UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, the Education Above All Foundation (EAA) and the Generation Amazing Foundation have announced a collaboration to develop a “Football 4 Development Playbook” (F4DP), a new toolkit that aims to support some of the world’s most vulnerable, forcibly displaced children.
The F4DP toolkit is a practical guide that uses football-themed physical games, activities and training drills to teach and develop life skills for children like teamwork, resilience, discipline and social integration.
It aims to improve social inclusion, cohesion and wellbeing, and will be used in existing UNHCR and EAA projects that support out-of-school children at the primary level, as well as displaced populations in Chad, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda.
The partnership to develop the F4DP tool was signed in Geneva by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, the Secretary General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy and Chairman of the Generation Amazing Foundation, H.E. Hassan Al Thawadi, and the CEO of EAA, Fahad Al Sulaiti.
“This project aims to harness the transformative power of football, to empower refugee children and youth, and provide them with life-long skills that can help them and their local host communities,” said Grandi.
The Generation Amazing Foundation, a FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ legacy initiative which specialises in creating football for social change programmes, is developing the materials in collaboration with UNHCR to build upon its existing “Sports for Protection” toolkit.
Al Thawadi said: “Generation Amazing’s mission is to ensure that the heart and soul of football reaches people that need it the most. UNHCR and EAA are engaged with and assisting refugee communities around the world and we are pleased to contribute to this critical work through this partnership. Football – and sport – alone can’t change the world, but ensuring that its incredible power to inspire and unite is harnessed is a responsibility we must deliver on, especially in places where populations battle with innumerable obstacles and challenges.”
Improved mental agility, attention span and decision-making, alongside self-confidence, self-efficacy and resilience, are just some of the associated advantages of sport, all vital skills for children and young people, particularly those who have been forcibly displaced and living in refugee camps or otherwise disadvantaged.
“Although education is a human right, refugee communities host some of the largest out-of-school child populations”, said EAA’s Al Sulaiti. “We are all too aware of the role well-designed sports interventions can play within existing education programmes in reaching the most marginalised children to improve multiple areas of development. We look forward to welcoming these new football-focused materials to better help us ensure that when it comes to education, no child is left behind.” Al Sulaiti added: “We value the role of our partners, the UNCHR and GA in developing the F4DP. We also thank our strategic partner, Qatar Fund for Development, for their support of the main project, using sport as a tool to enhance humanitarian and development efforts and to consolidate peace in countries underdeveloped and fragile societies.”