Delroy Alexander Sacred Sport

Sports Contributor – Delroy Alexander

Sports news. CASTRIES, SAINT LUCIA: Youth leaders from the west coast of Saint Lucia gathered recently for the launch and kick-off meeting of a new football for development programme for Saint Lucia supported by FIFA’s Football for Hope initiative, a first for English-speaking Caribbean.

The launch of the Beyond Us child safeguarding and protection programme will focus around the communities of Rouseau Valley/Anse La Raye, Canaries and Soufriere.

The programme, run by the Sacred Sports Foundation (SSF), with support from Football For Hope, will see youth leaders in the community mentoring adolescents in the innovative new programme.

SSF is one of the first NGO’s in the English-speaking Caribbean to become a part of the Football for Hope family and the support follows a call for proposals in April 2014.

“Poor understanding of child rights was highlighted in a recent UN Road to Geneva Youth Survey on the Rights of the Child” said Delroy Alexander, SSF chairman. “This programme is designed to tackle some of the challenges faced by adolescents in the west of the Island, an area often neglected by development programmes.”

Launched by FIFA in 2005, Football for Hope is an initiative contributing to social development around the world. Support is provided to selected programmes run by non-governmental organisations that use football as a tool in their daily work to engage children and young people.

Following standardised and extensive evaluation process for the Football for Hope (FFH) Call for Proposals (CFP) 2015/16, which resulted in 143 applications from every continent, Sacred Sports Foundation has been granted support and eligibility to participate in Football for Hope programmes.

SSF Chaorman addresses FFH Kick-Off meeting participants

SSF Chaorman addresses FFH Kick-Off meeting participants

“Once every year since 2005, Football for Hope has been calling on NGOs that use football to tackle social challenges in their communities to submit proposals. These proposals go through a multi-step selection process done by our global team of experts before being selected for Football for Hope programme support.

As one of the programmes selected for support in 2015, we are confident that with its strong organisational capacity and experience the Sacred Sports Foundation will continue its successful work in St. Lucia.” Said Federico Addiechi, Head of the FIFA Corporate Social Responsibility Department.

The Saint Lucia programme will focus on children’s rights and values through football participation and community development, specifically helping tackle physical violence and sexual abuse in relation to children.

The programme will run in collaboration with local agencies such as the St. Lucia Football Association (SLFA) and the Ministry of Youth Development & Sport.

All youth mentors in the programme will undertake the UNICEF SafeStamp scheme, providing child protection certification as mentors and will use the Beyond Us development manual, designed with a specific Caribbean focus, targeting at risk 6 to 16 year old youth in Anse La Raye, Canaries and Soufriere.