5 ways football is making an impact

#FearlessFootball, Equal Playing Field’s Festival of Football, the LaLiga | Za’atari Social Project and Soccer Without Borders – a round-up of a landmark month for AFDP Global.

The past couple of months have been an extremely busy and exciting time for AFDP Global full of announcements and travel. We aim to spread the positive impact and power of football around the world, so we jumped at the chance to send our CEO JF Cecillon and CFO Marion Vayson de Pradenne to visit Soccer Without Borders’ (SWB) Uganda Child Refugee Programme. SWB is harnessing the unique power of football to provide displaced children with hope, purpose and new friendships to rebuild communities and to alleviate trauma. Read more about the project here.

We hope you will have seen the launch of our #FearlessFootball campaign to end abuse in women’s football, which took place in Lyon on 3rd July at the culmination of the Women’s World Cup.

Our global campaign is founded up our Declaration of Principles to safeguard women and girls in world football, which has already been signed by over 75 current and former professional players, as well as leading figures in human rights and sport. The focus now is ensuring every governing body in football adopts and implements our Declaration of Principles as a fundamental safeguarding standard. Football Australia and the Japan Football Association have already joined UEFA and the AFC in signing the Declaration, but there’s so much work still to be done. Our open petition can be found at change.org here. Together, we know we can make a lasting change to the culture and practice of football.

Although the #FearlessFootball campaign is only just beginning, we are simultaneously growing some important projects to deliver sustainable impact in communities in need.

We are extremely proud to have supported Equal Playing Field’s (EPF) Festival of Football, which took place between 27th June and 1st July in Lyon. In this world record-breaking game, women and girls from across the globe were brought together in an effort to promote equality, empowerment and inclusivity in the women’s game. We were particularly delighted to take four talented young female players from Costa Rica to participate in the event.

On 15th July, the LaLiga | Za’atari Social Project was launched in Jordan’s Za’atari refugee camp. This ambitious project has created a league competition for young footballers in the camp. Each of the teams – 16 U13 girls’ teams and 20 U15 boys’ teams – has been twinned with Liga Iberdrola and LaLiga clubs who have donated vital sports equipment. The project has been designed to offer outstanding opportunities for personal development and education about the values of fair play, respect, tolerance and teamwork.

And the good news doesn’t end there. In support of Girls United we gave four football players from the Chicas Unidas Bacalar team the chance to travel from Mexico to Lyon and then to London, to represent their country by doing the thing that they love most: playing football. In Lyon they played in the EPF’s Festival of Football and then participated in the Girls United World Cup Festival.

This truly was a life-changing experience for these girls – some of whom had never been on a plane before. They had the chance to realise their dreams and learn new perspectives, empowering them to make a real difference in their own communities through football.

Stay tuned for more regular updates, both on #FearlessFootball and to follow our work with our partners around the world.

#FearlessFootball #footballuniting