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UNICEF and TOTAL South Africa team up to improve the lives of 1million children through sport

UNICEF/South Africa/2008/Pawelczyk
© UNICEF/South Africa/2008/Pawlczyk
Reina Cullinan, TOTAL SA Corporate Marketing Manager (middle) with Aida Girma, UNICEF Country Representative (right) and UNICEF intern Towela Ng'ambi at the UNICEF stand at Soccerex 2008

UNICEF has announced the formation of a three-year partnership with TOTAL South Africa, a  division of the global petroleum company, which has committed to transforming the lives of some one million children by the end of 2011 through a programme of sport for development including teacher/coach training and mass participation in sport.

In announcing the partnership, Aida Girma, UNICEF South Africa Country Representative said, “UNICEF is committed to forming the best partnerships for children. We want to work with partners like TOTAL, who share our passion for children and the development of South Africa. Partnerships must have tangible benefits for both parties, and be measurable against these. We work hard to make sure that clear results are at the core of our agreements with our corporate donors.”

Aligning marketing and business objectives to corporate social investment (CSI) imperatives, TOTAL South Africa signed off on a substantial financial investment with UNICEF to help strengthen the organisation’s Sport for Development program. The investment will be specially targeted to scaling up sports activities across all age groups in target schools over three years. 

Activities  will  focus  on  training  over  2,500  coaches,  145 community football  tournaments,  encouraging  play in over 130 crèches and with more than 26,000 balls distributed as part of the Let’s Play a Million campaign, the partnership will deliver measurable results for children, UNICEF said.

UNICEF/South Africa/2008/Hearfield
© UNICEF/South Africa/2008/Hearfield
Local children get ready for the sports festival and a day of fun and play, in their new t-shirts, sponsored by TOTAL South Africa.

Community sports festivals in the game plan
According to TOTAL, grassroots and developmental level activity were identified as one of their key social investment areas in South Africa some time ago. Last Saturday, UNICEF, in a collaboration between community development partner Little Champs and Zenzeleni Primary School, UNICEF hosted a community sports festival with participation by over 500 young learners.

The festival, with a huge football festival component, aimed to encourage play and positive an healthy lifestyle choices among children and young people.  Activities included a swimming and netball tournament saw the participation of learners from 5 surrounding schools in the community.

“Both TOTAL South Africa and UNICEF see this partnership as a win-win situation”, said Reina Cullinan, Corporate Marketing Manager at TOTAL. “Our commitment to developmental soccer aims to penetrate every aspect of grassroots growth; outside of our partnership with UNICEF, our dealers are encouraged to associate with localised developmental tournaments and become involved as much as possible to assist in similar initiatives. But our grassroots developmental soccer strategy stretches beyond localised events.”

Similar local sport festivals are planned in all nine provinces over the next fortnight. TOTAL South Africa will also sponsor aspects of UNICEF's Coaching Boys to Men program as well as activities that encourage play at crèches around the country, as part of early childhood development initiatives

UINICEF says the TOTAL South Africa partnership will help fund, strengthen and scale up other such worthwhile initiatives in communities around the county. “Our plans commit the company nationally, regionally and locally,” said Zakithi Zama, CSI and Sponsorships Manager, at TOTAL.

“We are very excited about the new partnership with UNICEF because it really speaks to our CSI objectives in South Africa. Promoting and growing grass roots football is a key objective for us and we are confident that the partnership with UNICEF will add significant value to this proposition."

Download the press release [word] [pdf]

Related links:

Sport for Development

Coaching Boys to Men

Corporate Partnerships

Community Development Partners





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