The foundation celebrates its fifth anniversary
Five years have passed since the UEFA Foundation for Children was established to help european football fulfil its social responsability to support and defend the rights of children all over the world
Football is more than just a game; it is a vehicle for change and a source of hope and possibilities for all children. It can be used to develop important life skills such as communication, teamwork and respect, and provides opportunities to lead, excel and gain confidence.
The projects supported by the foundation use sport, and football in particular, to help support children in precarious situations and from disadvantaged backgrounds. Activities focus on the areas of health, education, access to sport, integration of minorities, personal development and youth employment.
Almost 250 projects reaching a million children
Some one million children have benefitted from the broad range of activities organised or funded by the foundation since it was created in April 2015. Through calls for project and awards, the foundation has provided grants to a total of 245 projects. Half of all funding has been dedicated to projects within Europe.
Helping more children play the beautiful game
A common need identified by the foundation is for safe infrastructure and equipment. The foundation has therefore supported the construction of many football pitches and distributed over 35,000 balls and football kits to schools, children’s institutions and associations. Over 34 tonnes of material from UEFA competitions have been donated to children’s programmes.
Promoting diversity and multiculturalism
The foundation has been able to support projects in 100 countries. Of the one million children who have already benefitted, at least 35% are girls, and the foundation is working to increase this proportion. Football is a powerful means of promoting gender equality and inclusion more broadly, by increasing the participation of minorities in programmes and in society, thereby helping more people to become active citizens.
Making dreams come true
National associations and clubs have helped the foundation bring hope to children and give them reasons to dream. Almost 24,000 children who would otherwise never have had the chance to attend an international football match have been invited to a UEFA competition.
The UEFA Super Cup has been as great stage on which to create awareness of the positive impact football can have. With the help of the participating clubs and their elite players, the foundation has used this stage to demonstrate, once again, that football can play an important role in children’s lives and can change the opportunities of even the most vulnerable.
As the world grapples with COVID-19, the resultant health crisis and its social and economic consequences, the foundation continues to do what it can to help the most vulnerable communities and organise responses that are adapted to the needs of each situation. The foundation was the first institutional supporter of the Common Goal COVID-19 Response Fund, set up to support community organisations in their immediate emergency response and longer-term recovery work.
The milestone of our fifth birthday is an opportunity for the foundation to thank to the entire football community for the trust that has been shown in us and our work . Special thanks also to our partner NGOs and community organisations for their hard work, day in, day out, implementing our activities and their dedication to protecting children and their universal rights, which is, after all, the purpose of the UEFA foundation.
- Urs Kluser, General Secretary of the UEFA Foundation for children