- New initiative gives youth from under-privileged backgrounds opportunities to play football
- Its mission is to mobilise football as a tool for social change
- 100 children took part at the FIFA Foundation Campus grounds at the FFA Technical Centre
The FIFA Foundation Campus Programme, a brand new global initiative that gives girls and boys from under-privileged backgrounds the opportunity to play football and develop their personal and social learning in a safe environment during school breaks, was launched in Yerevan, Armenia last week.
Mobilising football as a tool for social change and to improve the lives of young people, whilst contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDG), is central to the work of the FIFA Foundation. The week-long FIFA Foundation Campus event saw that put into practice with learning for kids both on and off the pitch.
The seven-day event brought together girls and boys from orphanages, displaced families, national minorities and some with mental disabilities, to the dedicated FIFA Foundation Campus grounds for the week, based at the Football Federation of Armenia (FFA) Technical Centre.
FIFA Technical Experts, FFA Grassroots Coaches and Young Leaders from local communities coached them on the pitch in high-quality football sessions. Off the pitch, they took part in specially-designed games and activities, led by experts from UNICEF, UNFPA, UNHCR and Armenian NGO My Forest Armenia, focused on mental health and resilience, gender equality and healthy nutrition, football as a tool for integration and climate change.
Additionally, in collaboration with the Armenian Ministry of Health, basic health checks and follow-ups were provided throughout the programme while all necessary measures, including regular Covid-19 testing, were undertaken to ensure that the event was conducted in a safe environment.
Special football sessions, led by FIFA Foundation CEO Youri Djorkaeff, saw each child receive close attention and encouragement. These sessions were joined by top players from the Armenia men’s and women’s national teams, David Yurchenko, Alexander Karapetyan and Kristine Mangasaryan who inspired the 100 children taking part by sharing football tips, tricks and personal stories, as well as how to use these skills off the pitch.