Saturday 10 June 2023, 03:00

FIFA Foundation highlights role of football as a driver of social change at FIFA U-20 World Cup

  • The FIFA Foundation spent a day with the Asociacion Civil Andar and the Fundacion Defensores del Chaco

  • Both organisations are beneficiaries of the FIFA Foundation’s Community Programme, and use football as a tool for social change

  • More than 400 children and young people will attend the final games of Argentina 2023

On 9 June, a delegation from the FIFA Foundation visited the Asociacion Civil Andar and the Fundacion Defensores del Chaco, both beneficiaries of the FIFA Foundation Community Programme, a global initiative that offers support to local groups that use football in social projects.

The delegation was led by Sonia Fulford and Isha Johansen, members of the FIFA Foundation Board, and the head of the FIFA Foundation, Mariana Banus, who, together with their team, took part in both organisations’ everyday activities and visited the areas in which they operate in Moreno, in the western suburbs of the capital Buenos Aires.

For more than 30 years, the Asociacion Civil Andar has been serving children, young people and adults of all abilities. With Andar Futbol Club, a young leaders programme and an inclusive football league, the organisation offers a safe space for sport, integration and the development of skills, also running workshops in cookery, gardening and art.

Football’s social role was more than evident during the visit, and was highlighted by the founders, team members, volunteers, players and their families, as a vital element empowering the personal and professional development of this vulnerable group.

A few kilometres to the west, the Fundacion Defensores del Chaco grew up on aa former rubbish dump, in the so-called “Chaco Chico” area, where it also created a formal “street football” in order to promote social dialogue at times of tension. Around 2,000 local boys, girls and young people play football at their three sites, with the whole community coming out to support them.

“The Community Programme is at the heart of the FIFA Foundation. What we’ve seen today here in Moreno is the essence of what we do; employing the world’s most popular sport to effect a positive change in society,” said Banus.

More than 400 children and young people from both organisations will attend the games on the final day of the FIFA U-20 World Cup Argentina 2023™ as guests of the FIFA Foundation. In addition, 18 other children will accompany the players onto the field in both the playoff for third place and the final, which will be contested by Italy and Uruguay.