Campaign will promote sports and educational activities as driving forces for change in the United Kingdom, Italy and Spain.
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Mastercard, with support from the UEFA Foundation for Children, has kicked off a new fundraising campaign supporting Save the Children. The campaign aims to help children in poverty realise their potential through the power of football, other sports and educational activities, such as literacy and the arts.
The UEFA Foundation for Children will support the initiative in various ways including monitoring and evaluating the campaign’s impact.
The campaign will feature Lionel Messi reflecting on how football gave him the opportunities that many children lack in a new video. Messi is joined by some of the best footballers from the United Kingdom, Italy and Spain to drive donations and support local children in each of their countries.
Liverpool FC captain and England midfielder Jordan Henderson heads up the United Kingdom’s programme, which aims to help disadvantaged children up to the age of 16 access free activities throughout the 2023 summer holidays. Encouraging young people to build life skills and engage in ongoing learning and development is a core part of Save the Children’s work, and UK donations will go towards supporting 600 families and over 1,000 children in Manchester and North Tyneside.
Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini launches the campaign next week to his fans, aiming to raise funds to allow children and young adults in the country’s most disadvantaged neighbourhoods access to Punti Luce education centres. These centres promote free access to educational activities, a healthy diet and have a huge mix of sport and movement workshops, from football to volleyball and sailing – activities that would otherwise be completely inaccessible to those living in deprived and underserved neighbourhoods.
In Spain, international and Club Atlético de Madrid striker Álvaro Morata is driving donations to support 220 children in poverty and at risk of social exclusion. The holistic programme will see them given psychological support while providing opportunities to play sport and study values and creativity.
Urs Kluser, general secretary at the UEFA Foundation for Children, said: “This generous support from Mastercard will make a big difference for the beneficiaries of this programme. It will allow more children in need to grow up healthy, to have access to education and sport, and get a chance for a better future.”
“At Mastercard, we believe in doing well by doing good. It’s vitally important to us that our technology and networks power sustainable impact,” said Jeannette Liendo, senior vice president for marketing and communications at Mastercard Europe. “We are proud of this initiative and hope it, and our outstanding ambassadors, will enable the right resources so that child can reach for the stars.”
Giancarla Pancione, marketing and fundraising director at Save the Children Italy, said: “The number of children and adolescents in poverty throughout Europe dramatically rose in the last decade. This amplifies educational inequalities and penalises the future of the most disadvantaged girls, boys and teenagers, who are paying the heaviest price. This partnership is a way of joining forces and putting our best resources at their service, in order to fulfil their potential and build a brighter future.”
Mastercard is supporting the programmes by providing the technology to allow people to donate to the cause, and matching donations made up to €300,000. The campaign forms part of Mastercard’s Cause Enablement work, through which it is transforming the digital donation world to make it easier for charities to connect donors to causes, and make seamless giving possible for everyone, everywhere.
The donation widgets will be accessible through links from the ambassador, Mastercard and partner social media channels, as well as through ad banners on UEFA.com and Priceless.com editorial. Additionally, donations will be taken through purchases made on the official UEFA Club Competitions Online Store on UEFA.com.
Donations can be made via the ambassador posts, on the official UEFA Club Competitions Online Store on UEFA.com, or by clicking on the links through Mastercard and Save the Children social media channels plus Priceless.com.