque for 20,000 Euros was presented to UEFA foundation administrator Cyril Pellevat by Hublot’s CEO Ricardo Guadalupe at the Hublot Match for Friendship at the Palais Royal in Paris on Thursday.

The funds provided by the Swiss watchmaker will help finance logistical organisation at the international streetfootballworld Festival 16, which takes place in Lyon from 28 June to 7 July. The event is sponsored by the Sport dans la Ville association in Lyon. Children and young people from all over Europe and beyond will gather to celebrate EURO 2016, with an international solidarity tournament (4-6 July) one of the highlights.

Thursday’s Hublot Match for Friendship featured teams of famous players, coached by legends Pelé and Diego Maradona. The stars who took part included David Trezeguet, Fernando Hierro, Dida, Hernán Crespo, Bebeto, Angelo Peruzzi, Antonio Ferrara and Marco Materazzi.

“The UEFA Foundation for Children thanks Hublot for its support,” said UEFA Foundation for Children secretary Pascal Torres. “Through this gesture of solidarity, Hublot is sharing in this project, enabling hundreds of disadvantaged children from more than 50 countries to be involved in the great festival that UEFA EURO 2016 represents.”

The UEFA Foundation for Children’s success belies its young age

The UEFA Foundation for Children has been up and running for a year now, so we decided it was time to catch up with its chairman, José Manuel Barroso, to ask how things are going.

A year after its launch, what is your initial assessment of the work the foundation has done? The foundation is already making a difference all over the world, for the time being with the one exception of South America. Today, thousands of children who are underprivileged or living in difficult circumstances are being supported in their daily lives by the foundation and its partners – through education and opportunities to play, among other things. That is simply priceless.

In concrete terms, what has the foundation done? First of all, we made sure to continue working on the projects that UEFA had been supporting itself. One such project is Just Play, a unique football programme in Oceania, for children aged 6 to 12, which aims to engage the community and promote healthy lifestyles. Another involves socio-educational football activities in the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan. At the same time, we are supporting projects as wide-ranging as a pan-European research project on autism and a partnership with the John Giles Foundation in the fields of health and social integration in the Republic of Ireland. I should also mention One Goal for Education, which is using football to promote social inclusion through big clubs in Belgium, England, Israel, the Netherlands and Scotland.

Are you planning any particular activities for UEFA EURO 2016? First, we’ve launched 20,000 Children’s Smiles, a project that will enable 20,000 disadvantaged children and accompanying adults to attend one of 43 EURO 2016 matches. Second, in cooperation with Sport dans la Ville (Sport in the City) and streetfootballworld – associations that use sport as a vehicle for social change – we are organising a solidarity tournament in Lyon, where 500 girls and boys from all over the world will come together. And finally, we will have a European schools tournament in Lens and Lille, which will bring together young people aged 18 and under, for the most part from the 30 UEFA member associations who did not qualify for EURO 2016.

Do you have any particular criteria for your partnerships? We define our action as ethical and responsible. We have chosen to be completely transparent, as the foundation’s website shows, and our partners know that everything is subject to the UN’s code of ethics, which sets out very strict rules on working with children and respecting the environment, for example.

How does UEFA support you? First of all, UEFA – which the foundation is independent from – has committed to giving us an annual grant until 2025. In addition to that, a large amount of work has been done by UEFA staff and through UEFA events and activities. This has involved the allocation of revenue to foundation projects and a desire to act responsibly by giving competition and event materials a second life. A number of projects and associations have benefited from material support in the form of bibs, balls and all sorts of other equipment. The Children’s Dreams programme, which aims to help make the football-related dreams of seriously ill children come true, would also not be possible without the direct support of UEFA.

What are the main things that the foundation will be doing in the near future? In order to develop our activities we will continue to look for new forms of financing that respect the code of ethics – and we will do this with complete transparency. And we will continue to mobilise the whole football family – clubs, associations, sponsors, etc. Because a simple ball can erase differences such as skin colour, background and religion, and because, at the end of the day, football is a fantastic tool to help people live together in harmony.

Record crowds see exhibition at Futsal EURO

An exhibition set up by the UEFA Foundation was on view to the record crowds who have turned out to watch matches at the UEFA Futsal EURO final tournament in Serbia.

The host nation’s games have been attracting sell-out attendances and huge numbers of the visitors to the Belgrade Arena have been pausing to look at a collection of photographs that reflect conditions at the Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan, where the UEFA Foundation has embarked on a football-inspired project to make life more bearable for the children living in a ‘camp’ which has evolved into a township of almost 80,000 inhabitants.

The thousands of visitors who have seen the exhibition have included organised visits by groups of schoolchildren who have been involved in the legacy and sustainability projects that UEFA has pegged to Europe’s premier futsal event. Among them was a group of 40 young pupils from the Dositej Obradovic school – one of the eight institutions from the Novi Sad area who participated in the UEFA project. There was a good deal of discussion and banter about which of the photographs made the most impact. Goran, one of the youngsters who had travelled in with the group, spoke for many when he commented “there is a photograph with a bicycle that I liked very much. I would love to meet those children and to play football with them. Maybe their team against ours. And then we could make all different kinds of teams together. That would be really nice.”

The visit was one of a number organised by Igor Janković, director of grassroots football at the football association of Serbia. He told the children the stories behind the photographs – the realities of a harsh life in the desert under precarious living conditions. “One thing that can make them happy,” he told them, “is the opportunity to enjoy some football”. However, the key factor for the children who visited the exhibition was the take-home message behind the photographs. “Sport helps people to face and overcome various difficulties in life,” Janković told the pupils from Novi Sad. “It can also give you confidence and friends. Those children at the refugee camp show you that football can be very useful and helpful in life.”

Another important part of the project linked to UEFA Futsal EURO 2016 was a grassroots futsal competition in which the ‘winning’ boys and girls were selected according to fair play principles rather than results. The climax was a final tournament involving some 700 children, played on the day before the semi-finals at the Belgrade Arena where, of course, they had the chance to see the striking UEFA Foundation exhibition of photographs from the Za’atari refugee camp which they had been told about at their schools.