EFDN & UEFA Foundation for Children – Celebrating a successful partnership
Partnerships are getting more and more important, especially when taking sport’s role and potential contribution towards the 17 Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) into consideration. As EFDN celebrates the Partnerships Action Day, we would like to highlight one partner in particular.
EFDN has had a strategic partnership with the UEFA Foundation for Children since its formation in 2014. Keen to step up its activities and target them appropriately, UEFA decided to establish an independent foundation that uses sport to support humanitarian projects linked to children’s rights in areas such as health, education and integration in 2014. The interrelated goals and purposes continue to make this an enriching partnerships that benefits millions across Europe through the beautiful game. The UEFA Foundation for Children aims to help children and safeguard their rights. Sport, and football in particular, can provide support in the areas of health and children’s education, as well as promoting access to sporting activity, facilitating children’s personal development and fostering the integration of minorities.
Currently, EFDN and its members are implementing three UEFA-funded programmes:
Scoring for Health
The Scoring for Health programme aims to tackle the problem of childhood obesity which, as identified by the World Health Organization, remains a critical issue throughout Europe today. With the underlying target of promoting a healthy diet and lifestyle amongst children, their families and wider communities across Europe, the programme encourages children from 7 to 14 years and their parents to adopt a healthy lifestyle and make them aware of the value of eathing healthily and being active.
There are 4 overarching factors which contribute to the problem, these being: Poor eating habits, a decrease in physical activities for children, ancrease in sedentary behaviours and a lack of adequate physical environment or secure spaces to play. Preventing childhood obesity, supporting the development of healthy dietary preferences and promoting physical exercise from an early age is therefore essential. Scoring for Health is designed to tackle these issues with a 2 ½ year programme.
Welcome Through Football
Welcome Through Football uses a methodology that fosters the social inclusion and employability of young newly arrived immigrants and refugees. Activities promote the quality of youth work, the intercultural dialogue and strengthen knowledge and acceptance of diversity in society. Moreover, the project assists football coaches and youth workers in the development and sharing of effective methods in reaching out to the marginalised target group, in preventing racism and intolerance.
The project implements a three-step process: Socialisation to sports (providing different football offerings for young refugees of both genders related to their specific requirements such as language skills or the possibility of trauma), Socialisation in sports (working on team structure, giving more responsibility to the participants and offering additional steps out with the sports training sessions) and Socialisation through sports (Focusing on the skills the participants learn from taking part in the available offers so that they qualify for further education in and outside of sports).
STEM Football & Education Programme
The EFDN STEM Football & Education Programme is a pan-European project aiming to promote STEM Education amongst European youth. STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics – is the field that helps children learn how to program, make codes, and understand technological devices. Statistics tell us there are currently more than a million job vacancies in the STEM industry, while at the same time only 16% of college students graduate in STEM fields or subjects. Demand for STEM jobs increased three times between 2000 and 2010, and continues to grow, with many new fields and professions emerging each day. With the support of project partner Sphero and their supplemental resources, EFDN plans to deliver STEM Education programmes across Europe using the power of football to keep children engaged and committed to learning.