Global partnerships for global impact

In her new blog, our CFO Marion Vayson de Pradenne outlines why effective partnerships and advocacy are both mission critical for AFDP Global.

In recent months, I have had the opportunity to witness how football is having a social impact in very different contexts.

In my capacity as Chief Financial Officer of AFDP Global, the international football social enterprise, I have had the privilege of observing football for development projects in rural Nepal and in Zaatari refugee camp, home to 80,000 people on the Jordanian-Syrian border.

My overriding reflection from these very different places is the unifying power of football. 

Whether in a Nepalese mountain village or Zaatari’s sprawling metropolis, the power of football is fundamentally the same. Wherever it is played, football brings young people together and allows them to deepen friendships and discover a new purpose through the joy of sport.

It is precisely because football is ‘the common language of the world’, as the Founder of AFDP Global HRH Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein puts it, that AFDP Global has a truly international remit.

We are looking to work in any territory where football can meet a social need. 

Our fundamental method of operating across territories is to partner with organisations that have a vision to use football for the benefit of young people and local communities. We function as a commercially-minded social enterprise and are pro-active in supporting our partner organisations to scale up their social impact and achieve financial sustainability.

It’s important to emphasise that organisations we partner with are not required to have a fully tested theory of change.

All that’s needed is commitment to achieving a measurable set of social outcomes and a willingness to work in partnership with our team to learn and grow together.

We guarantee a wealth of pro-active, hands-on support, coupled with appropriate growth funding to enable organisations to become self-sustaining and to deliver real social impact. We are ambitious to support those projects with a real potential to scale up. At the same time, our global scale enables us to share best practice drawn from social enterprises across continents with our partner organisations.

Equally, we want to create a new norm, not a set of outstanding individual projects. That is why, as well as supporting football projects to grow and establish themselves, we are advocating for lasting change in football governance. This is the difference between changing specific communities through football and changing the context in which football is played in all communities. We know, for example, that our efforts to scale up women’s football in key territories will be drastically undermined if governing bodies fail to protect women and girls playing football from abuse and exploitation.

Our work to develop the ‘football for good’ space and our work to improve the governance of world football are mutually reinforcing. I would go further and say that if global social impact is the goal, a combined need for social enterprise and effective advocacy is mission critical.

We know that to get results in both these areas, like-minded individuals and organisations cannot afford to work in isolation. To that end, if you or the body you represent would be interested in exploring opportunities for partnership, please don’t hesitate to be in touch with the AFDP Global Senior Team.