How football is creating a better future for refugee children in Uganda
The week before we launched AFDP Global’s #FearlessFootball campaign in France, our CEO JF and CFO Marion spent five days with one of our key partners – the US NGO Soccer Without Borders – at one of their major projects located in Uganda. This is a centre for as many as 450 children, mostly refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, South Sudan and other African countries affected by conflict or political crisis.
A lot of these children, young girls and boys aged 8 to 16, have lost a parent, their home, a peaceful life and been displaced without any access to education, development opportunities and comfort. SWB is engaging with local communities on a large scale to bring these young people some development opportunities such as learning English, life skills and football training. An educational model built around football, where the game and the qualities it develops are used to teach and develop a range of life skills, is a fundamental ingredient of success in this environment. In short, the project is a powerful testament to the role that football can play in helping children and young people to learn from others, foster team spirit and collaborative working, develop greater respect for rules and play a constructive role in their communities.
One of SWB’s successful initiatives is a summer session for young leaders aged 16 to 23 where they are taught the latest methods to better perform and train others as football coaches. We are supporting these sessions so that these young adults can benefit from the very best and up-to-date coaching theory and practice. By the end of July, the trained coaches will be ready to pass on their knowledge to the next cohort of children that are due to start in August.
It was very inspiring to see this work, and to see first-hand how our support enables partners like Soccer Without Borders to create opportunities for young people and help them to overcome obstacles to growth, inclusion and personal success.