- Award Entered:
UNICEF Sport for Education Award
- Parent Organisation:
PLAY SOCCER, a nonprofit corporation
- Project Host Nation:
Cameroon, Ghana, Malawi, Senegal, South Africa, Zambia
- Overview of Project:
PLAY SOCCER implements a common, replicable year–round program and organizational structure in its Network of independent national organizations. Soccer/football provides the core foundation for the holistic program which enhances the rights and lives of children, engaging them in fun weekly recreational sessions that teach health, social and soccer knowledge and skills in grassroot communities. The program, targeted to the disadvantaged and mass participation, is open without charge to girls and boys ages 4-15. By starting young, it encourages the benefits of early childhood education and maximizes life-long learning, gender equality and cultural understanding. Healthy snacks at weekly sessions supplement diets and teach nutrition. Local community volunteers, primarily youth, are formally trained as program instructors, providing community service to teach the program. Their training and leadership strengthens program quality and equips them with knowledge, skills, credentials for employment. Over time, added development and social enterprise activities help to achieve long- term socio-economic objectives and the Millennium Development Goals. PLAY SOCCER collaborates with other organizations and governments at all levels and fosters international cultural understanding through its country Network and activities such as the annual Global Peace Games for Children and Youth.
The PLAY SOCCER Network Program
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