The Football for All in Vietnam (FFAV) project was initiated in 1997 and formally established in 2001 by means of a partnership between the Football Association of Norway (NFF) and the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF). FFAV uses football activities to teach life skills and promote cultural values to young children and adolescents. FFAV currently supports 1,541 teams at 183 clubs, with more than 17,000 children participating in these activities.
However, with certain children facing specific problems when it comes to integrating into their communities, this programme is set to be expanded in order to cover three specific groups:
- Young girls – particularly girls from ethnic minorities – are often expected to conform to gender roles set out by society and their families, as well as facing issues associated with a lack of education and early marriage.
- Children with disabilities are often treated as outsiders and seen as unable to fully participate in society because of their differences.
- Children living on boats in resettlement areas face a plethora of societal issues as a consequence of being seen as different and inferior by local residents. This results in them being discriminated against, not wanting to go to school and not having many friends.
This project will extend the FFAV model to cover these children, specifically allocating resources to these groups in order to help them address the issues they face through participation in football and life skills activities. Alongside funding from UEFA, additional programmes and resources will be deployed in order to meet the following objectives:
- fostering social inclusion – especially among parents and children – by giving girls, children with disabilities and children from resettlement areas greater access to football activities;
- helping and supporting local partners, enabling them to facilitate grassroots football and life skills activities on the ground;
- helping to improve soft skills (including communication, self-confidence and teamwork) and raise social awareness of the target groups through football activities/events incorporating life skills;
- promoting volunteerism and the development of leadership skills among young people in the community.
Activities will be concentrated in specific areas of Thua Thien Hue Province: A Luoi District and Nam Dong District, resettlement areas and social centres. They will include the following:
Football training for coaches and referees at new clubs, plus life skills courses
- Youth leadership programme
- Volunteer training for members of local communities, including parents
- Three ‘fun football festivals’ with a focus on integrating young girls from ethnic minorities, children from resettlement areas and children with disabilities
- Study tour monitoring the needs and results of the project
Grassroots football will be introduced in seven new resettlement areas and maintained in four others. We expect the creation of football clubs to encourage children to stay in school, improving their level of education. Making friends in the community will lead to further social inclusion, while increased self-confidence will result in better communication skills. Children will learn life skills through club activities, which will reduce addiction and early pregnancies.
At least 2,000 disadvantaged children – including ethnic minority girls in two mountainous districts, orphans and children with disabilities in 14 social centres, and children in resettlement areas – will be included in FFAV’s football and life skills project as a matter of priority.
All children participating in the project will be taught about gender equality, social inclusion, children’s rights and other social problems associated with their community.
At least 500 adolescent girls – especially those from ethnic minorities – will be taught about reproductive health, financial management, health and hygiene, and communication.
We expect that participation in football activities at the various new clubs will result in more young girls becoming physically active. We hope to have equal numbers of girls and boys playing, which should help to gradually break down gender norms.
In addition, 13 existing football clubs in social centres and resettlement areas are to receive assistance, being given both operational and financial support.
Allowing children with disabilities to participate in football activities will help to improve social inclusion by fostering interaction with a wide range of different people. We want to increase awareness and understanding of the issues faced by children with disabilities, enable them to play and interact with other children, increase their self-confidence, improve their communication skills and encourage other children to play with them. Overall, this project aims to break down negative prejudices about children with disabilities, using football to show the contribution that they can make to society.