The UEFA Foundation for Children's board of trustees has earmarked eight new projects on three continents for support and investment through the coming years.
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The UEFA Foundation for Children's decision-making body, the board of trustees chaired by former European Commission president José Manuel Barroso, held its latest meeting yesterday at the Foundation's headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland.
The meeting agenda included a review of all current projects followed by the ratification of new initiatives to be added to the Foundation's portfolio in the coming months. A total of €1.1m will be invested in new projects to be implemented on three continents.
Selected initiatives meet the following criteria: correspondence with the Foundation's statutes; credibility of the partner organisations; presentation of a viable budget with local partners; and viability of the activities.
The meeting saw the Foundation commit financial support to eight new projects:
• Establishment of a media library for street children in Ziguinchor (Senegal) in partnership with the Bibliothèques sans Frontières association. This initiative aims to facilitate access to education for street children, in particular young girls involved in child labour. Some 7,500 children are expected to benefit from this apprenticeship tool.
• Health and social integration through sport in Ireland: This initiative, which comes under the patronage of the John Giles Foundation, aims to promote sporting activities within disadvantaged communities in Ireland; prevent obesity and social exclusion; and help to strengthen club structures and local entities, in order to foster the social integration of vulnerable sectors of the population.
• Improvement of living conditions of street children in Luanda (Angola): This project, an initiative of SAMU International in partnership with the Arnold Janssen Centre, aims to improve and facilitate access to basic social services for children and young people living on the streets in Luanda. Another objective of this project is to develop socio-sporting activities by making football a support activity. UNICEF estimates that 5,000 children and young people live on the streets of Luanda.
• A programme tackling social exclusion in Burkina Faso: This programme, organised by SAMU International, aims to combat the social exclusion of street children, and seeks to help them get off the streets through family assistance and professional training. UNICEF estimates that 3,500 children live on the streets of Ouagadougou.
• Raising awareness of the dangers of mines, and awareness of football in Iraq: Led by Spirit of Soccer, the objective of this project is to reduce the risk of accidents linked to mines and other unexploded munitions that endanger children living in risk areas. In addition, the initiative enables the development of sporting activities for displaced sections of the population. According to estimates, 25,000 children live in camps in Iraq.
• Inclusive education for the children of East Jerusalem: This project, which comes under the patronage of Terre des Hommes Italy, aims to improve school infrastructures and enable access to sport in the poorer areas of East Jerusalem. The initiative will provide help to 4,700 children and some 200 teachers at ten schools.
• One Goal for Education: The European Football for Development Network (EFDN) is active in five European countries: Belgium, England, Israel, Netherlands and Scotland. This project aims to foster the personal development of children aged eight to 15 through playing football; support vulnerable children in the education system; strengthen self-esteem and promote tolerance; and create a guide and e-learning platform to ensure the sustainability of the project. Between 1,000 and 1,500 children will benefit from this initiative.
• The Play for Change programme in Nepal: Launched by the association of the same name, the project aims to ensure access to sport for vulnerable children, in particular young girls; the objective is also to establish sporting activities and local leagues within the schools, and to develop training for coaches and teachers in local communities.
Following the Foundation board of trustees' meeting, chairman José Manuel Barroso said: "We are satisfied at being able to work on new projects of quality with trusted partners, and in very diverse regions. Together and from today, we are going to work to defend the rights of the poorest children, and support them – through education, health initiatives, social inclusion and access to sport – to enable them to envisage a better future."