AFC Village legacy programme launched
Tacloban: The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) on Monday launched a long-term legacy programme for one of its key social responsibility initiatives, the AFC Village. The AFC Village is an award-winning housing project in Tacloban, the Philippines, giving new homes to families who were left homeless by Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, killing over 6,000 people and leaving survivors homeless and destitute.
The scheme is funded under the AFC President’s Initiatives programme, underlining the AFC’s commitment to social development using the power of football.
The AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa said: “I am very proud of what the AFC together with the project partners has achieved. The AFC Village brings to life the power of football, helping people in need. This is when the world’s number one sport really is the beautiful game.”
The first two-day (April 1-2) AFC legacy programme took place in Tacloban at the weekend, organised by the AFC, the Philippines Football Federation (PFF), local football club Leyte Football Association (FA) and local NGO Gawad Kalinga. A workshop and seminar for local football coaches in Tacloban took place on the first day, Saturday, and it focused on how football activities can be used as a tool for social development. The sessions were conducted by Brian Suskiwicz from Coaches Across Continent, the AFC’s latest social responsibility partner.
Coaches Across Continent is an international NGO involved in social development initiatives through football activities, especially in the rural areas in Asia. The AFC and Coaches Across Continent have signed a Memorandum of Understanding recently to conduct awareness and character education programmes for the AFC.
Sunday saw AFC Village community sports activities organised for the AFC village residents by the AFC’s local NGO partner Gawad Kalinga Community Foundation, Leyte FA and Coaches Across Continent. The day’s programme included a grassroots clinic and a health talk by the Palo Health Department. The AFC will donate ten laptops to the AFC Village Community Centre, managed by Gawad Kalinga, and they will be available for all residents to use.
The legacy programme in the AFC Village will be based on continuous activities and smart partnerships with local actors, empowering the local NGO Gawad Kalinga and the local football association Leyte FA to deliver the programme on the ground, with the AFC’s overview.
The village was inaugurated in 2015. It was built on seven acres of land in Palo and comprises of 27 houses and a grassroots football pitch. The land was generously donated by Ramon Pedrosa and his family who comes from the region. The Gawad Kalinga Community Development Foundation and the PFF were also instrumental in realising the AFC Village project, and the Palo local government ensured land and legal clearances.
Leyte FA assisted with the creation of the football pitch for the village and the AFC’s social responsibility partner One World Play Project donated durable footballs to the residents. These were handed over to the AFC Village at the inauguration ceremony.
The AFC Village has become a landmark in Palo. With strategic community planning and with the support of Palo local government, the village has grown to become an iconic place for the local residents, with plenty of social development activities, including grassroots football organised by Leyte FA.
The AFC works with its Member Associations and its various social responsibility partners to spread the joy of football and to help people in need. Football is the world’s number one sport and a powerful tool for social development, and using the power of football for social good is one of the AFC’s mission statements. The AFC believes that football is for all and should be made available to all, boys and girls, men and women, irrespective of skills, background or social status.
See also: AFC WINS SILVER AWARD FOR BEST CSR PROGRAMME THROUGH SPORTS (October 3, 2015)