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Electronic Arts collaborates with UNICEF to develop a football future in Namibia

UNICEF's Namibia Futures initiative seeks to reach 46,000 youngsters in the nation by providing football and game-based training to assist young people in fulfilling their greatest potential.

The video game giant, Electronic Arts, in partnership with UNICEF, has launched a new project titled Namibia Futures as part of its EA Sports FC Futures project.

As part of the multi-year cooperation, UNICEF’s Namibia Futures initiative seeks to reach a further 46,000 youngsters in the nation by providing football and game-based training to assist young people in fulfilling their greatest potential both on and off the pitch.

Andrea Hopelain, GM & SVP of Publishing at EA Sports, said, “We’re thrilled to expand the partnership between our two organisations, following over five years of successful collaboration between EA Sports and Soccer Aid for UNICEF. Through this programme, we hope to meaningfully impact many young lives in Namibia, using the power of football and our EA Sports FC platform.”

In Namibia, poverty affects half of all children, limiting their social mobility and increasing their vulnerability to exploitation and abuse. This scenario disproportionately affects girls, making it difficult for them to finish their education. UNICEF, in conjunction with local partners, is already working to provide accessible interventions for girls.

UNICEF has a history of collaborating with sports groups, particularly football teams. The charity’s affiliation with Nottingham Forest, for example, was acknowledged by club Chairman Evangelos Marinakis when the team signed a contract with the UK for UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency) in 2022.

Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive of the UK Committee for UNICEF, commented, “There are 300 million adolescent girls around the world today. With the right resources, networks and opportunities, they may be the greatest group of changemakers the world has ever seen. Our new partnership with EA Sports FC, Namibia Futures, will support over 46,000 Namibian adolescents to build better futures both on and off the football pitch. I would like to thank EA Sports FC for standing by children and helping UNICEF to not only improve adolescents’ physical wellbeing, but also to develop key life skills that help them transform their lives with our partnership.”

In its first year, FC Futures expanded football’s global reach, reaching over 170,000 people globally and impacting numerous key milestones.

Initially, FC Futures, in partnership with UEFA, created and distributed a collection of seven free-to-access training sessions, and the program has helped to construct and renovate 11 football grounds throughout the world, from London to Sydney.

Furthermore, approximately 12,000 footballs and necessary equipment, such as boots, cones, and bibs have been supplied to grassroots groups, coaches, and kids.

In addition, FC Futures presented the inaugural FC FuturesHero Award to ambassador and former Arsenal player Ian Wright, acknowledging his achievements in encouraging a global love of football. This accolade was complemented by a charity contribution to grassroots football programs.

James Salmon, Senior Marketing Director at EA Sports FC, said, “It’s been a busy and immensely productive first year for FC Futures. We are incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved so far, and we thank our partners, our ambassadors and all the remarkable community leaders who have helped bring FC Futuresto life. There’s still so much more to do to support community-level football on a global scale, but this collaborative effort will continue to ensure our investment is felt by local communities around the world who will truly benefit from the power of football.”

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