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Queen’s Baton debuts in Vanuatu on island of fire

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Over 600 children celebrate arrival of the Queen’s Baton to Ambae at Just Play Emergency Programme festivals Port Vila, 9 December 2017: On 9 December the Queen’s Baton arrived on the island of fire, Ambae, Vanuatu.  Awaiting its arrival were more than 600 children from the Just Play Emergency Programme, at the base of the Manaro volcano. Through its partnership with the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) launched a sports-based emergency response on 20 November, which supported more than 2000 children forced to evacuate their homes after volcanic action threatened their homes.  In coordination with the Just Play programme, this emergency response programme supported children through Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) centres, primary schools and communities. “Ensuring children and families are given the right kind of support and messages to support psychosocial recovery after a major event in their lives is important,” said UNICEF…

UEFA Foundation for Children – Activity Report 2016/17

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Since it was established in 2015, the UEFA Foundation for Children has made a considerable difference to the lives of thousands of children in Europe and beyond, bringing smiles to their faces, creating opportunities for them to realise their dreams and giving them hope for the future. The foundation’s most recent efforts to improve children’s well-being and protect their rights, primarily through football and other sports, are reviewed in detail in the organisation’s activity report for 2016/17. The report uses facts, figures, photos and graphics to show how more than 700,000 children benefitted from activities supported by the foundation in the period under review – through 82 projects in 66 countries. It also reveals how support for refugee children in Europe and the Middle East was increased, with a particular emphasis on using football as a source of fun and motivation. A total of 12 new projects have been launched…

New projects funded by the UEFA Foundation for Children

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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,…

Aleksander Čeferin becomes chairman of the UEFA Foundation for Children

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Today, the UEFA president, Aleksander Čeferin, was elected as the new chairman of the UEFA Foundation for Children at the board of trustees’ meeting held at the UEFA’s headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland. “I am delighted to have the opportunity to work even closer with our foundation, which plays an instrumental role in aiding children living in challenging and difficult conditions around the world,” the UEFA president said. Aleksander Čeferin takes over from former European Commission president José Manuel Barroso, who chaired the foundation since its creation in 2015. “I was honoured to be invited by UEFA to be the first chairman of the foundation,” Mr Barroso said. “My wish is for the UEFA Foundation for Children to continue and, if possible, increase the support that is so important for so many underprivileged children around the world.” Aleksander Čeferin was one of three new members to join the board of trustees,…

Just Play emergency programme set up in Vanuatu

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On 28 September 2017, the Vanuatu Council of Ministers declared a state of emergency and ordered the mandatory evacuation of all 11,600 residents of Ambae Island amid the continuous eruption of the Monaro Volcano. The evacuees were relocated across the neighbouring islands of Espiritu Santo, Maewo and Pentecost.  Repatriations started on 21 October, and today around 71% of the Ambae residents are back on home soil. Following the Ambae evacuation and repatriation, concerns relating to the education, health and nutrition, protection and psychosocial support of children remain at the forefront of the emergency response efforts. Supported by the UEFA Foundation for Children, the latest Just Play emergency programme – developed by the Oceania Football Confederation in partnership with UNICEF – was launched on 17 November on Ambae Island, after having been given the go-ahead by the Vanuatu government-led emergency committee, for a period of five weeks. The Just Play programme uses…

Eagles book their place at the 2018 IBSA Blind Football World Championships

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The members of the Solidarité Aveugle (Blind Solidarity) project have been rewarded for their perseverance. The Eagles will fly to Spain to represent Mali at the 2018 IBSA Blind Football World Championships. Visually impaired footballers from all parts of Africa donned their blindfolds and battled it out at the recently held IBSA Blind Football African Championships. Among them were the Eagles of Mali, all members of the Solidarité Aveugle (Blind Solidarity) project run by the French Libre Vue association, who set the tone with a 12-0 victory over Cape Verde in their opening match. “We went with the aim of bringing the cup home and qualifying for the 2018 World Championships,” said Mali forward Bandiougou Traoré. Efforts rewarded Qualifying is one thing, but the opportunity to play is another. The Mali team’s participation in the second edition of the IBSA Blind Football African Championships in Cape Verde was no foregone…

UEFA President Čeferin inaugurates pitch at Jordanian refugee camp

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UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin has helped to officially open a new football pitch at the Za’atari Refugee Camp in Jordan, which will give thousands of children the opportunity to play the game they love, with the best facilities possible. Over 200 boys and girls between the ages of 10 and 13 took part in the opening ceremony, and were joined by Mr. Čeferin for a football match on the new playing surface. “It’s a wonderful feeling to see how something as simple as a football pitch can bring so much joy and happiness. Football has the ability to inspire, unite and also teach children important life skills and values, such as teamwork and respect,” the UEFA president said. The building of the full-sized artificial pitch was backed by the UEFA Foundation for Children, the Asian Football Development Project (AFDP), the Jordanian Football Association, the Norwegian Football Federation and Lay’s, who…

UEFA foundation welcomes continued collaboration with FedEx in support of ‘football for good’ movement

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UEFA ambassador Jerzy Dudek to celebrate the inauguration of a second community pitch in Mragowo, Poland Following the huge success of the first Field in a Box delivered by the UEFA Foundation for Children and FedEx to the community of Cañada Real in Madrid in May 2016 and its visible impact on the positive development of young people, FedEx, main sponsor of the UEFA Europa League, decided to continue its work with the UEFA foundation to provide similar fields to other communities in need. The global not-for-profit network streetfootballworld helped to identify the location for a second pitch, deciding on the town of Mragowo in northeast Poland on the basis of the potential for positive impact. Local charity Mazurskie Stowarzyszenie Inicjatyw Sportowych (MSIS), a partner of streetfootballworld in Mragowo, will be responsible for maintaining the pitch and ensuring its sustainable use through the employment of an activities coordinator. The inauguration…

Football in support of diversity at 2017 UEFA Super Cup

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Hearing-impaired children from Skopje to perform a song using sign language For the third year, the UEFA Foundation for Children will play an active role in the UEFA Super Cup opening ceremony, raising awareness and sending messages of tolerance, solidarity and social inclusion towards our most vulnerable children. This year’s UEFA Super Cup will be contested by UEFA Champions League titleholders Real Madrid CF and UEFA Europa League champions Manchester United FC in Skopje, FYR Macedonia, on 8 August. Before kick-off, a group of 19 hearing-impaired youngsters from the local state school for education and rehabilitation, DUCOR Partenija Zografski, will perform Coldplay’s A Sky full of Stars in sign language, alongside Falsetto children’s choir. In doing so they will send a powerful message to the world about the importance of integrating children with disabilities in society. European football and the clubs are supporting the cause by sharing this unique stage,…

Using the power of football to unite the world

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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…

UEFA Foundation for Children and FedEx return to Cañada Real

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It has been a year since the UEFA Foundation for Children and FedEx, the main sponsor of the UEFA Europa League, built the first ‘Field in a Box’ in the Cañada Real district of Madrid, one of Spain’s most economically disadvantaged areas. To celebrate the resounding success of this community football pitch, which was donated to Red Deporte y Cooperación, a Madrid-based non-profit organisation, we recently met up with FedEx near the Spanish capital. The ‘Field in a Box’, is an enclosed, artificial football pitch with metal railings and high-sided goals that was shipped by FedEx in two containers and inaugurated in May 2016. It sits in an area of self-constructed housing, home to immigrants from both Morocco and the Roma community. Local charity Red Deporte y Cooperación maintains the pitch and ensures its sustainable and coordinated use by employing a youth coach from the local community. Red Deporte’s sports programme…

Access cards help to promote integration and respect in Cañada Real

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(Part 3) The boys and girls of Cañada Real  recently been given access cards for the local sports facilities as part of Red Deporte’s sports programme in the area. This initiative has three main objectives. The first and most important is to encourage the children to identify with those facilities and that sports programme, which aims to improve social and educational integration through sporting activities. The second objective is to improve the organisation of sports activities, avoiding situations where children of very different ages are playing in the same team. During one particular match at a recent football tournament organised by Red Deporte for 13 and 14-year-olds, a significantly older player took to the field late in the game, having a decisive impact on a hitherto evenly balanced match. At that age, two years can make a big difference in terms of height and weight, so teams with an older…

Football3 in Cañada

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(Part 2) Football3 is perfectly suited to the reality of life on the ground in Cañada, where much remains to be done in terms of real coexistence between communities. “No way am I playing with the Moros,” is Cristian’s response when he is invited to train with the young Moroccans. “Play with the gypsies? No chance,” says Ayub when asked the same question in reverse. Red Deporte is convinced that Football3 for Respect will help to break down invisible prejudices and barriers in Cañada. Part of its strategy in this regard will involve establishing a joint team combining both communities and sending them off to play in tournaments outside Cañada. And that team will, in turn, host matches against various teams from elsewhere in the Madrid region and the rest of Spain. Football has the potential to foster social cohesion in this particular area and improve its bad reputation, which…

Football challenging intercultural sharing

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(Part 1) From Cañada Real – a shanty town on the outskirts of Madrid. For Adrian, a 17-year-old Romani who lives in Cañada and is a big fan of Sergio Ramos, and Mohammed, a 16‑year-old Moroccan who dreams of one day seeing Messi play, the recent ‘Moros v Gitanos’ tournament was Cañada Real’s equivalent of Real Madrid CF v FC Barcelona. Last February, Red Deporte organised a special Under-15 tournament for boys from the two largest communities living in Cañada: Moroccans and Roma – ‘Moros v Gitanos’, as the locals dubbed it. For the hundreds of boys and girls who came to cheer the teams on, the result mattered a lot, with both communities keen to prove their superiority. However, despite the divisions between the two groups, there was mutual respect and a good atmosphere throughout, with all tension relating purely to the football. Through this tournament, Red Deporte sought…

Winners of 2017 UEFA Foundation for Children Awards announced

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Awards go to 20 organisations recommended by UEFA member associations supporting deprived children On 24 May, the Board of Trustees of the UEFA Foundation for Children met at the Grand Hôtel in Stockholm under the stewardship of its chairman, José Manuel Durão Barroso. The agenda for that meeting included a number of important items of business, such as the approval of new members of the Board of Trustees and the 2017 UEFA Foundation for Children Awards.   New members of the Board of Trustees: The Board of Trustees is composed of between 5 and 15 natural persons or representatives of legal entities. They are elected by existing members of the Board of Trustees and serve renewable four-year terms of office. At the meeting in Stockholm, four new members were elected by the necessary two-thirds majority of the members of the Board of Trustees, as required by the Organisational Regulations of…

Bring stars in their eyes

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The UEFA Foundation for Children is making a real difference by using football as a force for good in society. During the second half of the 2016/17 UEFA Champions League season, the foundation made the dreams of several children come true. In cooperation with the French association Rêves and Sternschnuppe/Etoile filante and Make a Wish in Switzerland – and with the invaluable support of volunteers from among UEFA’s staff – the following youngsters were given the unique opportunity to realise their dreams and leave behind their difficult everyday lives for a short while. Patrizio’s dream: to attend an FC Barcelona match, visit their stadium and see his idol Neymar in action. Patrizio watched FC Barcelona play Juventus during the quarter-final second leg match of this season’s UEFA Champions League, which ended in a goalless draw. However, thanks to their 3-0 first leg victory, Juventus went through to the semi-finals –…

Foundation spotlight on parents in Cardiff

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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…

A Family celebration in Cardiff

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Fun for the whole family at the UEFA Women’s Champions League final Thursday 1 June is not only the day of the UEFA Women’s Champions League final – it is also the UN Global Day of Parents. To mark this double celebration, the UEFA Foundation for Children will make it an extra special day for youngsters and their families watching the final between Olympique Lyonnais and Paris Saint-Germain at the Cardiff City Stadium. A number of activities involving children and their parents have been planned for this prestigious event. The initiative will be clear for all to see at the opening ceremony, when 15 girls and their parents raise a giant centre circle. The girls will also have the opportunity to meet the players on the eve of the final. The foundation has also arranged match tickets for over 800 children and parents connected to charitable organisations in Cardiff that…

UEFA Europa League dream for local children

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UEFA Foundation for Children and FedEx ready to offer an unforgettable experience to disadvantaged children in Stockholm The UEFA Foundation for Children is delighted to once again team up with FedEx to offer children a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to act as player escorts at the UEFA Europa League final on Wednesday 24 May at Friends Arena in Stockholm. FedEx, the UEFA Europa League’s main partner, has donated its entire allocation of player escort places to disadvantaged children, giving them the chance to walk onto the pitch with their heroes from Manchester United FC and AFC Ajax. In addition, FedEx is donating 100 match tickets to other children through local charities. The UEFA Foundation for Children and FedEx selected the lucky children with the help of streetfootballworld, a global non-profit organisation that uses football to drive social change, a Stockholm-based organisation Djurgarden Fotboll and three local charity organisations: Barn till Ensamma Mammor,…

Goal in Life foundation

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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…

PluSport player escorts take centre stage in the Super League

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On Sunday 30 April, 22 children and teenagers from Axpo PluSport football teams accompanied the players of Grasshopper Club Zürich and FC Lugano onto the pitch at Letzigrund stadium ahead of their Super League tie. Many young football fans dream of lining up on the pitch alongside their favourite players. On 30 April, that dream came true for 22 disabled children and teenagers thanks to PluSport, the umbrella organisation for disabled sports in Switzerland. The lucky player escorts were selected from the Axpo PluSport teams of FC Zürisee Juniors, FC Turbi, FC Wiggenhof and Ponte Kickers Zofingen. The initiative was made possible with the support of Grasshopper Club Zürich. “It was a fantastic experience for the children,” said Anita Fischer, the PluSport project manager. “And their coaches and parents were very hands-on in preparing the children’s big moment on the pitch.” And what about the children, what did they think of it…

Young film directors seeking to capture the passion of the game

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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…

çATED pour tes dents: a programme to help children with autism improve their dental hygiene

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The UEFA Foundation for Children supports applied research projects designed to improve communication and education for autistic children in Europe. In 2015, the foundation’s board of trustees decided to award its entire annual solidarity fund of €1m to the International Foundation of Applied Disability Research (FIRAH). FIRAH works in close cooperation with a number of partners, particularly universities in various European countries and national and international associations for autistic children and their families. The foundation’s financial support for FIRAH will last for four years but has already made it possible to develop a project entitled ‘çATED pour tes dents’ (çATED for your teeth). The independence of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), notably regarding their oral health, is a specific research domain and an important real-life issue for families and professionals. The çATED app was developed by researchers, engineers, professionals and parents of autistic children. It enables the children to…

Hope through football

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“We play football to become better people – not necessarily better footballers.” This is the main motto of the ‘Goal Sti Ftohia’ (Kick Out Poverty) project, which is operating in Greece in the midst of an unprecedented socio-economic crisis. This project brings together the poorest of the poor – people who are experiencing social exclusion at its most extreme. Homeless people, refugees and recovering drug addicts of all ages – men and women alike – get together at least once a week to play football. For these people, playing football is not about winning games; it is about winning back their lives. This is Greece’s national homeless football team. A photographer has been following the members of that team as they train together and seek to overcome their personal challenges and difficulties. He attempts to capture the players’ transformation as they go from being social pariahs to community leaders. Through…

Fostering inclusion through football

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  KICKFAIR seeks to bring children together, uniting refugees and non-refugees through their shared love of football. However, the KICKFAIR concept goes far beyond that. Playing the game is just an initial starting point, giving children the chance to share experiences, using football as a common language. By playing together regularly, children build trust, and that forms the basis for deeper relationships. KICKFAIR has developed various different modules, using elements of football to foster mutual understanding both on and off the pitch. Those modules combine regular games of football with workshops where participants answer questions such as “Where am I from?”, “Where do I feel at home?”, “What makes a home?”, “What do we have in common?”, “In what ways are we different?” and “How do we want to collectively shape our future?” The overall objective is to foster inclusion by tearing down barriers between children that have built up…

Kick For Hope – Karak Football Coaching Course

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UEFA Foundation for Children extends its support to communities and schools in Jordan. With the help of the Jordanian Ministry of Education, the Jordanian Football Association and streetfootballworld, the UEFA Foundation For Children and the Asian Football Development Project have provided training in non-violent communication and negotiation skills to 21 physical education teachers and football coaches, both men and women, in order help them to build positive relationships between students. Early March, the one-week course involved teachers and coaches from 12 schools in the city of Karak, south of the capital, Amman. It provided them with the knowledge and skills necessary to run regular football activities for children and to use the sport as a platform for building self-esteem and encouraging social cohesion by facilitating interaction among children of different origins. The course was led by streetfootballworld instructor Hiba Jaafil (former captain of the Lebanon women’s national team and current…

The UEFA Foundation for Children supports the Swiss disability sport association

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Every child has the right to play football The Goal Plus project of the Swiss disability association, PluSport, was one of those selected for support by the UEFA Foundation for Children following its call for projects in summer 2016. Goal Plus uses football and the passion it creates to give disabled children the opportunity to get active, have fun and develop team spirit – all of which helps their integration. The Goal Plus project consists of two subprojects: Play Football and From Football to Rafroball – one for youngsters who can walk and the other for those who use wheelchairs. With the support of the UEFA Foundation for Children, more children and groups can take part in the project, more teams can be set up, weekly training sessions and regular tournaments can be organised, rafroball can be developed for children who cannot play conventional football and rafroball camps organised, coaches…

More children’s dreams come true with the help of the UEFA Foundation for Children

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During the first half of the new season (between September and December 2016), the UEFA Foundation for Children helped make the dreams of seven seriously ill football fans come true. In cooperation with the French association Rêves and the Foundation Sternschnuppe/Etoile filante active in Switzerland – and with the precious support of volunteers from the UEFA staff – these young people were given a unique opportunity to live their dreams and leave behind their problems for a short while. Nicolas’s dream: to attend a match of FC Barcelona, visit the stadium and meet the players Nicolas watched FC Barcelona beat Manchester City 4-0 at home on 19 October on matchday 3 of the UEFA Champions League. Théo’s dream: to see a match of Paris Saint-Germain and to meet some players Théo attended the Paris Saint-Germain v FC Basel UEFA Champions League group match at Parc des Princes on 19 October – Link…

Back to 2016

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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…

UEFA Foundation for Children backs 12 new projects

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The foundation’s board of trustees promotes sport as a vehicle to support vulnerable children. The UEFA Foundation for Children’s board of trustees, chaired by the former European Commission president, José Manuel Durão Barroso, met in October at the House of European Football in Nyon. The main items on the meeting agenda included a review of all current activities and campaigns, and the inaugural 2016 UEFA Foundation for Children awards ceremony took place, highlighting the work of the five charitable bodies chosen to receive the awards for their campaigns seeking to promote peace, integration, greater social harmony, respect for differences and non-discrimination: streetfootballworld, Colombianitos, Just Play, Right to Play and Magic Bus. The board also approved new projects, following on from a call for projects for 2016/17. The board carefully studied the numerous initiatives submitted, which had to meet the following criteria: conformity with the UEFA Foundation for Children’s statutes; credibility…

First activity report – April 2015 to June 2016

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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,…

Supporting refugees and migrant children across Europe

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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…

UEFA foundation awards ceremony

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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…

Inauguration of the Za’atari House of Sports

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UEFA Foundation for Children expands its assistance for refugees A major project financed by the UEFA Foundation for Children has reached fruition today with the inauguration of the House of Sports at the Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan. The House of Sports, constructed inside the camp, will provide a single umbrella facility for all sports activities there. The venue was officially opened in the presence of representatives of the Asian Football Development Project (AFDP), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UEFA Foundation for Children, and French former international footballer Christian Karembeu. Prince Ali bin Hussein, AFDP founder, declared: “Every child deserves a nurturing environment, and the displaced children of Syria are no exception. Today, we dedicate to thousands of young refugees a healthy and vibrant space and the necessary tools for engaging in activities that can brighten up their day and, hopefully, their future as well. I…

Football united against the bombing of civilians

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Two children from conflict zones to escort the teams onto the pitch at the UEFA Super Cup This year’s UEFA Super Cup, which will take place on Tuesday 9 August in the Norwegian city of Trondheim and will be contested by Real Madrid CF and Sevilla FC, will be used to send a message of peace and solidarity to civilian victims of bombing around the world. During the pre-match ceremony, the two team captains will be escorted onto the field of play by two disabled child refugees who have found sanctuary in Norway – one from Afghanistan and the other from Syria. Together, they will carry the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League trophies out onto the pitch. The UEFA Foundation for Children is working with Handicap International, which defends the rights of disabled people worldwide, improves their living conditions and helps them to integrate into society. The foundation…

Streetfootballworld festival opens in Lyon

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The streetfootballworld Festival16 in Lyon, hosted by the Sport dans la Ville association in the French city and backed by the UEFA Foundation for Children, will involve 500 youngsters from disadvantaged communities worldwide. Football’s timeless power as a vehicle for social good will take center stage in Lyon in the coming days, as UEFA EURO 2016 moves towards an exciting climax. The streetfootballworld Festival16, hosted by the Sport dans la Ville association in the French city and backed by the UEFA Foundation for Children, begins on Tuesday and, until 6 July, will feature a packed programme of social and educational events bringing together more than 500 young participants from disadvantaged communities across the world. The festival gives the opportunity for participants to share in a multicultural experience, increase their awareness of the global impact of football as a force for good, and help their local communities by sharing experiences and knowledge gained…

UEFA Foundation for Children defends child refugees’ rights

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Thanks to football, the foundation supports children and gives them new prospects for the future. To mark World Refugee Day on 20 June, the UEFA Foundation for Children reaffirms its support for partner bodies who are working to improve the lives of child refugees, respecting their fundamental rights and their dignity. Since its creation in April 2015, the UEFA Foundation for Children has been involved in projects that defend the rights of child refugees. At the Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan, the foundation has set up numerous sports activities, as well as a football championship, which enables the children in the camp to play in a safe environment. In the Middle East, the UEFA foundation is continuing its support work for refugees in Jordan, and is giving financial support to the Asian Football Development Project (AFDP). In Lebanon, the foundation is providing financial assistance to the FC Barcelona Foundation, the…

2016 UEFA Foundation for Children Awards

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Recognising community organisations and their role in helping charitable partners The UEFA Foundation for Children’s decision-making body – the board of trustees, chaired by former European Commission president José Manuel Durão Barroso – held its latest meeting on 13 June at the foundation’s headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland. Nominations for the 2016 UEFA Foundation for Children Awards were one of the key items on the agenda. Responsibility for managing and awarding the annual €1 million UEFA Monaco charity award 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 foundation’s 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…

Hublot donation to UEFA Foundation

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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…

Putting smiles on faces at UEFA EURO 2016

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The UEFA Foundation for Children project 20,000 Children’s Smiles gives 20,000 disadvantaged youngsters the opportunity to attend matches at UEFA EURO 2016. On the initiative of the UEFA Foundation for Children and in close cooperation with EURO 2016 SAS and the tournament’s host cities, 20,000 Children’s Smiles is giving 20,000 youngsters aged 12 to 18 the opportunity to attend UEFA EURO 2016 matches in their local area. The project is being rolled out throughout the group stage (not including the opening match) and the round of 16, i.e. at 43 different matches across all ten host cities, with an average of 500 tickets being made available per match. The project would not have been possible without the support of the host cities, which identified local organisations working day in, day out with young people in difficult situations. The host cities and the UEFA Foundation for Children together have taken care of all…

Putting a smile back on the faces of disadvantaged children

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The emotion of football is universal. The UEFA Foundation for Children is set to fulfil the lifelong dreams of several children who have serious illnesses or disabilities or are suffering the effects of major accidents by giving them the chance to watch Real Madrid CF take on Club Atlético de Madrid in the 2016 UEFA Champions League final in Milan tomorrow night. In cooperation with charitable associations such as Étoile filante/Sternschnuppe, Rêves and Make-A-Wish, the foundation has invited four children and their families to come and experience this great annual festival of football. This rare opportunity to share in the intense joy and emotion of such a unique and momentous event will be a far cry from their everyday lives and the medical challenges they face on a daily basis. Joseph Fontanarosa, head of communication for the Moselle branch of Rêves commented: “Today, I’m here with a boy named Teoman.…

A mouth-watering appetiser ahead of UEFA EURO 2016

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As a prelude to the real thing this summer, Lille and Lens will soon be put through their paces as they play host to the EURO FOOT Jeunes schools’ tournament. Supported by the UEFA Foundation for Children and organised jointly by France’s National Union of School Sport (UNSS), the International School Sport Federation (ISF), EURO 2016 SAS and the French Football Federation (FFF), the EURO FOOT Jeunes schools’ tournament is aimed at children all over Europe. This major sporting event, which will take place between 30 May and 5 June in northern France, promises to be an enthralling and highly enjoyable experience for all concerned. This extraordinary event, which will take place in Lens and Lille, will feature both boys’ and girls’ competitions. A total of 800 players will take part, competing for 32 teams from 25 different countries. A number of big names from the world of football will…

Local children to escort players at Europa League final in Basel

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190 children from various community football projects in Basel are set for an extraordinary adventure. Having already given 44 disadvantaged children from Seville and Liverpool an unforgettable experience by offering them the chance to be player escorts at the second leg of the two UEFA Europa League semi-finals, FedEx has now donated 100 match tickets for tonight’s final at St. Jakob-Park to community football projects in Basel and the surrounding area. Among the 100 young fans, 22 children aged between seven and nine will have the privilege of walking out onto the pitch alongside the two teams as player escorts. FedEx, is the main sponsor of the UEFA Europa League and has donated its entire allocation of player escort places for tonight’s final between Liverpool FC and Sevilla FC to the UEFA Foundation for Children. The recipients of the 100 match tickets have been chosen in cooperation with streetfootballworld, a…

More children’s dreams come true with the help of the UEFA Foundation for Children

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During the second half of the season (February to April), UEFA Foundation for Children helped make the dreams of seven seriously ill football fans come true. In cooperation with the associations Rêves in France and Sternschnuppe/ Etoile filante in Switzerland – and with the precious support of volunteers from among UEFA’s staff – these young people were given an unique opportunity to live their dreams and leave behind their problems for a short while.   Samuel’s dream: to attend a Paris Saint-Germain FC match, visit the stadium and meet the players. Samuel watched Paris Saint-Germain beat Chelsea FC at home on 16 February in the first-leg of their UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie. www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=10153814044907110&id=264778857109 (in French)   Marouane’s dream: to meet Eden Hazard and attend a Chelsea match. Marouane attended the return leg of the Paris Saint-Germain v Chelsea UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie at Stamford…

UEFA foundation and FedEx open community pitch in Madrid

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Carlos Marchena inaugurates a new football pitch in Cañada Real district Children and young people from the Cañada Real district of Madrid, known as one of Spain’s most economically disadvantaged areas, now have a new safe place to play sport. The UEFA Foundation for Children and FedEx, the main sponsor of the UEFA Europa League, have given a new football pitch to the Red Deporte y Cooperación, a Madrid-based non-profit organisation that is part of the streetfootballworld network, with the aim of using football to drive social change. Carlos Marchena, the former Spanish international and European and world champion, took part in today’s inauguration ceremony and joined a training session, to the delight of the children present. The brand-new, fully functional pitch is environmentally sustainable and was built in less than a week. It is equipped with floodlighting and changing facilities, and its innovative and modular design has many advantages,…

UEFA Europa League dream for local children

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UEFA foundation and FedEx to create an unforgettable experience for disadvantaged children Around 200 children from communities in England, Spain and Switzerland are being given the thrill of a lifetime thanks to the UEFA Foundation for Children, FedEx Express and streetfootballworld – the youngsters will watch the exciting climax to this season’s UEFA Europa League live, and attend the teams’ pre-match training sessions. This is the first collaboration between a sponsor of UEFA and UEFA Children’s Foundation. The programme kicks off at tonight’s UEFA Europa League semi-final second-leg encounters, and will continue at the final at St. Jakob-Park in Basel, Switzerland, on 18 May. At each match, 22 children aged between seven and nine will be living a magic moment, walking out onto the pitch alongside the players as their escorts. FedEx, the world’s largest express transportation company, is the main sponsor of the UEFA Europa League, and has donated…

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

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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…

The Ideas Box comes to Senegal!

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Designed by Philippe Starck, the Ideas Box is a portable toolkit that can be set up in under 20 minutes to create a 100m2 library. The Ideas Box provides an internet connection, touchpads and computers, thousands of books and educational activities, and even a cinema. In addition to its satellite internet connection, the Ideas Box provides access to a local server full of educational and interactive resources. In May 2016, the first Ideas Box in Senegal, paid for by the UEFA Foundation for Children, will be set up by the Futur au Présent association for streetchildren in Ziguinchor. It will be used by Futur au Present as part of the work it has been doing since 2012 with streetchildren in Ziguinchor and will enable the association to multiply its impact by taking the kit to primary and secondary schools on the outskirts of the city. By organising income-generating activities, the…

UEFA Foundation for Children supports Brussels Play 4 Peace initiative using sport as an instrument for peace

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A UEFA Foundation for Children photo exhibition highlighting the lives of children at the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan was staged in Brussels on Sunday 10 April to help mark the UN International Day of Sport for Development and Peace. The exhibition, showing how football can play a key role in giving meaning to the refugee children’s everyday lives, was part of a sports event organised by the Brussels Play 4 Peace (BP4P) organisation and held at the Stade Roi Baudouin in the Belgian capital. Almost 4,500 children and young adults – boys and girls aged between 8 and 20 – are involved in sport, and football in particular, at the Zaatari camp. The UEFA Foundation supplied cameras to enable the children to be creative and portray life at the camp through a lens, thereby contributing to the exhibition and promoting it beyond the borders of the camp. Alongside the exhibition, more…

UEFA Foundation for Children supports World Autism Awareness Day

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World Autism Awareness Day takes place on Saturday 2 April, and the UEFA Foundation for Children is lending its support as part of a long-term project aimed at helping to improve the lives of autistic children and their families and giving them hope for the future. As part of its activities on behalf of children across the world, the UEFA foundation allocated its annual support grant for 2015 to a project designed to improve communication and education for autistic children in Europe. The innovative project is being coordinated by the International Foundation of Applied Disability Research (FIRAH). The slogan for the project comes from Mahatma Ghandi: “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” To this end, FIRAH has entered into partnerships with international and national associations for autistic children and their families, as well as educational, social and medical services. All of these partners have regular…

UEFA EURO Trophy on tour in France

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With three months to go until UEFA EURO 2016 kicks off, the Henri Delaunay Cup, which all of Europe’s greatest footballers would love to get their hands on, is setting off on a journey to meet supporters all over France. From 1 April to 9 June, the UEFA EURO 2016 trophy tour train, decked out in the tournament colours, will take young and old on an adventure to discover the European Football Championship of today and yesterday, getting the public in the mood for this summer’s festival of football and giving them a foretaste of the activities being organised by the UEFA Foundation for Children. The UEFA Foundationa for Children is supporting three children’s projects in connection with UEFA EURO 2016. 20,000 Children’s Smiles: the foundation is inviting 20,000 disadvantaged or vulnerable children to attend matches at UEFA EURO 2016, meaning that 2,000 children in each host city will get…

Draw for EURO FOOT Jeunes takes place

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The draw for EURO FOOT Jeunes – the European schools tournament set to take place from 29 May to 5 June in Lens and Lille – was made on Tuesday, 29 March, in the sumptuous surroundings of the Louvre-Lens museum, in the presence of Super Victor, the official mascot of UEFA EURO 2016. This tournament, which is supported by the UEFA Foundation for Children and organised jointly by France’s National Union of School Sport (UNSS), the International School Sport Federation (ISF), EURO 2016 SAS and the French Football Federation (FFF), will bring together almost 1,000 young footballers – both boys and girls – from a total of 45 different countries. “The UEFA Foundation for Children is delighted and very proud to be supporting this UNSS tournament alongside EURO 2016 SAS. This is a wonderful opportunity for young footballers to play an indirect part in the senior tournament,” said Hosni Ajala,…

The UEFA Foundation for Children extends the reach of UEFA EURO 2016

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The UEFA Foundation for Children is supporting three projects organised by EURO 2016 SAS on the initiative of Michel Platini and Jacques Lambert. These three projects will enable some 20,000 young people from France and 1,500 from elsewhere in Europe and the rest of the world to get involved in this summer’s magnificent celebration of football. 20,000 children’s smiles The UEFA Foundation for Children is offering 20,000 EURO 2016 match tickets to associations that work with vulnerable children in France, whether as a result of family problems, social exclusion, health issues or abuse. The youngsters, aged 12 to 16, will be selected from areas in or around the ten host cities. Tickets will be available for a total of 43 games, i.e. all the group matches (except the opening match) and the round of 16. Each host city will have 2,000 tickets to distribute. The UEFA Foundation for Children is…

UEFA Foundation for Children supports Spirit of Soccer in Iraq

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Football programme launched to educate children about the danger of landmines The UEFA Foundation for Children is supporting the Spirit of Soccer project in Iraq, using a programme that emphasises the power of football to educate children about the dangers of landmines and explosive remnants of war. The project includes mine risk education, raising awareness of the danger and promoting behavioural changes. The humanitarian consequences of violence in Iraq and Syria have been catastrophic. More than 2.2 million Iraqis – half of whom are children under the age of 18 – have been displaced, and are forced to live in camps without any formal education or social structures. One day, they will return home to regions polluted by the legacy of conflict, where landmines, unexploded weapons and ammunition, and improvised explosive devices will be a constant and deadly threat. The funding provided by the UEFA Foundation for Children will support…

Tonga’s Just Play programme reaps rewards

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Tevita Telini was not born with a disability, but in primary school he had an operation on his head that went wrong. Consequently, he lost all his strength and struggled to walk or stand without assistance. Some 90% of disabled children in the Pacific Islands do not attend school. Negative perceptions surround people with disabilities, who are not given the respect or equality they deserve and are often excluded from physical activity, which increases their risk of developing non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. Luckily, Tevita attended the Ofa Tui Amanake (OTA) disability centre in Tonga, where the Just Play programme is run once a week. Tevita took part in Just Play every week and attended weekly workouts with the Tonga Football Association to build up his strength. When he began, a 2kg weight was too much for him to lift while standing up, and he…

Record crowds see exhibition at Futsal EURO

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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…

UEFA Foundation for Children provides funds to Play for Change programme in Nepal

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Programme designed to bring positive changes in children’s lives At its last board meeting in November, the UEFA Foundation for Children decided to provide funds to Play for Change, to help the organisation in its delivery of a sport and education programme in Besisahar – a municipality in Nepal that was affected by two earthquakes in April and May 2015. The programme, known as Khelaun Khelaun (‘let’s play’ in Nepali), is designed to use sport as a vehicle to improve children’s health and well-being, increase girls’ participation in sport and create local employment, thereby developing long-term opportunities and access to sport. The programme will be based in and around Besisahar, which is located in the Lamjung district of Nepal. Current access to sport is poor, especially as Lamjung and its sports facilities were were damaged by the two earthquakes last year. The participation of women and girls in sport presents…

Za’atari camp photo exhibition at Futsal EURO in Belgrade

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UEFA foundation contributes to the tournament legacy The UEFA Foundation for Children is contributing to the UEFA Futsal EURO 2016 tournament legacy programme through a photo exhibition focussing on children’s lives at the Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan. The exhibition is being hosted by the Arena of Belgrade from 28 January to 15 February. Thanks to the involvement of Serbia’s Ministry of Education, classes from underprivileged neighbourhoods in Belgrade will be provided with free tickets to attend a Futsal EURO match, and to visit the exhibition, which will serve as an educational tool. Documentation will be made available to teachers, to enable them to explain to the students about the lives of refugee children in the camp, and to show the importance of football in the children’s existence. This photo exhibition gives an opportunity for the UEFA Foundation for Children to show its presence and activities at the refugee camp.…

A beating heart for children

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The UEFA Foundation for Children has hit the ground running since its launch last April – and with UEFA EURO 2016 looming, this year promises to bring more joy for youngsters in Europe and beyond. The joy shining in young eyes thanks to football has been a recurring feature in a memorable first year for the UEFA Foundation for Children, launched last spring with the key aim of using the game’s social force to help children and safeguard their rights. The foundation, which embodies UEFA’s wish to play a more active role in society – using football as a vehicle – has hit the ground running in the initial eight months of its existence, already winning widespread plaudits for the quality of its work. A wealth of activities in 2016 are destined to provide further happiness and positive experiences for youngsters in Europe and beyond. Launched on 24 April 2015, the foundation made…

UEFA Foundation helps children to live their dreams!

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With the help of associations that fulfil the dreams of seriously ill children, as well as the goodwill of football clubs and their players, and thanks to UEFA and all its volunteers, the UEFA Foundation for Children has made some children’s dreams come true. As a result, these children and their families have been able to share some memorable happy moments together, brightening the children’s lives and helping to build their confidence.  Marc’s dream: To go to the UEFA Champions League final in Berlin. Read more (in French) Yusuf’s dream: To go to a match of his favourite team, Galatasaray, in Turkey and meet the players. Read more (in French) Danilo’s dream: To meet the Juventus team and go to one of their matches. Read more (in German) Sebastien’s dream: To meet his idol Fernando Torres and to go to a match in which he was playing. Read more (in…

UEFA Foundation for Children wins 2015 Peace and Sport Awards

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The UEFA Foundation for Children won the prize of Foundation of the Year at the 2015 Peace and Sport Awards, which took place in Monte-Carlo on Thursday night. In activity only since April of 2015, the UEFA Foundation for Children has already supported a variety of projects around the world and was recognised for the impact it has made improving the living conditions of disadvantaged children. This year, The UEFA Foundation for Children has worked diligently to protect the rights of children at the Za’atari Refugee Camp in Jordan, bringing joy and unity through sport and football for boys and girls alike. Another highlight for the Foundation in 2015 was hosting 1,000 disadvantaged children at the UEFA Super Cup Final in Tbilisi, Georgia. The children took part in the pre-match opening ceremony with star players from FC Barcelona and Sevilla FC, promoting peace and understanding. The Chairman of the UEFA…

International solidarity tournament for young people during UEFA EURO 2016

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The international streetfootballworld Festival 16 has been launched in Lyon – and next July’s event celebrates UEFA EURO 2016 with an international tournament backed by the UEFA Foundation for Children. The international streetfootballworld Festival 16 has been launched in Lyon at a ceremony hosted by the Sport dans la Ville association. The festival, which will take place in July 2016, will bring together 500 children and young people in celebration of UEFA EURO 2016. The highlight will be an international solidarity tournament, supported by the UEFA Foundation for Children. It will be their own UEFA EURO 2016 – a far-reaching event sponsored by Sport dans la Ville in Lyon, with children and young people from all over Europe and beyond comingtogether from 30 June to 7 July 2016. Sport dans la Ville is an association that was created in 1998 and has received backing from numerous partners, including the UEFA foundation.…

The UEFA Foundation for Children supports Universal Children’s Day

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The UEFA Foundation for Children is committed to improving the lives of children who are most in need by promoting universal and fundamental values such as human dignity, solidarity and hope. That commitment links the foundation closely to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which was adopted by the United Nations on 20 November 1989. The convention comprises 54 articles ratified by the vast majority of the UN’s member states (191 out of 193). It is based on the principle that children are vulnerable beings and are individuals who have the right to be cared for, protected and educated, no matter where in the world they are born, and that children must also have the right to play, to learn and to express themselves. The convention is of crucial importance, but has sadly not been enough to make children’s rights a reality. War or extreme poverty, but also…

Media Release 03 – UEFA Foundation board supports eight new projects

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The UEFA Foundation for Children strengthens its commitment to defending the rights of vulnerable children worldwide The UEFA Foundation for Children’s decision-making body, the board of trustees chaired by former European Commission president José Manuel Durão Barroso, held its latest meeting yesterday at the Foundation’s headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland. The meeting agenda included a review of all current ongoing projects, followed by the ratification of new initiatives to be added to the Foundation’s portfolio in the coming months. The amount of €1.1m will be invested in new projects to be implemented on three continents over a period of several years. Selected initiatives meet the following criteria: correspondence with the Foundation’s statutes; credibility of the partner organisations; presentation of a viable budget with local partners; and viability of the activities. The meeting saw the Foundation commit financial support to eight new projects: Establishment of a media library for street children in…

Children’s lives at the Za’atari camp

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Nearly 80,000 Syrian refugees – 57 percent of whom are children – live at the Za’atari camp, which is located in the Jordanian desert. The UEFA Foundation for Children, in collaboration with UNHCR and the Asian Football Development Project, is helping children and young people through sports activities, in particular football, to allow them to play and remain children in a situation of war. This exhibition draws a parallel between three different aspects of children’s lives at the Za’atari camp. Children at the camp have had the opportunity to show, through their eyes, how life goes on despite the particular context in which they are living. In partnership with a local NGO, these youngsters have benefited from training as photographers, and the UEFA foundation provided cameras to allow them to realise their own exhibition and promote it beyond the borders of the Za’atari camp. The aspiring photographers were very motivated…

Euro Foot Jeunes launched

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Supported by the UEFA Foundation for Children, Euro Foot Jeunes was launched on 1 October by the UNSS, the ISF, EURO 2016 SAS and the FFF. Supported by the UEFA Foundation for Children, Euro Foot Jeunes was launched on 1 October by the national union of school sport (UNSS), the International School Sport Federation (ISF), EURO 2016 SAS and the French Football Federation (FFF). The foundation was established on the initiative of UEFA and the UEFA President, Michel Platini, and emphasises UEFA’s desire to play a more active role in society. For many years UEFA has supported various children’s initiatives and programmes. This support has led the foundation to work with several partners to develop projects both inside and outside Europe. Euro Foot Jeunes is one such project. From 29 May to 5 June, just before UEFA EURO 2016 officially begins, the cities of Lens and Lille will host the boys’ and…

Watch the UEFA Super Cup opening ceremony!

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Football United for Peace was the theme of the opening ceremony of the 2015 UEFA Super Cup, which took place at Boris Paichadze Dinamo Arena in Tbilisi on 11 August. The match was between FC Barcelona, winners of the UEFA Champions League, and Sevilla FC, winners of the UEFA Europa League. This special pre-match ceremony was planned with the help of the UEFA Foundation for Children and in collaboration with the Georgian Football Federation. The ceremony started with Georgian folk dancing accompanied by young drummers, while 1,000 disadvantaged children and accompanying adults from Georgia and eight neighbouring countries took their places around the pitch. They then joined the players and the match officials in forming a human chain. The grand finale was led by four talented young Georgians, who sang John Lennon’s Imagine to promote the message of peace. The UEFA Foundation for Children would like to thank the Georgian…

Football united for peace

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A pre-match ceremony involving 1,000 children and accompanying adults will illustrate football’s power to bring people together Children from Georgia and neighbouring countries will spread messages of peace at the 2015 UEFA Super Cup in Tbilisi, thanks to a shared initiative between the Georgian Football Federation (GFF) and the UEFA Foundation for Children. Nearly 1,000 disadvantaged children from Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine have been invited to the event, all with support from their national football associations. The children will participate in the pre-match ceremony, which is inspired by the theme ‘football united for peace’. The ceremony will be based around a human chain made up of the children and accompanying adults, the players – From FC Barcelona and Sevilla FC – and the referee team, symbolising how football can bring people together. “As well as learning about elite football from the match, everyone will…

Media Release 02 – Football United for Peace

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A human chain created by 1,000 children, together with the players and the referee team, to promote peace and unity The UEFA Super Cup match between FC Barcelona and Sevilla FC, which will take place in Tbilisi, Georgia, on Tuesday 11 August, will feature a historic moment in the world of football. For the first time, the opening ceremony will include a human chain: a symbolic act involving the players, the referee team and 1,000 disadvantaged children and accompanying adults from Georgia and eight neighbouring countries. The aim of this shared initiative by the Georgian Football Federation (GFF) and the UEFA Foundation for Children is to spread a powerful message: ‘Football United for Peace’. Tbilisi is the easternmost European city to host the UEFA Super Cup since 2012, when the match left Monaco, where it had been played since 1998. Other cities can now host this encounter between the previous…

Experience of a lifetime for 100 youngsters in Prague

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Thanks to the UEFA Foundation for Children and the Football Association of the Czech Republic (FAČR), 100 young people in precarious situations in the Prague region attended the UEFA European Under-21 Championship final between Sweden and Portugal at the Eden Stadium in the Czech capital. Two local groups received 50 tickets each for the showpiece occasion. One group was the Children’s Home association, which helps children and adolescents who are marginalised or in difficult social situations, as well as orphans, homeless youngsters and children from the Roma minority. “The Under-21 final is a very important event,” said Martin Lněnička from the Children’s Home, “and we were very surprised, happy and excited to be part of it. We all realised that it was a huge honour for us to share in football’s fever. We really appreciated this opportunity.” “Children in our house live almost the same lives as other youngsters –…

World Refugee day for youngsters at the Za’atari camp

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To celebrate World Refugee Day on 20 June, a friendly football event took place involving Jordan’s national Under-15 team and a team from the Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan. The event was staged at the Al-Hassan football stadium situated a few kilometres from the camp, and followed a football tournament organised at the Za’atari camp from 11 to 15 June. The activities were organised by the UEFA Foundation for Children, the Asian Football Development Project (AFDP), the UNHCR and the Jordan Football Association (JFA). The event brought together 25 Jordanian adolescents and 23 Syrian counterparts. The activities were aimed at nurturing interaction and dialogue between young Syrians and Jordanians through football, and promoting, among others, the role of sport and recreational activities in responding to young people’s psychosocial needs. The event and its message fitted perfectly with the message being promoted by the UNHCR this year – Standing Together. This…

The Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan is staging a football tournament from 11-15 June to mark the forthcoming World Refugee Day on 20 June

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The Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan is staging a football tournament from 11-15 June to mark the forthcoming World Refugee Day on 20 June. The tournament is being organised by the UEFA Foundation for Children, the Asian Football Development Project (AFDP) and the UNHCR. The tournament will feature Under-15 male and female teams from the 12 districts of the camp, and the finals will take place on 15 June before the start of Ramadan. On 20 June, the winning male team will take part in a match together with the Jordanian Under-15 male team. The match will take place at Al Sareeh. Youngsters are being given the opportunity to engage in fun and competitive recreational activities, and the tournament aims to promote interaction and dialogue between young Syrians and Jordanians through football. In addition, tournaments such as this promote, among others, the role of sport and recreational activities in responding…

Ten young people going through a difficult time had their dream come true as they attend the UEFA Champions League final

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The UEFA Foundation for Children was pleased to invite eight children and four accompanying adults from the Air pur & soleil organisation to the great annual celebration of football that is the UEFA Champions League final. Air pur & soleil (Fresh Air & Sun) is a children’s organisation based in Haute-Savoie that provides breaks for children who are going through a very difficult time in their lives. They are generally experiencing family breakdown or have dropped out of school or other institutions. The organisation enables them to get away from their usual surroundings for a while by giving them a calming environment and a break between a problematic past and perhaps a fresh start. Two other young people, who are supported by the Swiss-based Étoile filante (Shooting Star) foundation, could also have their dream come true as they too attend the UEFA Champions League final. The foundation’s primary aim is…

Football gives vulnerable children a boost

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Children in Poland got to experience the inspirational power of football at the UEFA Europa League final in Warsaw as part of the UEFA Foundation for Children’s first new project. “Some of them had been so excited they couldn’t sleep two or three nights before the game,” said Janusz Bukowski, who heads the local association that was responsible for accompanying the children at the match.

A treasure hunt at Zaatari

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Many activities were organised at the Za’atari refugee camp to celebrate the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace on 6 April.

Annual solidarity fund 2015

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The UEFA Foundation for Children has decided to allocate its €1m annual solidarity fund for 2015 to a project designed to improve communication and education for autistic children in Europe.