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, which is vital for their healthy physical and psychological development. They convey a wide range of societal values in a way that is relevant to children. Topics such as well-being, self-esteem, tolerance, inclusion of minorities, conflict resolution, learning to live together, education and employability are addressed alongside active training sessions. Four of the new European projects relate to the social integration of child refugees in host communities.
The 14 projects outside Europe give the UEFA Foundation for Children a presence on all continents. These programmes aim to protect children and young adults who are victims of social, economic, political or armed conflicts. In crisis-hit countries, the principles enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child often fall by the wayside. Through sport and games, a fun, educational approach can be adopted to address social issues such as early marriage, birth control, the importance of school, health, hygiene and well-being.
Nathalie Iannetta, one of the trustees who was part of the working group that shortlisted the projects, said: "All we ever hear about football concerns the big competitions, the transfers and the scandals. At the UEFA Foundation for Children, however, we can see on a daily basis how our sport is a powerful driver of social change. The projects that were sent to us from all over the world are proof that, thanks to football, it is possible to support the social integration of refugees, the empowerment of girls, the faster, more sustainable inclusion of disabled people, and so on. The wide variety of projects that we received is a hallmark of the extraordinary richness and generosity inherent in each of us."
List of new partners and their projects:
Action for Development, Afghanistan
School for Street Children
Association of Football Federations of Azerbaijan, Karabakh
Baan Dek Foundation, Thailand
Football United, Myanmar
Football United Myanmar
Fotbal Pro Rozvoj, Czech Republic
Football for development in Czech Republic
Foundation of Polish Soccer, Poland
Football Film Festival
Fundación Red Deporte y Cooperacíon, Spain
Football With No Limits
Game International, Kosovo
Johan Cruyff Foundation, Aruba, Caribbean
Cruyff Courts in the Dutch Caribbean
Kick It Out, United Kingdom
Diversity in Football Leadership Pathway
Light For The World International, Bolivia
Inclusion of children & Youth with disabilities
National Children's Football Alliance, Belgium
Global Peace Game
Oceania Football Confederation, Oceania
Oltalom Sport Association, Hungary
Football for Respect!
Orama Neon Youthorama, Thessaloniki, Greece
A ball for all children, a goal for inclusion
Paris Saint-Germain Foundation, France
Allez les Filles!
Royal Europa 90 Kraainem Football Club, Belgium
We welcome young refugees
Ruud Van Nistelrooy Foundation, Netherlands
SALT Academy, Cambodia
Football For Development after-school programme
Soccer in the Streets, Atlanta, United States
Refugee Life Skills and Employment Training Soccer Program Atlanta
Sport dans la Ville, France
Job dans la Ville
Streetfootballworld, Jordan and Lebanon
Empowering refugee and marginalised children
Terre des Hommes, Egypt
Protection and social inclusion
Tiempo de Juego Foundation, Columbia
Creciendo con el Balón/ Fútbol for Growth
Triangle Génération Humanitaire (TGH), Central African Republic and Republic of the Congo
Improving the protection, education and reintegration of street children in Bangui and Brazzaville
UEFA Foundation for Children, Jordane
Football at the Zaatari refugee camp
UNIS VERS le SPORT, Senegal
UVS – Interational Education Centre