Thursday 14 February 2019, 14:21

The Sanneh Foundation empowering youth at home and abroad

  • The Sanneh Foundation's mission is to empower kids, improve lives and unite communities

  • Former USA international Tony Sanneh is the organisation's CEO and president

  • The Sanneh Foundation receives funding from the FIFA Foundation's Community Programme

Tony Sanneh is an example of the thousands of former professional footballers who have used their platform and influence to make a significant difference in the lives of young people in their hometown. The Saint Paul, Minnesota-native created The Sanneh Foundation (TSF) in 2003, while still actively playing for the USA national team and in Major League Soccer, to serve the myriad needs of the growing and diverse youth community in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan area, commonly known as the Twin Cities.

The organisation's mission is to empower youth specifically from low-income and immigrant communities through in-school and after-school educational support, providing programmes that promote physical health, social and emotional development, and to unite communities by advancing diversity, equity and community well-being.

A time-lapse video shows renovations done on the Conway Community Center gym where TSF runs a variety of programmes and activities for the youth of Minneapolis-Saint Paul

The Sanneh Foundation's core values

  • Building Community

  • Caring & Compassion

  • Diversity & Inclusion

  • Education

  • Integrity

  • Inspiring Excellence

  • Innovation & Leadership

  • FUN

  • Character Building

TSF runs multiple programmes, each serving a specific need. They put on free community summer sports camps, manage the Conway Community Centre, a public space offering free youth programming and a place for kids to spend time in a healthy and safe environment during out-of-school hours. The community centre also serves 30,000 free and healthy meals every year.

One of the core programmes of TSF is called Dreamline, an academic intervention programme for low-income and under-performing students. TSF also runs the Haitian Initiative in Cite Soleil, Haiti, a programme designed to use football as a motivation to help people combat the cycle of poverty—read more about the initiative in the story "The Sanneh Foundation bringing silver lining to Haiti" in the related items column on the right.

Learn more about TSF here.

The Sanneh Foundation is one of a number of organisations supported by the FIFA Foundation's Community Programme.