Tuesday 11 July 2023, 00:30

FIFA Foundation signs landmark MoU in Belize

  • Memorandum of Understanding signed between FIFA Foundation, the Football Federation of Belize and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science & Technology

  • The agreement sees the three entities commit to work together using the power of football to promote physical activity and digital education for 10,000 students across the country

  • The collaboration seeks to develop skills with a hands-on football-based approach on and off the pitch, also expanding FIFA’s Football for Schools programme, which is already active in Belize

The FIFA Foundation, the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) and the country’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Science & Technology (MoECST) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to join forces to promote quality education through a twofold programme of play-based learning; combining education and football, thanks to the further expansion of FIFA Football for Schools programme, which launched in Belize in 2022. The agreement, co-signed by FIFA Foundation Executive Chairman Mauricio Macri, FFB President Sergio Chuc and MoECST Minister Hon. Francis Fonseca, pledges to pool resources, experience, and funding to help reach 10,000 primary school students from vulnerable communities – through the launch of the Digital Education Programme. Also in attendance at the signing ceremony was FIFA Council and FIFA Foundation board member, Isha Johansen.

FIFA Foundation signs landmark MoU in Belize

In August 2022, FIFA launched its Football for Schools development project in Belize – and the MoU will build on that relationship by integrating the two development programmes to maximise social impact in schools across the country. Football for Schools uses football as a social development tool within the school curriculum, and the Digital Education Programme will provide further learning equipment to supplement that by using the popularity of football as underlying element in the classroom, applying technology to football to promote skills and the development of abilities such as computational thinking, creativity, collaborative work and problem-solving. Speaking shortly after the signing ceremony at the House of Culture, Dr Dame Minita Gordon Drive, in Belize City, Mr Macri said: “It is with great pride and excitement that today we formalise this collaboration here in Belize. We already have strong ties with this beautiful country through Football for Schools, and today’s commitment further cements that. We are convinced of the great opportunities that lie in linking football with education, providing students with essential life skills and competences in today’s society and the future of work.” The FIFA Foundation Executive Chairman continued: “Through the Digital Education Programme, we are confident that we can contribute to the Vision 2020-2023 making football work for society – using the power and reach of the beautiful game to help empower the next generation of young people here in Belize. I thank President Chuc and Minister Fonseca for their efforts in supporting us along the way, to get to where we are today, and I look forward to many fruitful years of collaboration ahead.”

As part of its commitment within the MoU, and in line with FIFA President Gianni Infantino’s goal to positively impact society through the power of football, the FIFA Foundation will contribute to the funding of technological equipment in schools across the country to allow young people to have the best possible opportunities and hardware to develop their learning in an increasingly digitalised world. Also commenting on the MoU signing, and what it means for young people in the country, FFB President Sergio Chuc said: “This collaboration between the FIFA Foundation, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science, and Technology of Belize (MOECST), and the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) represents a milestone achievement that will be a lasting legacy for the development of the social capital of our Belizean Youths as this Digital Education Programme links football to the growth and development of our young people.”

The FIFA Foundation, the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) and the country’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Science & Technology (MoECST) sign a Memorandum of Understanding

Meanwhile, Minister Fonseca added: “The Tripartite MoU is bold and innovative; its objective is to promote project-based learning, lifelong learning and advocacy for inclusive and equitable education. The FIFA Digital Education Programme will promote competencies related to programming, robotics and computing thinking for at least 10,000 standard 2 to 6 students across 65 schools.” He further noted: “This programme is in keeping with Belize’s own new national curriculum framework which seeks to ensure that our students receive values and principles, and innovative knowledge and skills that are relevant to sustainable human development in Belize.” Founded in 2018, the FIFA Foundation has firmly aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals to further leverage the intrinsic values of football. Its diverse programmes, campaigns, and events contribute tangibly to improving the lives of disadvantaged children and young people in every corner of the globe, with actions in the fields of education, gender equality, health and well-being, and climate action.