Today (July 2) , at the 53rd Joint Advisory Group session of the International Trade Centre (ITC), the UEFA Foundation for Children and ITC announced their joint involvement in ‘football for development’ programmes in Guinea and The Gambia. The letter of intent was signed by UEFA Foundation for Children secretary general Urs Kluser and International Trade Centre executive director Arancha González.
Globally, over 59 million young people are unemployed and nearly 136 million are working yet living in poverty. Youth access to decent employment opportunities and their potential for creating their own enterprises are often hindered by external factors, such as a skills mismatch or a lack of access to financing. These barriers prevent them from utilising their skills, having their voices heard, and actively shaping an environment of decent work and successful trade.
Sport, and football in particular, is increasingly recognised as an effective tool for community development and addressing social issues. Football for development programmes provide people from different backgrounds with the skills and resources to actively make a difference in their own lives and in their community. By addressing the most pressing issues in each community, the programmes contribute to positive social change.
With youth employability at the forefront of their strategic agendas, the ITC and the UEFA Foundation will this year focus on football for development and youth empowerment activities. The Kick for Trade initiatives in this letter of intent will offer innovative, result-oriented approaches to shape youth entrepreneurship and employment through sport, and particularly football.
Announcing the new partnership ITC Executive Director Arancha González said: “Through Kick for Trade, ITC and the UEFA Foundation aim ensure that youth are part of the game and are resources to be taken seriously. In Guinea and the Gambia, we will demonstrate that it is possible to have fun while learning new skills, and that vocational training, entrepreneurship and football can be a winning formula.’
UEFA Foundation for Children’s secretary general, Urs Kluser said: “Football for development programmes comprise messages and methodologies that reinforce social and economic inclusiveness for youth in many countries. This partnership will allow both the UEFA Foundation and the ITC to keep the ball rolling for the benefit of young people.”
The initial focus of this partnership will be on country-based approaches that take local dynamics and networks into account and that scale up activities together with local incubators, youth associations and youth centres.
Through Kick for Trade, ITC and the UEFA Foundation aim ensure that youth are part of the game and are resources to be taken seriously. In Guinea and the Gambia, we will demonstrate that it is possible to have fun while learning new skills, and that vocational training, entrepreneurship and football can be a winning formula.