The UEFA Foundation for Children’s pioneering efforts to use football to drive social good are improving the lives of more than one million children across some 100 countries, according to the organisation’s 2018/19 activity report.
The annual overview of the Foundation’s work also reveals an acceleration in introduction of new UEFA-funded humanitarian projects. In 2018/19, 45 new projects were launched together with 22 other sport-driven development initiatives proposed by European national football associations.
The Foundation’s tireless efforts to make a difference to children’s lives and put smiles on young faces are showcased throughout the report in a series of real-life stories from the frontlines of Europe’s and the world’s most deprived communities.
UEFA President: “Football is a powerful tool”
“Having had the opportunity to be personally involved in various projects. I have seen that football is an extremely powerful tool.” writes President Aleksander Ceferin, chairman of the Foundation’s board of trustees in his foreword.
“Whether it is in refugee camps across the world, the troubled suburbs of European cities or forgotten conflict zones, all the activities supported by the UEFA Foundation for Children have strengthened my desire to see European football assume its role in the social development of young people all over the world.”
The impressive impact figures reflect the UEFA’s Executive Committee’s 2018 decision to raise annual funding for the Foundation to €6.8 million – more than double the previous year’s allocation. Increased investment has allowed the Foundation to expand its overall mission and extend collaboration to new development partners.
While many of the 245 projects supported over the past four years emphasised children’s health, education and integration, the Foundation is now also turning its attention to victims of conflict, especially refugees, and the promotion of youth employment through football.
With 12 host cities spread across Europe, the upcoming UEFA EURO 2020 tournament also offers a wider platform than ever for the Foundation to protect and support young people through football. Funding for 2019/20, has already been allocated to projects associated with the tournament, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary.
In addition, the report underlines how the foundation has increased its visibility and exposure in a variety of ways:
• Strengthened relations with partners;
• Constant visual presence on stadium boards and giant screens at UEFA matches;
• Launching of a revamped website and increased social media presence;
• Partially interactive photo exhibition illustrating the foundation’s work;
• Players’ support for foundation initiatives and participation in events.
UEFA explainer: what is the UEFA Foundation for Children?
UEFA set up the Foundation five years ago to find ways of using football to support humanitarian projects linked to children’s rights in fields such as health, education and the integration of minorities.
In 2018/19, distribution of Foundation funding was split equally between projects located in Europe and other continents.