EU football joins hands to give Vietnamese street kids a leg up

By Hoang Nguyen   May 1, 2020 | 09:30 pm PT
EU football joins hands to give Vietnamese street kids a leg up
Children in Hue in central Vietnam warm up for a football lesson hosted by Blue Dragon Children's Foundation. Photo courtesy of Blue Dragon.
The UEFA and the Blue Dragon children’s foundations are teaming up to use football for giving Vietnamese street kids a leg up. 

The UEFA, which oversees European football, has a children’s foundation, while the Blue Dragon is a Hanoi-based charity that has been helping children in crises from 2003.

The foundations have come together to help children in tough circumstances in Vietnam who are extremely vulnerable to abuse, including human trafficking.

The streets of Hanoi, for instance, are home to many children from across the country who get here to find work or flee family problems like violence, drug abuse and poverty.

The two foundations are encouraging children to play football, aiming not only to promote a healthier lifestyle combined with learning, but also to break the cycle of leaving home at a young age and entering the labor market.

This project will provide access to sports and recreational activities for 1,585 disadvantaged children in three localities in Vietnam.

They will all have the chance to improve their physical fitness, while also developing life and work skills which will improve their employability, thus providing themselves a pathway to escape poverty.

Aleksander Ceferin, president of UEFA and head of the board of the UEFA’s Foundation for Children, said football can greatly benefit society. In the five years since the foundation was set up, about one million children have benefited from its activities worldwide, while it has provided support for projects in 100 countries on all five continents, he said.

Since the start of this year, the UEFA Foundation for Children, which celebrated its fifth anniversary on April 24, has been implementing a project to use sports as a catalyst for change.

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