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Common Goal COVID-19 Response Fund: what’s happened so far

Community organisations receive first allocation of funding as financial support is distributed worldwide

Funds distributed worldwide

Since launching its COVID-19 Response Fund on 8th April, Common Goal has allocated the first round of proceeds to 27 community organisations.

Through a collective effort by Common Goal members, from football players to football industry leaders, and beyond the football industry itself, so far €226,660 has been raised.

As of 18th May, funds were distributed around the world to community organisations, enabling them to deliver essential support services in both direct and indirect response to the coronavirus pandemic; from helping support the provision of essential frontline health services, to food distribution, and securing long-term support to young people in the aftermath of the crisis.

To maximise the impact of the fund, the focus was on supporting football for good organisations whose operations are severely and immediately affected and to enable them to continue supporting their beneficiaries during the crisis.

“In countries with weaker health systems, outbreaks can have a devastating impact. Investments in primary health care to strengthen access to essential health services is the first line of defence,” said Ann Kungu, an Impact Manager from Kenyan football for good organisation Carolina For Kibera (CFK).

The organisation she works for in Kibera, on the outskirts of Nairobi, was among one of the 27 Response Fund’s recipients dedicating support directly to its frontline efforts tackling the virus.

At its Tabitha Medical Clinic, financial aid has gone towards Carolina For Kibera’s community level coronavirus testing lab. Through this, CFK could increase its efforts to purchase and distribute personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline workers, clinical staff, and community health workers.

In addition to these efforts, Carolina For Kibera has, like many other organisations, been using the additional support to keep its beneficiaries safe.

For those without access to regular running water, this might involve providing handwashing stations and hygiene kits, as is the case with Bauleni United Sports Academy (BUSA) in Lusaka, Zambia, amid its efforts to keep 25,000 members of its local communities healthy.

And with self-isolation paramount to restricting the spread of the virus, providing support to tackle the challenges presented by informal work have been key.

In South America, Venezuelan organisation Pasión Petare - Amigos del Deportivo Petare was able to intervene for those beneficiaries dependent on the informal labour market and a daily wage. Financial support helped guarantee daily food without its participants having to put themselves at further risk.

With its work involving caring for socially vulnerable children and adolescents who live in situations of poverty in Caracas, amid the ongoing malnutrition crisis, “families must go out into the streets daily to try to make a living to survive,” says Karina Barral.

“People are forced to solve their problems day by day, without having the possibility of accumulating food or economic resources to stay safe in their homes. This puts them in a defenceless position and increases their chances of infection.”

Typically accustomed to serving more than 1,000 children per day following on-field activities, the organisation’s six soup kitchens are now operating via deliveries and through social distancing protocols to help keep families safe.

Looking beyond the crisis

Beyond the immediate effects of the crisis, the Response Fund aims to ensure that these organisations receive continuous support in its aftermath.

In order for the Berlin-based non-profit Champions Ohne Grenzen to continue providing support to refugees, “we desperately needed funding,” said Project Manager, Johanna Small.

With weekly football sessions off the cards, the needs have shifted to supporting from afar – be it via telephone advice or over the internet.

“An advantage is our team includes a therapist, two social workers, two social workers in training, and several voluntary translators who could carry out these [psycho-social counselling] actions,” said Small.

“But only as long as we have the necessary funding or donations that means we can keep going throughout the crisis.”

Solidarity, team play and individual responsibility

Fundraising efforts were bolstered by a number of activities through which Common Goal, in collaboration with its members and partners, has called for collaboration, solidarity and individual responsibility from the world of football and the wider global community. 

After the announcement of the Response Fund’s launch, it was followed by the first two episodes of Common Goal’s first ever Live Match series.  

Hosted by Juan Mata alongside athletes such as Mats Hummels, Pau Gasol, Amanda Sampedro, Serge Gnabry, alongside community organisations, and healthcare professionals working on the front line, together they helped raise awareness on how football can help support vulnerable communities around the world in their response to coronavirus.

UEFA Foundation for Children also wasted little time in offering institutional support. With less than 24 hours passing after the launch of the Response Fund the organisation sent out a clear message of solidarity within the global football community.

As part of its own annual ‘Match for Solidarity’ fundraising event, the foundation pledged 1% of its annual project budget to the COVID-19 Response Fund.

Upon the announcement, UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin – chairman of the foundation’s board of trustees and Common Goal member –  underlined the importance of a united resolve from European football and beyond.

“In these difficult times, which affect many countries and the most fragile populations especially, it is important to coordinate and organise responses that are adapted to the needs of each situation,” he said.

Leading international event organiser World Football Summit have also announced a donation with 50% of proceeds going to the Response Fund from their upcoming Live Summit in July.

Further support arrived in the form of the Danone Nations Cup - the world’s biggest football tournament for young people aged 10-12.

Promoting good health practices and a message of hope

Common Goal has also teamed up with other partners and members to support ongoing efforts to promote best health practices and send a message of hope to millions of people affected by COVID-19.

Its collaboration with The END Fund, with whom Common Goal already works with to ensure that all people affected by neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) receive treatment, alongside Common Goal members have displayed messages of support under the hashtag #HealthyAtHome.

From Onome Ebi, to Johanna Omolo, Amanda Sampedro and William Troost-Ekong, all of whom have used their platforms to raise awareness where needed.

What to expect before the second allocation

As football edges closer, so too does the next installment of the Live Match series.

The upcoming episode has already been pre-recorded and once again includes a star-studded cast, this time discussing the future of football beyond the crisis.

In the meantime, the Common Goal team continues to grow as Scotland and Manchester City’s Caroline Weir became the landmark 150th player or manager to take the pledge, following the movement’s first Austrian to join in Xaver Schlager and its youngest through Bruno Igesias. 

Upon joining, Weir said: “I’m delighted to be joining the Common Goal team, it’s a fantastic initiative.”

“It helps to raise funds and awareness for causes that I am passionate about, such as gender equality and female empowerment, as well as providing necessary relief for those in need during the current pandemic.”

For more information on how you can contribute click here.

Organisations supported by the Common Goal COVID-19 Response Fund

Angaza, Asociación Civil Andar, Asociación Civil Los Pioneros, Bauleni United Sports Academy (BUSA), Carolina for Kibera, Centre des Jeunes pour la Paix- Grands Lacs (CJP), Centro de Educación y Desarrollo Comunitario (CEDEC), Childreach Nepal, CHoG - CHAMPIONS ohne GRENZEN e.V., Delta Cultura Cabo Verde, Enabling Leadership - Just for Kicks, Football to Develop Destitute (FODEDE), Fundación de las Américas para el Desarrollo (FUDELA), Future Stars Academy, GOALS Haiti, Instituto Formação, love.fútbol, Moving the Goalposts Kilifi, Palestine: Sports for Life (PS4L), Pasión Petare - Amigos del Deportivo Petare, Single Leg Amputee Sports Association (SLASA), South East District Youth Empowerment Association (SEDYEA), Sport in Action, United Action for Children (UAC), Watoto Wasoka, Youth Football Club Rurka Kalan, Yuwa.