Football for Gender Equality India

Location and general information

Ongoing
Location India
Start date 01/01/2022
End date Ongoing
Cost of the project 100000€
Foundation funding 30000€
Project identifier 20210418
Partners Asian Football Confederation and All India Football Federation
Categories Access to Sport - Gender Equality - Personal development

Context

Girls in India face a number of significant challenges including discrimination, exclusion and inequalities in education, health care and access to sport. According to UNICEF over 20% of girls aged 15-19 experience physical violence. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these issues for girls. Sport is a powerful vehicle to promote inclusion and meaningful participation from both genders. There is, however, limited knowledge among instructors around gender equality and safeguarding practices.

Project goals

  • Promote girls’ participation in football to alter stereotypes and social roles
  • Provide education, motivating the children to continue to study
  • Protect the children’s rights and integrate them into society
  • Empower young people from disadvantaged communities to use football as a tool for progress

Project content

As future community leaders, children and youth are critical to building stronger healthier communities and nations. This program aims to change the attitudes and perceptions among over 10,000 children and young people in India to ensure gender equality and reduce violence against girls. Along with the direct beneficiaries our programmes have shown that these children become advocates and leaders in their families and communities, promoting broader social change. This program will also deliver training and coaching to over 1,000 youth instructors and develop enduring support structures to ensure that football is accessible and safely delivered now and for generations to come.

Partners

Football for Everyone

Location and general information

Ongoing
Location Chile; Puerto Williams, Visviri and Easter Island
Start date 05/01/2022
End date 12/31/2022
Cost of the project 19,133€
Foundation funding 19,133€
Project identifier 20211182
Partners Fundación Ganamos Todos
Categories Access to Sport - Infrastructure and equipment - Personal development

Context

Ganamos Todos is an organisation that was born in 2011, which seeks to intervene in communities through the practice of physical activity. In 8 years, they impacted almost 200,000 young people in more than 200 communities in the country. They work to reach all of Chile.

Convinced that sport unites, breaks down barriers and improves opportunities for children and young people, Ganamos Todos develop key skills for better social integration for boys and girls in isolated regions of Chile: Visviri (in the Andes), Easter Island (in the Pacific), Puerto Williams (last city before Antarctica).

Project content

This project involves travelling to Visviri, Easter Island and Puerto Williams to give 50 boys and 50 girls new adidas football boots and donate 100 adidas balls to each location. The team coordinated with the municipal sports entity of each of these locations in advance to ensure the shoes were the correct sizes. We will be accompanied by a former football player who participated in the men’s or women’s FIFA World Cup or played for a European league team. Their presence will motivate the community. This person will deliver a talk to the community, highlighting the positive values, they have learned thanks to football, and how they contribute to building a better society. Then, with all the boys and girls present, we will celebrate a football festival during the day, so that the children can use their gifts, and football is celebrated as an opportunity for growth.

 

Objectives

We intend to bring football closer to communities that, for geographical reasons, are isolated. It is not easy to obtain the basic minimal equipment to play football when you live in the Andes mountains, on an island in the Pacific Ocean or at the end of the world. We hope that receiving quality equipment and meeting a football icon, will result in a passion for football among these boys and girls.

Project activities

Gifts

We get in touch with each municipality, to present the project to the local sports authorities. They then give us the shoe sizes of the children who are to receive football boots.

With this information, we will buy the 300 pairs of shoes and the 300 footballs from adidas.

We put the gifts into boxes, to ship them to the different locations.

Icon

We use our strong network in the Chilean football world to decide which former player can generate the greatest reaction from the community. It might be best to take different former players to each location. Ultimately what is important is the bond that the player can create with the children in the various locations.

Before we travel, we get together with the icon, in order to hear the positive values that they have learned from football and how they apply them to everyday life. This information will be used to create a PowerPoint presentation that will be used during the visits.

Two members of Fundación Ganamos Todos and the football icon will travel to the community.

Festival

With the help of the local authorities, we organise a football festival so the children can enjoy the gifts that they have received straight away. The focus will be on participation and the happiness and opportunities created by practising football.

Expected results

Bring football and joy to isolated communities with a large indigenous population.

Partner

Health 360: football for a protected community

Location and general information

Ongoing
Location Lusaka, Zambia
Start date 01/31/2022
End date 07/31/2023
Cost of the project 136,300€
Foundation funding 63,300€
Project identifier 20210991
Partners Red Deporte, City of Hope
Categories Access to Sport - Employability - Gender Equality - Infrastructure and equipment - Personal development

Context

Red Deporte has been working in Zambia since 1999, in schools and sports spaces, as they are the meeting points for children and teenagers. Health 360 makes use of the popularity of football as a platform to promote health among the most vulnerable population in Zambia, one of the countries with the worst health and inequality indices in Africa. For example, the HIV/AIDS infection rate among women is 16%, double that among men (UNAIDS, 2019). The target group for this project is children and teenagers, with a special focus on empowering young women. The project also promotes support actions in Spain, such as recruiting health volunteers and educators, and generating support for sustainability among football entities.

Project content

Health 360 aims to open a community sports centre that promotes and coordinates the football for health programme among 16 community schools in Lusaka and Mansa. Health promotion is viewed in three dimensions, each with its corresponding curriculum:

  1. Basic hygiene and prevention of infectious diseases such as COVID-19, HIV/AIDS and malaria
  2. Prevention of abuse of substances such as alcohol and drugs
  3. Life skills: raise awareness of the importance of good health for school success and future working life

Objectives

Overall goal: Guarantee the right to health of children and young teenagers in vulnerable situations

Specific objective: Create a football programme to promote community health that empowers, provides healthcare, reduces the risk of disease and prevents harmful habits in 4,500 children and young people.

Project activities

  • Construction of the sports centre
  • In Zambia, training of monitors and trainers; in Spain, recruiting and training volunteer health personnel to work in Zambia
  • Weekly programme of sport and educational activities and regular festivals; coordination with 16 educational centres in the network.
  • Healthcare in community health centres and medical check-ups in schools
  • Dissemination of results of football for development among public-private entities

Expected results

  • Strengthened self-efficacy against infectious diseases such as COVID-19, HIV/AIDS and malaria, basic hygiene and prevention of substance abuse
  • Consolidated network of 30 educator-coaches and 24 school teachers who work in educational and youth centres in Lusaka and Mansa with football as a health promotion tool
  • Increased coordination, participation, content and organisation of the football programme for community health in the 16 educational centres
  • Improved health care for 800 children and young people in four community health centres

Partner

UEFA Foundation for Children promoting education for girls in Mumbai

UEFA Foundation for Children promoting education for girls in Mumbai

The UEFA Foundation for Children, in partnership with the Oscar Foundation, is supporting activities to increase the number of children continuing their education in Mumbai

The number of children dropping out of education at the age of 14 is increasing across Mumbai’s slums. Underprivileged children are being sent to work to help meet their families’ needs. Entering the labour market at such a young age and working long days in dangerous conditions is having a disastrous effect on their mental and physical development, while the risks of developing addictions to alcohol and drugs increase.

Two thirds of girls in Mumbai’s education system drop out of school before they reach their 15th birthday. Many are ushered into child marriages, with parents believing this will secure their daughters’ economic security. However, cutting short their education severely limits their future prospects and the cycle of poverty therefore self-perpetuates.

Education through sport

The UEFA Foundation for Children, which celebrates its fifth anniversary on 24 April, has been working alongside the Oscar Foundation – a non-profit organisation based in Mumbai dedicated to empowering children in low-income Indian communities – since 2019.

The project in Mumbai comprises football and education programmes that rely on the power of football to bring about social change. The aim is to use football to engage youngsters in a variety of activities, but also to teach them about key social topics such as teamwork, respect and fair play, thus increasing their resilience, self-esteem and motivation.

During the sessions, issues such as dropping out of school, child marriage, child labour or health and hygiene are discussed. If children identify as being at risk of dropping out of school, they will be invited to attend informal education classes at one of the four education hubs in Mumbai, improving their chances of passing exams and providing a platform for future employment opportunities.

A fantastic initiative

“Having access to good-quality education is one of the most important things in life and has the potential to open up so many new opportunities,” said former Liverpool midfielder Luis García, who spent a year playing in India for Atlético de Kolkata.

García knows the value of education, having graduated from UEFA’s Executive Master for International Players (MIP) programme in 2019 – along with Youri Djorkaeff and Gaizka Mendieta.

“Football is a powerful tool which can be used in order to facilitate change and this is a fantastic initiative by the UEFA Foundation for Children in conjunction with the Oscar Foundation to help those in need in Mumbai, which will hopefully have a long-lasting effect on their future lives.”

Football is a powerful tool

UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin chairs the board of trustees of the UEFA Foundation for Children and hails the work undertaken since 2015, and how football is proving to be a major force for social good.

“Having had the opportunity to be personally involved in various projects, I have seen that football is an extremely powerful tool,” said the UEFA president.

“Whether it is in refugee camps across the world, the troubled suburbs of European cities or forgotten conflict zones, all the activities supported by the UEFA Foundation for Children have strengthened my desire to see European football assume its role in the social development of young people all over the world.”

 

Having access to good-quality education is one of the most important things in life and has the potential to open up so many new opportunities. Football is a powerful tool which can be used in order to facilitate change and this is a fantastic initiative by the UEFA Foundation for Children in conjunction with the Oscar Foundation to help those in need in Mumbai, which will hopefully have a long-lasting effect on their future lives.

- Luis García, former Liverpool midfielder who spent a year playing in India for Atlético de Kolkata

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Project partner

OSCAR Foundation is a football for development non-profit dedicated to empowering children and youth in low-income communities in India.

OSCAR uses football as a tool to deliver education and life skills sessions enabling children and youth to become role models in their community. Over the last 9 years, more than 12000+ children and youth in India have joined OSCAR’s Football, Education, and Young Leaders’ Programme. OSCAR Foundation is headquartered in Mumbai and has reached out to children in Mumbai, Delhi, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Jharkhand.

UEFA Foundation for Children helping street children in Vietnam

UEFA Foundation for Children helping street children in Vietnam

A partnership between the UEFA Foundation for Children and the Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation, is helping to give street children greater opportunities by using football as a catalyst for change.

Children from disadvantaged backgrounds in Vietnam are extremely vulnerable to abuse and trafficking. The streets of Hanoi are home to many children from around the country who have made their way to the capital in search of work or to run away from domestic problems, such as violence, drug abuse, extreme poverty and neglect.

On the streets, children are at a high risk of abuse, by being coerced into forced labour of sex trafficking. However, a local organisation is trying to help the most vulnerable sections of society in Vietnam by offering them the chance to turn their lives around and by providing practical solutions to the daily problems that are keeping poverty alive.

Education through sport

Since the start of this year, the UEFA Foundation for Children, which celebrates its fifth anniversary on 24 April, has been embarking on a project with the Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation, which has been based in Vietnam since 2003, to improve the lives of street children by using sport as a catalyst for change.

By encouraging the children to play football, the aim is not only to foster a healthier lifestyle with access to education, but also to break the cycle which sees them leave home at a young age and enter the job market. The workshops will teach the children important life skills such as how to communicate and teamwork, while they will also be made aware of the dangers of child labour and human trafficking.

This project will provide access to sports and recreational activities for 1,585 highly disadvantaged children in three provinces in Vietnam. They will all have the chance to improve their physical fitness, while also developing life and work skills which will improve their employability, thus providing themselves with a pathway from which to escape a cycle of poverty.

Cycle of poverty

The aim is also to increase awareness amongst the adult population of the dangers that children face. As part of the programme, over 250 community members will be given a great knowledge of children’s rights and how to become more aware of any warning signs.

 

Every child should have the opportunity to enjoy his or her childhood, without the threat of being trafficked for the illegal and repulsive gains of others. I would like to praise the sterling work being undertaken by the UEFA Foundation for Children and the Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation in order to try and tackle the route causes of child poverty and save street children from a life of misery.

- Luís Figo

Blue Dragon-Football Team
Blue Dragon-Children playing basketball (1)
Blue Dragon-Children playing basketball (2)
Blue Dragon-A child practicing skateboarding

Project partner

UEFA Foundation for Children provides Mexican youngsters with sports and educational activities

UEFA Foundation for Children provides Mexican youngsters with sports and educational activities

In partnership with the Fundación del Empresariado Chihuahuense, the UEFA Foundation for Children has been offering Mexican children in the state of Chihuahua access to afterschool activities in order to improve their physical and social well-being.

Poverty and poor diet are intrinsically linked, unfortunately. In the Mexican state of Chihuahua, a significant percentage of 5 to 14 year-olds are in need of greater access to education.

According to statistics produced by CONEVAL, the national social development board, half of children and teenagers have not engaged in any physical activity during the past 12 months. Meanwhile, almost a third of the state’s population are illiterate and do not finish elementary or secondary school.

Important life skills

Since the start of 2020, the UEFA Foundation for Children, which celebrates its fifth anniversary on 24 April, has been working with the Fundación del Empresariado Chihuahuense (FECHAC) to provide basic education and sports activities for local youngsters.

The teaching of sport has a dual purpose. It helps the participants to get fit, while it also teaches them valuable life skills such as teamwork and perseverance. Just as importantly, sport helps to teach youngsters discipline and the need to obey rules.

The overall aim is to give the participants a different outlook on life and increase their self-confidence, thus hopefully leading to a decrease in the number of children using drugs or being involved with gangs. The FECHAC programme is currently being run in 88 schools across Chihuahua, and it is hoped to expand this to 100 schools within the next two years.

Link to the project.

Football is a powerful tool

UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin chairs the foundation’s board of trustees and hails the work undertaken since 2015, and how football is proving to be a major force for social good.

“Having had the opportunity to be personally involved in various projects, I have seen that football is an extremely powerful tool,” said the UEFA president.

“Whether it is in refugee camps across the world, the troubled suburbs of European cities or forgotten conflict zones, all the activities supported by the UEFA Foundation for Children have strengthened my desire to see European football assume its role in the social development of young people all over the world.”

Sport and education are vital for the physical and intellectual development of any child. This is a great initiative by the UEFA Foundation for Children in conjunction with the Fundación del Empresariado Chihuahuense which is giving children the chance to develop new skills that will hopefully enable them to choose their own paths in life.”

- said former Mexico captain Gerardo Torrado.

FECHAC (4)
FECHAC (6)
FECHAC (5)
FECHAC (7)

Project partner

UEFA Foundation for Children supporting street children in Senegal

UEFA Foundation for Children supporting street children in Senegal

In partnership with UNIS VERS le SPORt, the UEFA Foundation for Children is involved in a project to give street children in Senegal access to education through sport.

 

Talibé is the name given to a child living on the streets in Senegal. Children find themselves on the streets for various reasons: many are orphans, from poor families or marginalised because of an impairment.

Left to take care of themselves, their main objectives are often simply to find enough to eat and a roof to sleep under. Violence or substance abuse are seen as a way out of this desperate situation.

Life can also be tough for children living at home with their family. With financial resources scarce, one out of every two children does not attend school but carries out household chores or gruelling work in the fields from a very young age.

Education through sport

Since 2018, the UEFA Foundation for Children, which celebrates its fifth anniversary on 24 April, has been working alongside Unis Vers le Sport (UVS), a French-based organisation that implements education and integration programmes through sport to help improve the lives of children living in Senegal.

UVS has set up an educational centre in the city of Saint-Louis where 100 street children can sleep and where sports activities are organised for them and 5,000 local schoolchildren.

Aside from having classrooms and providing the street children with a proper education, the centre also has an indoor sports court and a football pitch. The sports activities are used to promote prevention campaigns relating to local health issues, while also raising public awareness of children’s rights.

The originality ot the project is that the centre will be totally self-financed by agricultural activities (farming and market gardening).

Football is a powerful tool

UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin chairs the foundation’s board of trustees and hails the work undertaken since 2015, and how football is proving to be a major force for social good.

“Having had the opportunity to be personally involved in various projects, I have seen that football is an extremely powerful tool,” said the UEFA president.

“Whether it is in refugee camps across the world, the troubled suburbs of European cities or forgotten conflict zones, all the activities supported by the UEFA Foundation for Children have strengthened my desire to see European football assume its role in the social development of young people all over the world.”

This is a fantastic initiative by the UEFA Foundation for Children in conjunction with Unis Vers le Sport which is providing valuable assistance to children who need a helping hand in life. Having access to  good education is vital. It gives children the chance to develop their creativity and imagination, while laying down a path to a future career. I am an example that one is never too old to learn, and following the end of my career, I decided to resume my studies in order to provide myself with the key skills needed for the next steps in my life.

- Khalilou Fadiga, former Senegal international

UVS - portrait
UVS - scolaire
UVS -  sport
UVS - formation professionnelle

Project partner

UEFA Foundation for Children supporting projects in four sub-Saharan African countries

UEFA Foundation for Children supporting projects in four sub-Saharan African countries

The UEFA Foundation for Children, in collaboration with Inter Campus, is supporting projects in Angola, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda to give children greater access to education through football

Children in four sub-Saharan countries are benefiting from the partnership between the UEFA Foundation for Children and Inter Futura, an organisation that falls under the umbrella of FC Internazionale Milano.

Inter Futura helps to run Inter Campus – a social project that helps thousands of children in need around the world every year. Inter Campus and the UEFA Foundation for Children have previously collaborated on two projects in Israel and Palestine, as well as in Venezuela.

The Inter Campus Black ’n Blue project is taking place in Angola, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda. The aim is to improve children’s education by using football as the catalyst. In order to break down barriers between different communities, local representatives have the opportunity to meet and share their personal experiences.

Four countries

Although there are a number of issues that need to be addressed in each of the countries, with these main topics having been prioritised for each:

  • Angola: health improvement and crime prevention, using football as a preventive and developmental tool for at-risk children.
  • Cameroon: improvement of ethnic integration, especially in rural areas, using football as an educational tool for peace in a country where sport is considered almost a religion by many.
  • Democratic Republic of Congo: targeting street children in rural areas and giving them assistance as early as possible.
  • Uganda: improvement of gender equality to help to reduce poverty among women, using football as a catalyst to involve more children in education.

Supporting education through football

The UEFA Foundation for Children has teamed up with Inter Campus to try to improve the everyday lives of socially deprived children.

The issues faced can range from poor sanitary conditions to a lack of food, which affects the children’s physical development. Working on and off the pitch with a strong network of partners, Inter Campus hopes to alleviate these difficult conditions and create a virtuous circle from which future generations can benefit.

Inter Campus aims to support education through football and sport, as well as improving gender equality by encouraging the participation of girls. The activities are being delivered through 16 one-week clinics and monitoring visits (four per country). Specialised programmes are also being created based on local partners’ knowledge and Inter Campus’ experience.

The aim is to involve 1,500 children a year across the four countries. A delegation of local coaches will also be given special training to pass on the expertise they have gained to their local colleagues and thus benefit thousands of children across the four countries in years to come.

Football is a powerful tool

UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin chairs the foundation’s board of trustees and hails the work undertaken since 2015, and how football is proving to be a major force for social good.

“Having had the opportunity to be personally involved in various projects, I have seen that football is an extremely powerful tool,” said the UEFA president.

“Whether it is in refugee camps across the world, the troubled suburbs of European cities or forgotten conflict zones, all the activities supported by the UEFA Foundation for Children have strengthened my desire to see European football assume its role in the social development of young people all over the world.”

“I would also like to pay tribute in this regard to FC Internazionale Milano, who, through Inter Campus, have been working tirelessly to improve the lives of children so they have the chance to dream of a better future.”

One million children 

In the five years since the UEFA Foundation for Children was set up, around one million children have benefitted from its broad palette of activities worldwide, while it has provided support for projects in 100 countries on all five continents. Through sport, and football in particular, the foundation is helping to give hope to children from difficult backgrounds to help them achieve their goals in life.

I am delighted the fruitful partnership between Inter Campus and the UEFA Foundation for Children will be continuing for another two years.

This is the third project we will work on together, after projects in Israel and Palestine, and in Venezuela, and as always, both our organisations share the same goal – to help and improve the lives of as many children across the globe as possible.

- Javier Zanetti, vice-president of FC Internazionale Milano and former player for the club for almost two decades

Angola ©Contigo Media for Inter Campus”

©Contigo Media for Inter Campus

Angola

“©Contigo Media for Inter Campus”. - Cameroon

©Contigo Media for Inter Campus

Cameroon

“©Contigo Media for Inter Campus”. - Congo

©Contigo Media for Inter Campus

Democratic Republic of Congo

“©Contigo Media for Inter Campus”. Uganda

©Contigo Media for Inter Campus

Uganda

Project partner

Logo - Inter Campus_Or_Color

Queen’s Baton debuts in Vanuatu on island of fire

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 Representative, Sheldon Yett. “Parents can start focussing on rebuilding their lives once they can see their children happy and playing – and we can do this through sports,” he added.

Recognizing the important role sport can play in supporting the psychosocial recovery of children after an emergency, the Just Play Emergency programme supported the dissemination of critical messages through play-based sessions and festivals.

“Football has an important role to play both on and off the field. We view the Just Play Emergency Programme as a key component in making positive contributions to the lives of children across the Pacific,” OFC President David Chung said.  “We know that in times of disaster, children and families rely on routine, which sport can provide to help them recover and regain the confidence to move forward.”

Kicking off celebrations for the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Cost, the Queen’s Baton is making its Commonwealth tour.  On its epic journey to the Gold Cost, the baton will cover over 200,000 km in less than 400 days – making its debut in Vanuatu on the East and West of Ambae at the Just Play Emergency Programme festivals.  The baton leverages the power of sport, bringing people together as it is passed hand, to hand, reinforcing inspiring messages of hope, recovery and perseverance for the children of Ambae.

The Just Play Emergency Programme was delivered in partnership with the Vanuatu Football Federation, the Fiji Football Association, the Union of European Football Association (UEFA), UEFA Foundation for Children, Vanuatu Association of Sport and National Olympic Committee (VASANOC) and the Government of Vanuatu.

Related news to the programme: here

Just Play emergency programme set up in Vanuatu

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 football to support the psychosocial recovery of children after natural disasters. Just Play sessions are used to encourage children to draw pictures and to share their experiences and the effects on them and their families, which helps them to start their recovery process. The programme also includes key messages from the government of Vanuatu that are relevant to the context of repatriation. The direct beneficiaries of the programme are children and adolescents aged between 6 and 16.

The objectives of the Just Play emergency programme are to teach children how to keep themselves and their families safe during an emergency and to support their recovery after a natural disaster. The curriculum incorporates key recovery and response messages, which include:

  • coping with an emergency;
  • hand-washing and water safety;
  • food security;
  • general safety and security.

Expected results

  • Over 2,000 children will participate in Just Play emergency programme activities and receive psychosocial support.
  • Children will achieve greater understanding and awareness of how to prepare for and cope with future emergencies.
  • Two large-scale festivals will be organised, engaging a minimum of 300 children.

The Just Play programme has already demonstrated the positive impact it can have. After Cyclone Pam, a category-five tropical storm, devastated Vanuatu in 2015, the Oceania Football Confederation worked with UNICEF to use the Just Play programme platform to provide vital information and support in the aftermath of what turned out to be one of the worst natural disasters in Pacific history, affecting more than 166,000 people, including 82,000 children, across 22 islands. Lessons learned from those emergency response activities were used to develop the Just Play emergency programme into what it is today.

Just Play programme in the Pacific Islands.

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

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 conclusion. And Mali is not alone. Sending a team to an event like this is expensive and, without the support of the relevant authorities, often more than small associations can afford. Financial difficulties prevented Ivory Coast from taking part, for example. Fortunately, however, thanks to the efforts of the Libre Vue association, it was a different story for the Eagles. Having already secured funding from the UEFA Foundation for Children, Libre Vue also set up a successful crowdfunding campaign to fund their participation.

Blind football, an effective tool for social integration

The battle was not in vain, as the Mali team’s determined approach saw them finish in an impressive second place and thus qualify for the IBSA Blind Football World Championships to be played in Madrid from 5 to 18 June 2018.

The Blind Solidarity project gives visually impaired youngsters from Bamako an opportunity to discover blind football and its values, and to increase their self-confidence. A total of 150 young people aged between 7 and 25 participate in the project, which runs five training sessions each week. For Bandiougou Traoré, who has been playing blind football for five years, playing in such a competition is a dream come true. “It’s an honour, it’s something I’m really proud of!” he says. As well as requiring commitment, endurance and concentration, blind football helps to send out a strong message of integration and social cohesion by changing perceptions of disabled people. When they represent their country, blind footballers are not defined by their disability: they are players and nothing else.

The Ideas Box comes to Senegal!

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 Ideas Box can encourage local entreprise and thus ensure the sustainability of the project.

Before moving to Ziguinchor, the Ideas Box will be on display at the Maison de la Press in Dakar on 20 April, giving visitors the opportunity to discover this exciting new tool and share ideas about how it can be used to shape the library of the future in Senegal.