FIFA Foundation started in March 2018 and is currently headquartered in Zurich. Its goal is to help in promoting social change throughout the world. More specifically, it aims to raise awareness and support for the reconstruction of damaged sports infrastructure in different parts of the world.
The foundation is in infancy, and yet it already launched at least 93 social projects to date.
The FIFA Foundation Board, which was currently headed by Yuri Djorkaeff, a former French international, oversees the activities of the foundation.
FIFA Foundation programmes
1) Community programme
The foundation primarily supports organisations that utilise the sport as its main tool for social change. This is more so if the goal is to improve the lives of the underprivileged children and their families.
Every year, the foundation invites non-profit organisations to apply for grants that it can use to further their causes. Such causes and advocacies may include but are not limited to education, health, leadership, and gender equality, among others.
2) Recovery programme
FIFA Foundation also provides support to communities struck by natural disasters or any unforeseen events in the form of mobilisation and emergency funding.
This is particularly applicable for the recovery of the damaged or destroyed sporting infrastructure.
In 2018, the festival was conducted in Red Square in Moscow where young representatives from 48 non-profit organisations from 38 countries were brought to the FIFA World Cup. The more than 300 participants exchanged, learned, and played football, celebrating the transformative power of football.
Speaking of learning, the event kicked off with its own Young Leaders’ Skills Development Programme. It is a three-day event where the young leaders from each delegation engaged in exchange and skills development. They trained as mediators, mentors, and communicators.
With this said, the festival was a great display of how football can empower the youth. Indeed, it can bring social changes to anywhere these are needed.
With a tagline of Equality, Teamwork, and Fair Play, the FIFA Foundation Festival 2018 also included a football tournament and awarding ceremony.
The tournament was the highlight of the festival where 24 mixed-gender teams with eight players each were formed to battle one another. The competition took place at Olympiets.
4) Football for girls
This has been the foundation’s signature project – the football for girls in the Middle East.
Young girls experience gender and race-based barriers and breaking down such barriers means giving them equal opportunities. The foundation allows the girls to participate, forging a bright future for them in the process.
This alone empowers young girls and women in the Middle East as well as the communities where they live. Participation is historically limited in these areas because of both cultural and religious barriers.
5) Legends as ambassadors
FIFA legends are part of the board. They also contribute to making the football dreams of the youth come true.
Their goal is to give back as ambassadors of both the foundation and its projects. They also commit to the projects and programmes, travelling to target areas where their presence is needed.