As an international federation, FIFA engages with its member associations, international development agencies, non-governmental organisations and other actors interested in participating in the Football for Hope initiative and using sports to achieve positive social change. Working together with these experienced and widely networked actors offers additional resources, know-how and support structures for the implementation of football-based programmes on the ground.
Some of the key collaboration efforts are explained below:
In addition to the long-standing football development projects run with and for FIFA’s 208 member associations, many social development initiatives for youth are jointly supported by football’s world governing body and the associations.
For example, both FIFA and the Football Federation Australia support Football United, an organisation that uses football to promote the integration and development of immigrants and refugees in Australia. Other examples of youth programmes supported by FIFA and national football associations include football for people with intellectual disabilities run by Special Olympics in countries throughout Africa, landmine awareness-raising by Spirit of Soccer in Cambodia and Iraq, and post-conflict reintegration by Cross Cultures in the Balkans and the Caucasus.
FIFA has worked in close cooperation with the United Nations since 1999 when then UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter met in New York to announce the start of a closer relationship between the two organisations. This announcement was followed by numerous campaigns and programmes designed to promote peace and development through football.
A concrete example of that relationship is the cooperation with the International Labour Organisation (ILO). Through its International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC) the “Elimination of Child Labour in the Soccer Ball Industry” programme was launched in 1997. FIFA worked in close co-operation with ILO/IPEC, the government, manufacturers, trade unions, Save the Children, UNICEF and various local Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to implement this programme. Since its inception, FIFA has given its full backing to highlight the importance of human rights and education for children around the globe, and provided financial resources for various projects in Pakistan.
Multi-lateral Development Institutions
In 2007, FIFA, CONCACAF and CONMEBOL signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to create development opportunities through football for children and young people living in poverty in Latin America and the Caribbean. Since 2009, FIFA and the IDB have been jointly investing into regional programmes for the development of life skills among youth, violence prevention and the improvement of education and employment opportunities. This cooperation has contributed significantly to the impact of Football for Hope in the region.
Cooperation with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and community-based organisations (CBOs) is key to the successful implementation of concrete programmes in disadvantaged communities around the globe.
In 2005, FIFA began working with the non-profit organisation streetfootballworld in reaching out to other NGOs and CBOs around the world that were using football as a tool for their social development programmes. Since its foundation in 2002, streetfootballworld has built a strong network of organisations, connecting them with each other as well as with potential funders and supporters. Football for Hope was initiated to provide support and more visibility to such organisations, as well as a platform for discussion and collaboration. In addition, FIFA and streetfootballworld have organised numerous official events at FIFA tournaments bringing young leaders from around the world together to exchange experiences and celebrate their achievements.