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Common Goal: January Highlights

How football played its part this month to make the world a better place

As the month comes to a close and the fight against the global pandemic rages on, we look back on how football in January has played its part to make the world a better place.

We cast our eye to Germany to discover how Common Goal project Common Ground is helping young people cope with the effects of the global pandemic.

In addition, we welcomed six new members to the Common Goal movement, including two brothers, our first member from Russia and even a sustainable sportswear company.

And we travelled from sunny Salamanca to Birmingham in Blighty, to find out about the incredible story of the first Spanish club to join Common Goal and how Street League are helping end youth unemployment through football.

On International day of Education, we shone a light on six football-based community organisations who harness the power of the beautiful game to help educate marginalised young people in their communities and heard the founding story of another named Yuwa in India.

Finally, we revisited Rwanda in 1994 to learn how football helped to heal a broken nation in the aftermath of genocide.

Common Ground: Play, Lead and Create

With school closures and recreational activities temporarily suspended, an increasing number of young people are struggling with feelings of frustration, apathy and alienation due to the necessary lockdown measures.

The project provides young people with targeted support and educational opportunities through the establishment of Common Grounds in Bundesliga cities across Germany.

Common Grounds are safe spaces that enable young people from all backgrounds to safely meet, have positive social experiences and develop their full potential through football.

Read all about Common Ground here.

 Welcome to Common Goal

Brazilian brothers Gustavo and João Assunção became both the first Brazilian players and the first brothers to make the 1% pledge towards football’s growing social impact movement.

The pair will team up with football-based community organisation in Brazil, Fundação Esportiva e Educacional Pró Criança e Adolescente (EPROCAD) and their 1% will help use football as a tool to promote access to equal education opportunities for young people living under the poverty line.

“Now more than ever is the time to help, we are living a situation that affects everyone equally,” said elder brother Gustavo.

“It doesn't matter the country or the social condition. We are all suffering at the same time and we have to react. This pandemic must unite us and boost the solidarity and the collective feeling.”

The movement also welcomed its first Russian player in Lyudmila Shadrina, Swedish defender Elin Landström and SC Verl midfielder Maël Corboz.

Sustainable Sportswear Company Hylo Athletics Joins Common Goal

Hylo Athletics is a company on a mission to use sport to inspire positive social change and build a sporting legacy that exists to help our planet.

As part of that journey, Hylo has now joined Common Goal — pledging 1% of its revenues towards environmental causes. Together, Common Goal and Hylo will work collaboratively as a team to take forward a joint sustainability impact agenda.

Read more here.

Against the Run of Play — a photo essay

In the latest edition of Football for Good & Photography photographer Aaron Parsons met and photographed young people from Street League in Birmingham to explore how the UK’s national sport is helping them beat the odds and find work while youth unemployment is on the rise.

See the full photo essay here.

Unionistas: one year on since becoming the first spanish club to join Common Goal

A year in the life of any football club is a precious amount of time. In the space of just twelve months, tales of triumph, titles, or perhaps defeat, relegation, and even liquidation can make or break a club and define an entire era for its loyal supporters.

In the short history of Unionistas de Salamanca Club de Fútbol, a year is like a lifetime. This time next year, they could be one step away from taking its fútbol popular philosophy all the way to La Liga.

Read their incredible story here.

Football’s Contribution to Learning on World Education Day

The 24th January marked International Day of Education, a day used to highlight the plight of the millions of children around the world in desperate need of educational provision in order to achieve Global Goal 4: Quality Education.

In honour of this, we provided just a few examples from a number of football-based community organisations Common Goal has partnered with who harness the power of the beautiful game to achieve Global Goal 4 – which due to the global pandemic has become even more difficult.

Full story here.

Founding Story: Yuwa, India

Find out how one young woman’s wish to play football led to one of the first football programmes in Eastern India, that through football, enables girls and young women to overcome violence, discover their self-worth, and take their futures into their own hands: all through the power of education and football.

Read the full story here.

Rwanda: How Football Helped Heal a Nation

Following the horrors inflicted upon the Rwandan nation through genocide in 1994 where up to 800,000 predominantly Tutsi Rwandans were slaughtered – we heard the story of how people of Rwanda utilised the power of the beautiful game to help unite a divided nation.

Read the story in full here.