About Common Goal
The ultimate aim of the movement “is to unlock 1 percent of the entire football industry’s revenue for grassroots football charities.” This may seem like a small amount, but it has the potential to make a huge difference. For example, Juan Mata reportedly earned £7 million in 2017. One percent of that is £70,000 or more than $91,000. In December 2018, with about 68 players signed up, Common Goal had already raised £800,000. One can only imagine the impact that 1 percent of the entire football industry would have towards improving the lives of the poor.
Currently, Common Goal has 135 players and managers signed up. The president of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), Aleksander Čeferin, is also a member. Membership is not limited solely to individuals; businesses can take the pledge as well. For example, professional Danish football team FC Nordsjælland took such a pledge. Anybody can become a member and make a difference. The 1 percent minimum pledge rate means that the movement is accessible and affordable for anyone, something that the founders consciously worked to achieve.
Organizations supported by Common Goal
Common Goal supports a network of more than 100 organizations. Below are some examples of organizations.
- AMANDLA – Florian Zech and a team of volunteers founded AMANDLA in Khayelitsha, Cape Town in 2007. AMANDLA developed Safe-Hub where young people have an equal chance to achieve their full potential. Since its founding, AMANDLA has seen 84 percent of its graduates either get employed or pursue further education. There has also been a reduction in youth-driven violence and crime and participants’ school results are improving. AMANDLA currently has three operational Safe-Hubs and plan to have 100 across South Africa by 2030.
- Slum Soccer – India has a population of 1.3 billion people. Unfortunately, around 170 million of this population is homeless, most of them women and children. Slum Soccer is an Indian NGO that uses football to empower the poor and the homeless. It started by organizing football leagues for the homeless and those who live in slums. The organization now operates in more than 100 Indian cities. It has expanded its programs to include helping deaf children gain life skills in organizing camps, helping participants improve their physical and mental health and promoting primary education for underprivileged children. Slum Soccer has seen 85 percent of children participating in their programs improve their lives by staying away from harmful activities such as crime, drugs and violence.
- Fútbol Con Corazón – This organization works in local communities in Colombia and Panama. It uses football to teach boys and girls how to overcome social issues such as early pregnancies, drug and alcohol abuse and violence. They have reached more than 20,000 children in Colombia alone. It employs a pedagogical method called Soccer for Peace to promote gender equality and peaceful conflict resolution as well as teach life skills. The organization involves the local communities to ensure the lessons taught are sustainable.
Common Goal shows that even what seems like a small amount can make a significant difference. Various members of the football industry are using the game’s popularity as a means to drive social change. Through the various organizations that Common Goal supports, children in impoverished communities are learning important skills to help them grow into strong and confident adults. Hopefully, more people across the industry will sign up and increase the impact of the movement.
– Sophia Wanyonyi
Photo: The Borgen Project