Solidarity: a human and sporting value

Solidarity: a human and sporting value

Through numerous initiatives, European football’s governing bodies, clubs and players have played a key role in supporting the Ukrainian people, especially children.

The International Day of Solidarity is an opportunity to raise public awareness of local and global issues, mobilise various social actors, remind governments to respect their commitments relating to international agreements and celebrate solidarity achievements.

When war broke out in the heart of Europe, the European football community, supported by our foundation, quickly mobilised to provide emergency aid to civilians affected by the conflict. The UEFA Foundation for Children immediately set up an emergency fund of €100,000 to help Ukrainian children and refugees. These funds were granted to the Football Association of Moldova, which worked with local humanitarian organisations to deliver medicine and equipment to children's hospitals in Ukraine.


At the same time, the foundation’s board of trustees decided to use the 2022 UEFA Foundation for Children Award, amounting to €1m, to help Ukrainian children in their homeland as well as those seeking refuge in neighbouring countries. It did this by financing initiatives by UEFA member associations and charities focusing on children’s rights and welfare. The precise needs were evaluated in close cooperation with the various national football associations and local partners.

Children are extremely vulnerable during conflicts, and it is our duty to help protect their fundamental rights and their health. Thanks to the solidarity of European football and the support of our partners, we will be able to provide some of the help that children urgently need in Ukraine and neighbouring countries.

Aleksander Čeferin, president of UEFA and the UEFA Foundation for Children

National Associations united to help civilians

The UEFA Foundation for Children Award was shared among the football associations of Moldova, Slovakia, Poland and Romania along with our partner Cross Culture Project Association, which was working with the Ukrainian Association of Football.

Initially, the aid helped to provide necessities such as food, medical equipment and personal hygiene products for children, since it had become very difficult to buy them locally.

In a second step, items such as mattresses, blankets, duvets, pillows, electric heaters, sports equipment and clothing were provided to Ukrainian children and their families braving the winter in makeshift accommodation.

Finally, local football clubs were provided with football equipment and training facilities while children were given sports clothes and shoes.

Emergency relief and psychosocial support

Cross Culture Project Association and the Ukrainian Association of Football joined forces to offer displaced children in Ukraine a child-friendly space during the conflict and the opportunity to play with children from their host communities. The Open Fun Football Schools programme focuses on security and psychosocial issues under the guidance of school psychologists, enabling children to play while also expressing their feelings. In addition, a special supplementary programme provides food for orphans and the most vulnerable children.

TeamUp for Ukraine

This initiative was developed by a number of ‘football for good’ organisations and partners of the foundation that were already active in the region and able to provide immediate support. The NGOs involved are League of Tolerance (Ukraine), Cross Cultures Project Association (Ukraine and Moldova), Trenuj Bycie Dobrym (Poland), Oltalom Sports Association (Hungary) and the Policy Center for Roma and Minorities (Romania).


Call for projects 2022

Through our yearly call for projects, we renewed our support for three projects in Ukraine.

The Football for Future project is run by Shakhtar Social, the charitable arm of FC Shakhtar Donetsk. This social football project aims to promote social inclusion and cohesion, providing equal chances for internally displaced children and socially disadvantaged kids to play football and be involved in extracurricular education as form of relief from the stress of living in a crisis-stricken area. Each year, 640 children affected by the war benefit from free football sessions and local tournaments in eight Ukrainian cities that have been devastated since February 2022.


First Aid is an educational sports project for coaches and teachers set up by the Klitschko Foundation. Participants will follow a two-day training course on the basics of first aid and the psychological care of children. This new knowledge will allow teachers to take a more innovative and professional approach.

Play Together is run by the charity Around Football and will provide psychological help through sports activities to children and teenagers affected by the war in ten regions of Ukraine. The project will train a network of professional volunteers to use football as a tool to support children.

The total amount donated by the foundation exceeded €1.3m, distributed as follows:

UEFA member association or charity Funds
Slovak Football Association €165,000
Football Association of Moldova €300,000
Romanian Football Federation €145,000
Polish Football Association €200,000
Cross Culture Project Association €250,000
TeamUp for Ukraine €50,000
Shakhtar Social (Football for Future project) €53,460
Klitschko Foundation (First Aid project) €70,000
Around Football (Play Together project) €125,000
Total €1,358,460



European Club Association (ECA) joins the relief effort

In light of the situation in Ukraine, the European Club Association (ECA) entered into an operational partnership with the foundation through which an assistance fund for Ukrainian civilians affected by the conflict was set up.

Every ECA member club was eligible to apply for a grant of between €25,000 and €50,000 to support initiatives helping Ukrainian people who continue to be affected by the tragic consequences of the war. These funds enabled the clubs to take practical action to encourage the integration and education of children displaced within Ukraine or abroad, as well as their families. Many clubs in regions with a high influx of refugees had already invested considerable resources in a range of projects supporting the civilian population. Players from several European leagues have also taken similar initiatives on a personal basis.

So far, the following 15 clubs have received such grants, totalling €676,634: AC Sparta Praha (Czech Republic), Athletic Club (Spain), Celtic FC (Scotland), FC Chikhura Sachkhere (Georgia), FC Shakhtar Donetsk (Ukraine), FC Slovan Liberec (Czech Republic), GNK Dinamo Zagreb (Croatia), Heart of Midlothian FC (Scotland), Legia Warszawa (Poland), Maccabi Haifa FC (Israel), Nõmme Kalju FC (Estonia), SJK Seinäjoki (Finland), SK Slavia Praha (Czech Republic), ŠK Slovan Bratislava (Slovakia) and Trabzonspor AŞ (Turkey).

In 2023, the foundation will follow up on all these projects and monitor the needs of children affected by the conflict in order to provide appropriate assistance. Meanwhile, beyond Ukraine, we will also continue to support projects all over the world with the help of our partners.


UEFA Foundation for Children awards €1 million to assist Ukrainian children

UEFA Foundation for Children awards €1 million to assist Ukrainian children

The UEFA Foundation also provides emergency fund of €100,000 to assist children and refugees in Moldova.

The members of the board of trustees of the UEFA Foundation for Children and its chairman, Aleksander Čeferin, have today allocated the 2022 UEFA Foundation Award of €1 million to help children in Ukraine as well as child refugees in neighbouring countries.

These funds will finance initiatives from UEFA member associations and charities focusing on children’s rights and their well-being, with the exact needs currently being evaluated in close cooperation with the member associations and local partners. The UEFA Foundation for Children furthermore decided to allocate an immediate emergency aid fund of €100,000 to assist Ukrainian children and refugees.

The emergency aid fund will be provided to the Football Association of Moldova, which is already working with local humanitarian organisations to assist Ukrainian refugee children arriving in the country. Part of these provisions will also be used to provide medicines and supplies to children’s hospitals in Ukraine.

Commenting on the decisions, the UEFA President and Chairman of the UEFA Foundation for Children Aleksander Čeferin said:

"Children are very vulnerable during conflicts and it is our duty to help defend their fundamental rights and their health. Thanks to the solidarity of European football and the support of our partners, we will be able to provide some of the assistance that children urgently need in Ukraine and in neighbouring countries”.

The President of the Football Association of Moldova Leonid Oleinicenco added:

"We are going through unprecedented times, with thousands of Ukrainian families seeking shelter in our country. This concrete support from European football and the UEFA Foundation for Children will help us to rapidly meet the basic needs of families and their children via local humanitarian organisations."

The UEFA Foundation for Children aims to help children and defend their rights, for example through sport and football. It provides support in the areas of health, education, access to sport, personal development, integration of minorities and employability.

The Foundation, a public utility body under Swiss law, was created and started its activities on April 24, 2015. The foundation currently invests in 180 projects and has so far funded more than 400 projects in 130 countries worldwide. More than 1.8 million children have already benefited from the foundation's work since its creation.

(c)Aurelia Ciobanu
(c)Aurelia Ciobanu- (2)
(c)Aurelia Ciobanu- (7)
(c)Aurelia Ciobanu- (1)

(c)Aurelia Ciobanu

2018 UEFA Foundation for Children Award for Ampu Kids in Germany

Zaatari and Azraq residents to benefit from two new artificial football pitches

Ampukids is a German project that assists amputee children. Ampukids offers children and their families extensive support to cope with their new situation, to manage daily life and the new challenges associated with limb amputation. An amputation is a horrifying incident for a family, and competent psychological care is often necessary. Ampukids’ main aims are to enable amputee children to find their way back to normal life, to participate in any social activities and sports, and to create a German-wide network of children and families sharing their experience and individual skills.

Ampukids also organises events bringing together ‘Ampukids’, their families and friends, as well as non-amputee children. These events support mutual interaction, integrating amputee children into mixed teams and allowing them to set their own goals. Ampukids events also bring together families, allowing them to exchange their expertise in dealing with all the challenges associated with amputation in childhood.

Every year, Ampukids organises an integrative sports tournament entitled ‘No barriers, just sport!’, bringing together amputee and non-amputee-children. The DFB’s Sepp Hersberger Foundation supports Ampukids in organising this event, which is very well attended and appreciated by all participants. The children form mixed groups and participate in different sports, including a football match. Spectators are often astonished by the creative ways in which the teams integrate their amputee members and easily manage sporting challenges.

Link to video


Improving communication and education for autistic children in Europe

Location and general information


The UEFA Foundation for Children has decided to allocate its annual support grant for 2015 to a project designed to improve communication and education for autistic children in Europe. This project, submitted by the International Foundation of Applied Disability Research (FIRAH), has been approved by the Board of trustees of the foundation. Inspired by the innovative approach of the project, the UEFA Foundation for Children has adopted the words of Mahatma Gandhi to use as the slogan for the project:

Be the change that you wish to see in the world.

Thus the project to improve the lives of autistic children and their families, and to give them hope for the future.

What we are doing

The FIRAH is working with a number of partners to run this project: representatives of international and national associations for autistic children and their families; educational, social and medical services that come into contact with autistic children every day; and universities and research centres.

The project has three pillars:

  • Facilitating access to the latest educational material and equipment such as robots and tablets, adapted to the specific needs of autistic children and their families.
  • Training families and professionals working with autistic children so that they can help autistic children make use of new technology, with online guides and training available to families and professionals.
  • Developing applied research projects to assess the impact new technology (robots, tablets, etc.) has on the every lives of autistic children in order to improve the equipment and apps available. All such research projects will involve the children, their parents and professionals to deliver concrete results based on the needs and expectations of autistic children and their families.

The project will be implemented chiefly in six European countries in order to keep it relatively local and focused on the real needs of families.

The children, their parents and professionals will be involved in evaluating the results.

Our partners