UEFA Foundation for Children defends child refugees’ rights

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 Cross Cultures Project Association (CCPA) and streetfootballworld, which are setting up projects which make use of football to strengthen social cohesion, encourage reconciliation and peaceful coexistence within communities and promote education. Last but not least, the foundation is supporting the Spirit of Soccer project in Iraq, which aims to use the power of football to make children in camps aware of the dangers of anti-personnel landmines and explosive remnants of war.

Thanks to a €2m donation made by UEFA last December, the foundation has earmarked support to countries affected by a huge influx of refugees. In Europe, the foundation is supporting urgent humanitarian projects led by Terre des Hommes (TdH) to assist unaccompanied children and families with children under five years of age in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Greece.

A portion of this financial support has enabled the creation of a solidarity fund to help child refugees and facilitate their social integration into host communities in Europe. This fund will be made available to NGOs, national associations and the wider football family, with operations coordinated with the streetfootballworld network. So far, 19 organisations in 13 European countries are benefitting from this support fund:

Bosnia-Herzegovina:         Football Friends

France:                    Sport dans la Ville

Georgia:                   Cross Cultures Project Association

Germany:                  Amandla Edufootball, Champions Ohne Grenzen, KICKFAIR, Rheinflanke, Rheinflanke & FC Internationale

Greece:                   Terre des Hommes, Diogenis

Hungary:                  Oltalom Sport Association

Italy:                      Balon Mundial

Netherlands:               Johann Cruyff Foundation

Republic of Ireland/ Northern Ireland:           Sport Against Racism Ireland

Serbia:                    Football Friends

Spain:                     Red Deporte y Cooperación

Ukraine:                   Scort Foundation

United Kingdom:           Sport4Life, Start Again Project, Tigers Sport & Education Trust

In addition, the UEFA Foundation for Children is devoting particular attention to displaced persons in Ukraine. It is supporting the “Play away, Play everywhere” project, led by the Ukrainian Football Federation (FFU), and which aims to facilitate the social integration of displaced children by enabling them to play football.