Magic Bus, India

Empowering disadvantaged children to address religious, caste and gender issues

Magic Bus uses football to provide outdoor learning and empower some of the most underprivileged children in India. It is strongly committed to giving girls the opportunity to participate in football and has already achieved significant results. The organisation tirelessly encourages parents to let their daughters play football and has increased female participation from 10 per cent to 30 per cent in the last two years.

Magic Bus has reached over 30,000 children in the last nine years and currently reaches 3,500 children every year with its programmes. The organisation works with a large number of local and international partners, including foundations, corporate sponsors and governmental institutions.

Spirit of Soccer, Cambodia

Saving lives by promoting landmine awareness through football

Spirit of Soccer uses football to save lives by educating communities in post-conflict regions about the dangers of landmines. Cambodia is still littered with landmines and unexploded bombs left over from the conflicts of the Seventies. Through its ‘Mine Risk Education’ (MRE) curriculum, children and coaches learn and spread the message about the dangers of landmines and how to avoid them. The organisation also donates footballs and distributes information to both players and coaches on coaching methods for young players and on keeping safe from explosive remnants of war.

Since 2006 over 80,000 children have received Mine Risk Education from coaches trained by Spirit of Soccer in football-based activities. The organisations MRE curriculum is now in high demand and the organisation recently expanded operations to Iraq.

The Peace Team, Israel, Palestine

Israeli and Palestinian kids brought together by football

The Peace Team is made of young participants of two organisations with a long track record in collaboration: Al Quds Association for Democracy and Dialogue (AFDD) and The Peres Center for Peace. Together they run the project ‘Twinned Peace Football Schools’, in which Palestinian and Israeli children aged 6 to 14 meet separately for football training and peace education, then come together for mixed activities that focus on conflict resolution, dialogue and understanding using football as a common language.

Both organisations aim to encourage mutual understanding and peace between Palestinians and Israelis and believe in dialogue as the only solution to conflict. While the Peres Center works with Israeli and Arab communities in Israel, the Al Quds Association coordinates the programme in Palestinian territories.