In a recent article on the Footy Boots website I learned about this initiative called 1 Goal, which is a petition campaign focused on ensuring that all children gain access to education (click on the link to sign the petition). It was recently launched at Wembley Stadium with the backing of football’s governing body FIFA as well as many top name stars such as Thierry Henry, David James, and Michael Owen among others.
According to the article on Footy Boots,
“In an attempt to urge African governments to provide education to all children, 1 Goal are looking to collect millions of online signatures and are looking for your support.
Footy Boots attended the launch of this charity yesterday, along with a host of top flight, current and retired, players. David James, Aaron Mokoena, Michel Silvestre, Marcel Desailly and Kanu joined host Gary Lineker and Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan, at the home of English football.
This initiative, is part of the wider Class of 2015 scheme which hopes that the 75 million children out of school in Africa and the world’s poorest countries will have access to classrooms, teachers and the future that education provides, by 2015.
In the words of Owain James, the global coordinator of 1 Goal, “Football unites the world” and it is the upcoming 2010 World Cup in South Africa where it is hoped the initiative will culminate. It is a global campaign for a global tournament, and it is hoped that the whole football family will be able to create a lasting legacy following the world’s greatest sporting showcase. Not only will the tournament be an exciting and proud moment for the continent, but with 1 Goal the World Cup will mark the start of a better future for children everywhere.
Federico Addiechi, head of corporate social responsibility for FIFA, declared, “The popularity of the FIFA World Cup will enable a wide audience to be made aware of the challenges surrounding education worldwide and to pledge their support to 1 Goal and in doing so helping all kids get the education they deserve,”
The article goes on to state,
“As well as the faces who supported the official launch, other stars behind the campaign include Rio Ferdinand, Thierry Henry, Mia Hamm, former NBA star Steve Nash, and actor Kevin Spacey.
Lastly, according to the site: (which I think is a nice touch),
“1 Goal is not asking for financial support, all the campaign requires is for fans to write their names, for those who cannot.”
I think this is a really nice and brand appropriate initiative for FIFA to throw their support behind. It’s an important issue that needs to continue to gain attention which the World Cup in South Africa will provide. It’s not as “sexy” as other important problems such as food insecurity and HIV/AIDS, but having worked with and visited many rural schools in South Africa and Malawi, I know there are too many students who would beg for the chance to get an education, but don’t even have that opportunity.
Hopefully, this initiative will gain a lot of attention and support and encourage (hint, hint – shame) some of the governments in Africa to throw more resources behind education in their countries.
And good on FIFA for recognizing their need to leverage their brand and network to do something good in South Africa and around the continent.
I noticed that Aaron Makoena, captain of South Africa has supported the cause. It will be interesting to see if some of the other African football stars (Didier Droba, Michael Essien, Samuel E’to, etc.) , now plying their trade in Europe (and making huge bucks) get behind this initiative. If not – I hope they have something else up their sleeves.
It’ll be very interesting to see the results of this campaign and find out what happens if anything.
For more information on the 1 Goal campaign and/or to sign your name to the electronic petition go to: http://www.join1goal.org/