FIFA will support the launch of the Sport for mental health and social cohesion program



FIFA will support the launch of the Sport for mental health and social cohesion program

We are proud to renew this partnership with AFD and this time with GIZ’s contribution as a new partner.

ZURICH, Switzerland, October 12, 2021 / APO Group / –

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the French Development Agency (AFD), the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) ( and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) are launching the Sport for Mental Health and Social Cohesion Program (SMHSC).

Through the SMHSC program, AFD, FIFA and GIZ are joining forces to fight against the negative social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in a selection of African countries (Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Namibia, Senegal, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda), Asia (Indonesia, Pakistan, India), Latin America (Colombia, Ecuador), Middle East (Jordan, Lebanon, northern Iraq) and Western Balkans ( Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Serbia).

Funding initiatives between 10,000 and 30,000 euros, the SMHSC program is aimed at pre-identified structures. The projects will target vulnerable groups (children and youth, girls and women, and refugees, among others) particularly affected by the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic. The focus will be on the following themes: mental health, well-being and social cohesion, and the projects will be rolled out over a maximum period of six months from January 2022. All sports are eligible. Projects involving football and / or aimed at disabled people will be given priority.

The NGO La Guilde Européenne du Raid is implementing the program. The selection process will include the following main phases:

Pre-identified organizations will be invited to apply via a registration form. 30 to 50 shortlisted applicants will be invited to continue phase 2 of the program by completing a dedicated detailed online project submission form.

Applications from pre-identified organizations will be examined by teams from AFD, FIFA, GIZ, external experts and program managers. The list of selected projects (ten to 15 winners, at least one per target region) will be communicated by mid-December 2021.

Kenny Jean-Marie – Chief Member Associations Officer of FIFA declared: “We are proud to once again conclude this partnership with AFD and this time with the contribution of GIZ as a new partner. It gives us the opportunity to reach new regions of the world and benefit from new expertise.

“It is important for FIFA to pursue such initiatives that allow us to meet one of the objectives of our vision which is to have an impact on society through the power of football. During the COVID-19 pandemic, FIFA did not hesitate to support this social cohesion. program, which aims to reach the most vulnerable communities. We want to be truly global and leave no one behind.

Jens Elsner, GIZ Program Manager, Sport for Development, added: “The current pandemic has challenged us all and exacerbated existing inequalities. Children and young people have been particularly affected. More than ever, it has become evident that sport can improve mental health and psychosocial well-being, build resilience and promote recovery from traumatic experiences.

“It is only as a team that we can rebuild better. We therefore warmly welcome this partnership with AFD and FIFA to support local communities and vulnerable young people in our partner countries and increase the impact of sport as a tool for social development all over the world. “

The last word went to Laëtitia Habchi – AFD, Head of the Social Link division who declared: “We are delighted to strengthen our ambitious partnership with FIFA and this time with GIZ for this call for projects within the framework of Sport for the mental health and social cohesion. program.

“Our teams are ready to put their expertise and commitment at the service of project leaders who share our conviction that sport is a privileged tool to support local communities affected by the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic. Through this call for projects, we wish to contribute to social cohesion and the Sustainable Development Goals.

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