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 seek to promote peace, integration, greater social harmony, respect for differences and non-discrimination.
The first UEFA Foundation for Children Award winners are:
- streetfootballworld: a network that unites more than 100 community organisations behind a common goal – changing the world through football.
- Colombianitos: a body aiming to improve 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: a programme using the power of play to educate and empower children to overcome the effects of poverty, conflict and disease in disadvantaged communities.
- Magic Bus: a programme that steers children towards a better life with better awareness, better life skills and better opportunities in the journey from childhood to livelihood.
The board of trustees also reviewed all ongoing projects, especially those related to a solidarity fund for migrant and displaced children, which was set up with a €2m donation approved by the UEFA Executive Committee on 11 December 2015. Various projects are being implemented to help migrants and displaced children from the Middle East and eastern European countries such as Ukraine and Georgia, and also to support European host countries that are receiving unprecedented numbers of migrants.
In Europe, projects are being put in place in 13 countries in cooperation with 19 different associations. These projects will help more than 30,000 people, of which 65% are migrants and 35% are people active in society, such as coaches and teachers.
In the Middle East, the UEFA Foundation for Children is continuing its support of refugees in Jordan and Lebanon through projects that are using football to promote social cohesion, foster reconciliation and peaceful coexistence within communities, and promote education.
Following the meeting of the foundation’s board of trustees, chairman José Manuel Durão Barroso said: “The UEFA Foundation for Children is already making a difference all over the world. Already today, thousands of children who are underprivileged or living in difficult circumstances are being supported in their daily lives by the Foundation through education and opportunities to play, among other things.
In order to develop our activities we will continue to look for new forms of financing that respect the code of ethics – and we will do this with complete transparency.
We consider that developing our activities hand-in-hand with other organizations whose projects are linked to sport is a sustainable way to increase the results of our work, namely, by promoting deep integration and creating social harmony.”
The UEFA Foundation for Children is currently supporting projects in 44 different countries or territories:
- 20 in Europe: in Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, England, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, the Republic of Ireland, Romania, Scotland, Serbia, Spain, Switzerland and Ukraine.
- 7 in Africa: in Angola, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Senegal, Somalia and Uganda.
- 2 in South America: in Brazil and Colombia.
- 11 in Oceania: in American Samoa, the Cook Islands, French Polynesia, Fiji, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu.
- 4 in Asia: in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Nepal.
These activities are carried out in partnership with 35 charitable organisations, 12 national football associations and a number of UN agencies.