July 29, 2021

UEFA Foundation and the Arsenal Foundation helping children in Indonesia

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UEFA Foundation for Children

The UEFA Foundation for Children, alongside The Arsenal Foundation and Save the Children are collaborating on a project that will benefit over 1,000 children in Jakarta and renovate seven football pitches. 

The UEFA Foundation for Children has teamed up with The Arsenal Foundation and Save the Children to improve the lives of children and in particular girls, in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta. Many are forced to try to earn a living from a young age and, as a result, miss out on school education. Unfortunately, some encounter violence and end up in poverty, with little hope of changing their lives around for the better.  

Coaching for Life 

The Arsenal Foundation, in collaboration with Save the Children, has developed a programme called Coaching for Life. Delivered exclusively through football and on-pitch sessions, the programme incorporates Save the Children’s expertise in child protection and resilience building. 

The Coaching for Life programme aims to support girls in Indonesia by building their courage and inner strength through innovative coaching modules to help them stand up for their rights and combat the challenges they face, such as having to work from a young age to provide for their families, and the risks of child marriage and early pregnancy. 

Football coaches from Arsenal FC are being brought in to train local coaches and are conducting some sessions with them. Together with the children, they explore topics such as emotions, communicating and decision-making. The programme is also helping to renovate seven football pitches to give the youngsters a safe place to play.  

To ensure a long-lasting legacy, the Arsenal coaches are training 35 coaches in Jakarta, and some 1,500 parents and caregivers will also participate in the programme, enhancing their ability to support their children’s well-being. 

Essential life skills  

Arsenal’s Leah Williamson has seen first-hand the positive impact that the project has had on girls in Jakarta. The England international defender visited the Indonesian capital in 2019 to deliver a masterclass for girls involved in the pioneering football coaching programme. 

 “The young girls in Jakarta inspired me and have made me incredibly proud to be a woman and a role model to young girls,” she said.  “I have been at Arsenal since I was nine and have always known about our place and role in our community. It’s in our DNA. We all understand it’s a privilege to use the power of the club to do good. When you apply it in a really special way, it can be used to achieve brilliant things – develop confidence, resilience and essential skills for life. 

 “Whether you’re growing up in London, Jordan or Jakarta, football has the power to bring people together and offer a lifeline. It was amazing to see how Coaching for Life has been built in partnership with Save the Children to create something so special to inspire the girls I met.” 

Football is a powerful tool  

UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin chairs the foundation’s board of trustees and hails the work undertaken since 2015, and how football is proving to be a major force for social good.  

“Having had the opportunity to be personally involved in various projects, I have seen that football is an extremely powerful tool,” said the UEFA president. 

 “Whether it is in refugee camps across the world, the troubled suburbs of European cities or forgotten conflict zones, all the activities supported by the UEFA Foundation for Children have strengthened my desire to see European football assume its role in the social development of young people all over the world.”  

One million children 

In the five years since the UEFA Foundation for Children was set up, around one million children have benefitted from its broad palette of activities worldwide, while it has provided support for projects in 100 countries on all five continents.  

Through sport, and football in particular, the foundation is helping to give hope to children from difficult backgrounds to help them achieve their goals in life.   

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