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Civil society partnerships

FIFA strengthens partnership with UNICEF to help children in war and armed conflict zones

© UNICEF Ethiopia/2004/Fiorente
Sport-in-a-Box kit arrives in Ethiopia in 2004.

Football’s international governing body, FIFA, is strengthening its partnership with UNICEF to use sport to help change the lives of children and young people, with a special focus on those who live amidst situations of war and armed conflict.

In countries where children may have few opportunities to learn and to escape the perils of conflict, sports can be an informal school and a safe haven.

Last year, FIFA donated $150,000 to UNICEF to purchase and deliver 600 ‘Sport-in-a-Box’ kits to 12 countries that are part of the ‘25 by 2005’ girl’s education campaign. The 25 by 2005 campaign is an intensive effort to get as many girls as boys into school in 25 targeted countries by 2005.

© UNICEF Ethiopia/2004/Fiorente
The kit contains rules for the game and everything needed to play.

This year, FIFA is donating 1,200 Sport-in-a-Box kits to 12 countries where conflict has impacted every child’s right to learn and play.

“Because of the success of that donation, FIFA now wants to work with UNICEF in the area of post-conflict and peace building. Football is an enormous power in bringing communities together,” says Alison Qualter-Berna of UNICEF’s Sport for Development office.

© UNICEF Ethiopia/2004/Fiorente
Boys and girls play football during school break.

In countries where there are few opportunities for children to escape from poverty, fighting and disease, football, like other forms of play, provides a positive outlet.

Due to the success of FIFA’s efforts in years past and present, a window of opportunity is now open to make the world a safer, more peaceful place…through the power of football.



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