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November Highlights


As the last leaves of Autumn fall we reflect on how football in November has once again shown its capacity to help drive social change in the most challenging of times.

In a busy month at Common Goal we saw leaders from across the spectrum of the football industry come together for a five-day live event at the World Football Summit.

We welcomed five new football playing or coaching members to the movement as well as three more from different areas of the football industry. Furthermore - we caught up with a young leader from Liberia who turned their life around through football and highlighted the beautiful game’s contribution to eliminating violence against women around the world.

Common Goal celebrated the success of two football for good organisations who were awarded with both funding and online mentorship for their efforts in battling gender inequality in Africa as well as that of America SCORES New York for their work in combatting racial inequalities through football.

Finally, we revisited The Dick Kerr Ladies who kept the women’s game in the UK alive and heard the founding story of Sports for Life Palestine – an organisation that helps young people tackle the challenges of living in conflict through football.

Common Goal and World Football Summit Partner Once Again in WFS Live Event

On November 23rd, leaders from within the football industry, non-profit and private sectors and the global football community met to discuss how football can maximise its contribution to both people and planet in a five-day WFS Live event.

The ‘Building Football’s Roadmap or the Future,’ event saw Common Goal and WFS join forces once again, following the relationship’s establishment in 2017.

The 2020 Summit has offered those who took part the opportunity to create alliances and the potential for collaboration between stakeholders from the industry and the wider community in the future - with the intention now focused on turning these discussions into actions that can positively transform the future of our society.

“Promoting football’s power to drive social change has been at the core of the World Football Summit since its foundation, but we believe the time has come to take a step forward” said Jan Alessie, Director of World Football Summit.

“As the world’s biggest shared passion, football has a key role to play in raising awareness and tackling crucial issues like racism, climate change, etc.

“Through this partnership with Common Goal we aim to place the need for football to maximise its contribution at the centre of the industry’s agenda and start turning discussions into actions.”

You can read all about the Summit, its speakers and some of the talks that took place, here.

Welcome to Common Goal

Following his dream move to boyhood club K.R.C Genk in Belgium, Cyriel Dessers felt the time was right to combine making his name on the pitch, with making a difference away from it – by pledging 1% of his salary to the Common Goal movement.

“I choose to support the YEDI-project in Nigeria. Not only because it’s in the country of my roots, but also because of the work they do. To spread awareness about diseases and prevention and to inform and help young adolescents” he said.

As well as Cyriel, former Switzerland international Johan Djourou also joined the movement – citing his desire to help kids to have a normal chance at life as key factor in his decision.

"This image that athletes are just robots and that they are there to win the points or the league but they don't have feelings, that's totally wrong because at the end of the day we play with our emotions,” he said.

“[I did this] because in Africa, or let’s say in a country where you have less possibility, life starts at a very young age and you become a woman and you’re only a kid and you become a man and you’re only five or six-years old and we want to give those kids a chance to grow up as normal and to have a normal chance at life.”

As well as Cyriel and Johan, Real Murcia Head coach Adrian Hernandez, FK Minaj midfielder Edgar Caparrós, Scotland international Leanne Crichton, Werder Bremen CEO Klaus Filbry, football agent Gerardo Garcia and in a mentor-based role, former Argentine international Juan Pablo Sorin were also welcomed to the movement.

Team Talk

Following her decision to join Common Goal this summer, Allyson Swaby wanted to know more about where her 1% pledge was going — and she was left far from disappointed.

With her salary commitment heading towards Soccer Without Borders, Swaby was introduced to programme participant Aya to discover how the US football-based community organisation is using football to empower young people in and around urban refugee communities.

America Scores New York Wins Award for its Work Reducing Racial Inequalities

America SCORES New York was named a winner of the Beyond Sport Collective Impact awards for their work reducing racial inequalities through its unique combination of football and poetry.

The Big Apple branch of the nationwide football-based community organisation America SCORES were awarded the honour of a 2020 Sport for Reduced Racial Inequalities Collective Impact Award by Beyond Sport, a non-profit that celebrates, supports, and raises awareness and funding for organisations using sport to help make the UN Sustainable Development Goals a reality.

The award will see America SCORES share the $345,000 prize among the three other winners (Dodgers Foundation, Memphis Inner City Rugby Club, and Peace Players) to help “drive collaboration between multiple community sport organizations to address systemic racism, inequality and justice in the United States,” said Beyond Sport.

Read the story in full, here.

Another for the Girls

More good news from the Beyond Sport Collective Impact Awards as Moving the Goalposts Kilifi and Soccer Without Borders Uganda were announced as winners for their work in reducing gender inequalities through football-based education.                        

The two African football-based community organisations were named the recipients of the 2020 Sport for Gender Equality Collective Impact Award by Beyond Sport.

To find out more, click here.

Founding Story: Palestine Sports For Life

From a conversation between friends about how sports could be used beyond athletic performance to change lives, to the creation of an organisation that is running sports for development programmes across the West Bank, East Jerusalem and into Gaza now reaching over 3,000 young people each year.

Since its establishment in 2010, Palestine Sports for Life has been using football and other sports to enable young people from communities across Palestine to tackle the challenges they face on a daily basis living in the midst of conflict.

Read the origin story, here.

Time to Change

On November 25th we highlighted how football for good organisations are empowering communities around the globe to end gender-based violence on International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

That story can be found, here.

Keeping the Women's Game Alive

November saw us revisit the Dick, Kerr Ladies Team, who defied a nationwide FA ban on women’s football for 50 years.

Read how the girls kept the women’s game in England alive, here.

The Chance to Thrive

Angeline B. Kieh (18) is a young leader at Football to Develop Destitute (FODEDE) in Liberia and the national football team’s brightest talent. But life has never been easy for the Lone Star hit woman and, had she not been discovered by FODEDE, her potential may have never been fulfilled.

She shared with us her story, here.