Youngsters embrace new life with Uni Papua

  • Uni Papua FC is aimed at transforming youngsters’ lives through football

  • Since being founded in 2013, it has taken roots in Indonesia

  • FIFA Foundation provides support to the organisation

Many consider football as a tool to help people become physically and mentally fit, but for Uni Papua FC, the beautiful game is taught to help kids become better people overall.

Founded in 2013 in Biak Island, Papua, a province of Indonesia, the organisation was initially set up to provide protection for children from harmful surroundings such as drugs, alcohol and risks of HIV/AIDS.

To achieve this goal, Uni Papua provided the necessary facilities and coaching staff to organise programmes for children to play. During that process, Uni Papua began instilling their ideas into the youngsters, focusing on character development and human values for sustainable social change, all of which have since become the core values and mission of the organisation.

"We aim to build and develop positive character traits in the youngsters, such as discipline, commitment, living a healthy life as well as respecting races, tribes and gender differences," Harry Widjaja, Founder and CEO of Uni Papua FC, told "It may take a long time and be a long road to realise all of these, but it is our biggest dream."

Their hard work has borne fruit, with Uni Papua gradually winning widespread recognition from all walks of life. They have even earned the government's trust and granted the partnership of organising the Football For Peace Festival. And their youth programmes have received support by the Ministry of Youth and Sports.

Today Uni Papua has reached out to many youngsters who are then trained by their 64-person coaching staff from across the country. These young participants take part in training sessions on a regular basis, learning about positive character traits throughout each session.