UEFA has launched the UEFA Foundation for Children – set up to support youngsters through sport and football in particular.
The foundation has been established on the initiative of the UEFA President, Michel Platini. It emphasises UEFA’s continual desire to use football and its massive popularity as a force for good in society.
MFA President Norman Darmanin Demajo is one of members of the foundation’s board of trustees.
For several years, UEFA has backed various programmes and activities for disadvantaged children in Europe and beyond. Now the UEFA Foundation for Children is strengthening these activities, with a mission to contribute to the promotion of the fundamental rights of the child as laid down in international conventions, which recognise a child as a person in his or her own right and apply the principle that a child is able to assert these rights.
During the inaugural meeting of the board in Vienna last month, the foundation’s board gave the green light to a series of projects aimed at helping children, namely:
• Since September 2013, UEFA has been supporting a particular football camp centering on the Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan, and the programme is benefiting young Syrian refugees of both genders. The foundation has taken on this project and is developing programmes around sport, training coaches and organising tournaments for girls and boys at the camp.
• The “Just Play” project in the Pacific Islands. This award-winning project, initiated by the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) and UEFA, has also been taken up by the foundation. Its purpose is to promote physical activity for children aged between six and 12 and to promote a healthy lifestyle in the fight against childhood obesity, which affects this region.
• Three projects related to UEFA EURO 2016 in France next summer – the UEFA Foundation for Children will carry out activities for the duration of the tournament by supporting a series of projects linked to the defence of childrens’ causes.
• A project for autistic children – the UEFA Foundation for Children will work with the International Foundation of Applied Disability Research (FIRAH) to improve the living conditions of children with autism and their families.
In addition, around 100 children will have the chance to be inspired through football when they attend the UEFA Europa League final in Warsaw on 27 May and the UEFA Champions League final in Berlin on 6 June as part of a UEFA Foundation for Children project established for these matches.
The other members of the board, apart from Norman Darmanin Demajo, are chairman José Manuel Durão Barroso who is the former president of the European Commission; Swiss FA president and UEFA’s Fair Play and Social Responsibility Committee chairman Peter Gilliéron, Louis-Dreyfus Foundation president Margarita Louis-Dreyfus, UEFA president Michel Platini, former European Commissioner and current MEP Viviane Reding and Hungarian Football Federation president and Csányi Foundation for Children president Sándor Csányi.