Thursday, July 12, 2007

FIFA approves 27 new Football for Hope programs

The Football for Hope movement is the key element of a strategic alliance, led by FIFA in its capacity as world football's governing body and streetfootballworld as the driving force behind a global network of non-governmental organisations, developing projects on the ground, in which football is the common denominator. The movement already uses the power of football to support more than 60 programs in 40 different countries via concrete, sustainable projects.

The objective of the Football for Hope movement is to bring together, support, advise and strengthen sustainable social and human development programs in the areas of peace promotion, children's rights & education, health promotion, anti-discrimination and social integration, and the environment. These programs must be aimed at children and young people, and use football as an instrument to promote participation and dialogue. The aim of Football for Hope is to create a better future through the medium of football.

On Tuesday, FIFA approved a further 27 programs in 24 countries, at a total cost of US$ 1 million. Twelve of the organisations are in Africa with a further nine in North, Central and South America, four in Europe and two in Asia (including the Child Link India Foundation). These additional programs, whose inclusion has been ratified by the sub-committee of the Committee for Fair Play and Social Responsibility, will take Football for Hope to a whole new dimension.

FIFA President Joseph S Blatter expressed his delight at the expansion of the movement and said that FIFA takes its social responsibility very seriously as part of its aim to build a better future. "That is why we have declared Football for Hope to be a movement and an activity of strategic importance and we are proud that we are now in a position to support more organisations in their work," he said.

By drawing on its huge potential, football will be in a position to help the United Nations reach its Millennium Goals by 2015. Following the example set by the industrialised nations in 2002 with their agreement to earmark 0.7 percent of their gross domestic product for international development aid, FIFA has also decided to invest at least the same percentage of its overall income in worldwide social developments through football.

The Football for Hope movement, as of 1 July, includes organisations in Cameroon, Mali , Sierra Leone, Zambia, Cape Verde Islands, Liberia, Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Cambodia , India, Norway, England, Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, USA, Colombia, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Brazil, Peru, and Paraguay.

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