Football for Schools Program 2023
Football for Schools, a dynamic initiative spearheaded by FIFA in collaboration with UNESCO, stands as a beacon of transformative education, aiming to impact the lives of approximately 700 million children worldwide. Rooted in the vision of making football universally accessible, the program seamlessly integrates football activities into educational frameworks globally, aligning with UNESCO’s Kazan Action Plan, Education 2030: Incheon Declaration, and WHO’s Global Action Plan on Physical Activity.
Five vibrant students—Kelea, Shlok, Devon, Sansa, and Leilani—from the International School of the Turks and Caicos Islands, accompanied by their dedicated Physical Education Teacher, Mr. Williams, participated in this groundbreaking endeavor hosted by the Turks and Caicos Islands Football Association in Providenciales.
At its core, the Football for Schools Program comprises a multifaceted approach. A free digital application, available on Google Play and the Apple App Store, acts as the program’s technological cornerstone. Additionally, an online learning platform caters to the diverse needs of stakeholders, providing rich content for effective program implementation. The initiative doesn’t stop at digital platforms—it extends tangible support by providing equipment, including Adidas footballs, to be distributed to schools. Each member association receives a one-time USD 50,000 payment, fortifying their capacity to run the program locally.
The program sets out to achieve four pivotal outcomes. Firstly, it seeks to empower learners—both boys and girls—with invaluable life skills and competencies. Secondly, it empowers and trains coach-educators to deliver sports and life-skills activities. Thirdly, it builds the capacity of stakeholders, including schools and public authorities, to impart life skills through football. Lastly, it endeavors to strengthen collaboration between governments, member associations, and participating schools, fostering partnerships and alliances.
Launched in 2019 with successful pilot projects in Puerto Rico and Lebanon, the program is set for a broader relaunch in 2021, continuing its impactful journey until at least 2023. The emphasis on schools as the epicenter of engagement stems from their unparalleled effectiveness in involving young minds in sports. FIFA and UNESCO affirm their commitment to ensuring that every child, regardless of background, can engage with football through their school or community.
In essence, Football for Schools is not just about kicking a ball—it’s a holistic approach to education, weaving together sports, life skills, and community engagement. By leveraging football as a catalyst for individual and community change, the program not only aligns with global development goals but also presents an innovative model for inclusive and impactful education.
Here are some snapshots from the event: