Empowering Communities Through Football and Human Rights: A Reflection on the FIFA Foundation Community Programme in Brazil 2023

March 28, 2024
Girl empowerment sits at the heart of the programme

“I feel like I now have a better understanding of how to be a future leader in my community; I feel like I have the knowledge and skills to speak on behalf of other street-connected young people.” 

Street Child United (SCU) in partnership with the FIFA Foundation Community Programme, embarked on a journey to bring about positive change through weekly community initiatives in Rio de Janeiro and Fortaleza, Brazil. Here’s a closer look at the impact and outcomes of this transformative project that ran throughout 2023.


A Mission for Change

The programme, initially piloted in 2022 and continued in 2023 due to its success, was designed to combine football training with human rights workshops, with a specific focus on gender equality. Despite the challenges posed by the precarious and sometimes dangerous environments in these territories, SCU, along with its local partners, Street Child United Brazil and O Pequeno Nazareno delivered a series of impactful sessions. The central approach of each session, revolving around gender equality, soft skills development, and human rights empowerment, provided a comprehensive framework for engaging the participants.

Participants use art as a vehicle to learn during the workshops

Programme Structure and Operations

Over the course of five months, 68% of the sessions exceeded the planned duration, indicating the enthusiastic participation and engagement of the beneficiaries. The programme, which aimed to reach 491 direct beneficiaries, surpassed expectations by reaching 1,108 participants respectively. This achievement was made possible through the dedication of the multipliers, who were instrumental in planning and delivering the sessions.

In Rio de Janeiro, sessions were consistently held at the designated location, while in Fortaleza, four different partners from O Pequeno Nazareno facilitated the workshops. Beyond imparting knowledge and skills, the programme also provided funding for the partners to enhance their organizational capacities, from pitch renovations to acquiring equipment and materials.

Evaluation and Impact

Evaluation was an ongoing process throughout the programme, with both quantitative and qualitative data collected. The multipliers, responsible for conducting the sessions, reported high levels of engagement, with 95.2% in Rio and 61.9% in Fortaleza rating the sessions at the highest level.

Feedback from the participants further underscored the programme’s effectiveness, with a majority expressing the value they gained from the sessions and their willingness to recommend them to others. A post-programme survey revealed unanimous agreement among the multipliers regarding the positive impact of the programme on their personal and professional development.

Looking Ahead

The success of the initiative not only strengthened the bonds within these communities but also served as a beacon of hope for similar initiatives in the future. With a commitment to gender equality and human rights at its core, our programme in Brazil exemplified the transformative power of sports in driving positive social change.

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