“ Becoming the world’s leading sport foundation ”
World and European Champion with the French Football Team, Youri Djorkaeff now holds the position of CEO of the FIFA Foundation. Created two years ago, it aims to encourage sport and soccer as tools for development.
CEO of the FIFA Foundation
FIFA has been working in development for many years. Why the decision to create a foundation in early 2018?
YD: The FIFA Foundation, established in 2018 by our President Gianni Infantino, was founded aiming to promote social change worldwide through the support of programmes, initiatives, projects and organisations, in particular those using football as a tool for social development. These programmes and initiatives are providing children and young people with valuable tools to actively make a difference in their own lives. By addressing the most pressing issues in each community, our programmes are contributing to positive social change on a global scale.
Where no other organisation will go, the FIFA Foundation will be present and deliver social change through football.
“Supporting projects on a long-term basis”
Your goal is to bring about positive social change through football. How do you measure the effects of the projects that you support?
YD: By increasing our impact on the ground, measuring and communicating that impact in a clear and compelling manner and providing the chance for organisations from across the globe to learn and share knowledge, we believe we can undoubtedly achieve our mission to become the world’s leading sport foundation and contribute to the six United Nations Sustainable Development Goals we are aligned with.
Each of our projects or the ones we support, work towards our strategic objectives which are aligned with six of the UN SDGs. Linking specific project endeavours to the Foundation’s global mission and end results is paramount. We need to allow for continuous checks and balances of project activities to ensure that the end goal is met.
Finally, what it is crucial is to enable a 360-degree view on the different facets and complexities of the projects; thus, interlinking various project components through collective impact reporting, data collection, monitoring and evaluation, and communications. We also see the value in providing evidence-based tools to support our partners in delivering their work with professionalism, accountability, and efficiency.
As much as our results can be measured, though, one largely immeasurable but very important effect we aim for is the joy and dreams that we inspire in the children we work with.
What does 2021 have in store for the FIFA Foundation?
YD: The FIFA Foundation continues its commitment to embark on this journey to provide social and positive change to the most vulnerable and most remote communities through football. With this confident commitment, we want to maximise the power of football, for good. That is why we wish to continue developing programmes, initiatives, tools and practices that contribute to advancing and leveraging the field of football for good, make it sustainable and amplify its global impact.
Focus on four NGOs supported by FIFA Foundation and helping refugees :
- Soccer Without Borders (Uganda) offers daily soccer skills, life skills and English language programming to hundreds of out-of-school refugee youth in Kampala.
- Football United (Australia) uses football to offer free, accessible and safe spaces for refugee and other vulnerable youth, fostering connections and creating chances through fair-play football and football-based life skills programmes.
- Oltalom Sport Association (Hungary) targets young, disadvantaged people in different locations in Hungary. Weekly football sessions are organised at primary schools and public football pitches. The organisation also offers weekly English and Hungarian language training to help build the participants’ language and communication skills (find a presentation of Oltalom Sport Association in our Sport et Citoyenneté n°47 Issue, special report “Sport and Social Inclusion”).
- Soccer Without Borders works with refugee, asylee and immigrant youth across the USA. The organisation continue to invest in training, monitoring and evaluation, and program development.