We believe that football is the most powerful tool in the world for inspiring young people to achieve their goals and make their voices heard. Football Beyond Borders was established in 2009, following a conversation on a train home from a university football match.
The month-long tour that followed had a profound impact on many of the players. The potential of football to act as a tool to engage with a diverse range of issues and communities, from Iraqi refugees in Syria and the Kurds in Turkey, had been proven and had exceeded even the player’s expectations. As a result of this initial success, annual international projects tackling specific issues pertinent to each region have taken place in Ghana (2010), Finland (2010), London (2011), Egypt, Palestine and Jordan (2011), Brazil (2012), and Bosnia and Serbia (2013), Spain (2015), Germany (2015). The issues addressed have been wide ranging, from human-rights abuses to a lack of educational opportunities.
In 2013 we switched our focus to issues of disadvantage and inequality in the UK and began to deliver a football and mentoring project in Camberwell, south London and a football and tutoring programme at Archbishop LanFranc School in Croydon.
We became a registered charity in July 2014 and have expanded rapidly since then. By the end of 2015, we were delivering our programmes across London with more than 200 young people participating every week.
To use football to create a more equal and inclusive society in which young people from low income backgrounds have the opportunity to develop the skills, attitude and character to succeed in education, work and public life.
For all young people regardless of their background to feel valued, confident and empowered to become active citizens and achieve their goals and for society to provide the opportunities for them to do so.