“Football cannot change the world but it has the power to contribute to improving lives,” said FIFA President Gianni Infantino. "As President of FIFA, I feel it is important that our institution, as the world governing body of football, supports, through its sustainability activities and in particular the Football for Hope initiative, organisations who are using football as a catalyst for positive social change."
This year, eight new organisations have joined the initiative, among them Canada Scores, an organisation that provides free after-school programmes for vulnerable children in Vancouver, and the Policy Center for Roma and Minorities, a group which focuses on reducing the drop-out rate among Roma and non-Roma children living in extreme poverty in Romania.
Through FIFA Football for Hope, we are able to give kids access to the beautiful game.
Kevin Yang, Executive Director of Canada Scores
“The Football for Hope programme impacts positively on the lives of 52 Roma and non-Roma children in one of the poorest and most marginalised areas of Bucharest, the Ferentari neighbourhood,” said Raluca Negulescu, Executive Director of the Policy Center for Roma and Minorities. “We see football as a gateway to traditional education for both girls and boys who are at high risk of dropping out of school. The programme empowers the children to discover their talent and to make the most of their potential. Football for Hope helped us create the first girls’ football team in the area, an initiative that challenges negative prejudices about the potential and skills of Roma and non-Roma girls from poor communities.”
“Through FIFA Football for Hope, we are able to give kids access to the beautiful game. To our kids, it is more than just a game, it is a hub for building lifelong friendships and a stronger community,” said Kevin Yang, Executive Director of Canada Scores.
Education on HIV/AIDS, conflict resolution, gender equality, integration of people with intellectual disabilities into society, peace building, youth leadership and life skills are just some of the many social development objectives that are being pursued by this global network of community organisations.
All project proposals submitted to FIFA’s Football for Hope initiative have to go through a rigorous selection process in which their track record, impact and long-term viability are reviewed. FIFA wants to ensure that it supports and works with community projects that are sustainable, accountable and truly of benefit to the communities they serve.