FIFA Foundation supporting the world in 2023
Over 2023, the FIFA Foundation supported a wide variety of causes
From earthquake relief to promoting awareness of the fight against AIDS
The Foundation was also active at the FIFA U-17 and U-20 World Cups
As the year 2023 draws to a close, the time is ripe for a recap of the efforts made by the FIFA Foundation over these 365 days to continue using the power of football to make a positive impact on social change, education and development.
On 6th February this year, earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria, just nine hours apart, caused widespread damage and a death toll in the tens of thousands.
The FIFA Foundation sprang into action and donated USD 1 million in immediate humanitarian aid to purchase and distribute essential items, as well as to provide emergency and temporary shelter and protection from the winter weather.
In April, on the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, the FIFA Foundation announced the names of 114 not-for-profit organisations, spanning 54 countries, which were set to receive economic support through the FIFA Foundation Community Programme.
This programme aims to support domestic non-governmental organisations which contribute towards promoting health and well-being, quality education, gender equality, peace, justice and institutional stability, the eradication of poverty and reducing inequality, as well as encouraging gainful employment and economic growth.
In June, the FIFA Foundation Board, in a meeting attended by FIFA President Gianni Infantino, approved the establishment of a humanitarian fund and the allocation of USD 1 million to support protracted crises across Africa.
At the same meeting, it was also agreed to launch a Para Football Programme to continue ensuring that football is accessible to all. In addition, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed with the Paolo Rossi Foundation, to support young footballing talents from disadvantaged backgrounds via a scholarship programme.
On 20th June, World Refugee Day, the spotlight was turned on the work done by three FIFA Foundation-backed non-governmental organisations that support displaced people across the globe.
‘Soccer Without Borders’ deliver sports-based education in Kampala, Uganda. ‘Reclaim Childhood’, from Jordan, create safe and inclusive spaces for refugee and local girls to play football. ‘Lighthouse Relief’ in Greece, for their part, provide support for displaced Syrian children to enable them to socialise and learn new skills.
In July, the FIFA Foundation, the Belize Football Federation (FFB) and the country’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Science & Technology (MoECST) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to join forces to promote quality education through a twofold programme of play-based learning; combining education and football, thanks to the further expansion of the FIFA Football for Schools programme, which launched in Belize in 2022.
The FIFA Foundation was also present at this year’s youth competitions. At the FIFA U-20 World Cup Argentina 2023™, a FIFA Foundation delegation paid a visit to the Asociacion Civil Andar and the Fundacion Defensores del Chaco, both beneficiaries of the FIFA Foundation Community Programme, a global initiative that offers support to local groups that use football in social projects.
The Asociacion Civil Andar opens its doors to children, young children and adults of all abilities via an inclusive football league. The Fundacion Defensores del Chaco, for its part, emerged on the site of a former rubbish dump in the area dubbed “Chaco chico”, where it also created a “street football” event in order to promote social dialogue at times of tension, in which around 2,000 members of the community are ongoing participants.
During the FIFA U-17 World Cup Indonesia 2023, meanwhile, on World AIDS Day on 1st December, the FIFA Foundation joined forces with Perkumpulan Rumah Cemara to organise a friendly match in Bandung.
As part of the ‘Indonesia Without Stigma’ campaign, the friendly match involved players from the National Homeless World Cup team, people living with HIV (PLHIV), drug consumers, members of other marginalised groups and the public.
Along these lines, the FIFA Foundation continues to make FIFA's Football Unites the World movement a reality and lend a hand to those who most need it.