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The Goal is Impact

The power of football – and the FIFA World Cup™ – lies in its ability to be a platform for building a stronger, more understanding, and more united world. And a vivid demonstration of this power came at Education City in the weeks leading up to the 2022 edition of the tournament.

The Street Child World Cup (SCWC) 2022 – an eight-day sport-for-good event held by Street Child United in partnership with Qatar Foundation (QF), and supported by local and international volunteers – saw 28 teams from 25 countries representing some of the world’s most vulnerable children gather in Doha for a tournament that came with a call for change.

Alongside the SCWC, which saw Team Brazil Girls and Team Egypt Boys emerge as the winners – and lift trophies designed by students at QF’s Qatar Academy Doha - a child-friendly congress was held to champion the rights and the voices of young people living in street situations worldwide, raise awareness about their circumstances, and demand that they be treated with equality and fairness.

"This is the World Cup for those that have been on the margins, on the edges, in the shadows. You are now center stage."

John WroeCo-founder and CEO of Street Child United

15 boys teams and 13 girls teams participated in SCWC 2022, with 10 teams being represented by refugee or displaced children.

Voices for Change

At the General Assembly held during the SCWC 2022, a collective pledge was made to help improve the lives of young people in street situations: The Qatar Commitment.

Crafted by 290 street-connected children, refugees, and young leaders, the document was signed by, among others, Her Excellency Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al Thani, Vice Chairperson and CEO of Qatar Foundation.

On the pitch, the teams taking part in the fourth edition of the SCWC - with audio descriptive commentary provided by QF accompanying games – included two sides from Qatar, comprising students from Assalam Schools and QF schools Qatar Academy Doha and Qatar Academy Sidra, as well as, for the first time, a team from Palestine consisting of girls from the Tulkarm Camp in the West Bank whose participation was supported by Palestine: Sports for Life.

And off the field, a study commissioned by Street Child United and the Consortium for Street Children in collaboration with QF’s World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) was launched at WISH’s biennial summit, with the aim of addressing health concerns and healthcare access for street-connected children.

"By signing this document, we want to help break down barriers and challenge stigmas, and in doing so, ensure street-connected children are being recognized, supported, included, and – most importantly – given a voice."

Her Excellency Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al ThaniVice Chairperson and CEO of Qatar Foundation

Almost 50 per cent of the teams competing in the SCWC 2022 were female.

Inspiring a Healthier World

Major sporting events such as the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ can be a catalyst for healthier societies, Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation, told a global audience of healthcare expertise as WISH 2022 began in October.

Speaking at the summit’s opening ceremony, Her Highness Sheikha Moza said such events “have always been a source of inspiration”, and that they can “inspire us all, here in Qatar and across the world, to rebuild our healthcare systems, making them robust and accessible to all”.

Placing a focus on the role of sport in promoting accessible, inclusive, and equitable healthcare, the summit included the launch of the WISH Declaration on Disability Inclusion in Sport and Health – a call for action for inclusive sporting participation.

And WISH 2022 sessions addressed topics such as sport’s role in nurturing the wellbeing of people with disabilities, and how mega sporting events can promote physical activity and healthier lifestyles, while Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah spoke about coping with mental health challenges as an elite athlete.

"We look towards transformative events to inspire individuals and remind them of their responsibility towards their personal health and the community."

Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint NasserChairperson of Qatar Foundation, speaking at the opening of WISH 2022

WISH 2022 was the 6th edition of the biennial healthcare summit

Making Progress

The strides made by Qatar to ensure workers’ rights are protected amid the country’s rapid development were praised by the head of the world’s largest trade union body during WISH 2022.

“As one of the early critics of Qatar when the World Cup was awarded, and having seen labor camps and construction sites a decade ago, it has all remarkably changed,” Sharan Leslie Burrow, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation, told a summit session that discussed a WISH research report on promoting health and safety among migrant workforces.

“There is a ‘now’ and there is a ‘before’ Qatar. There is a huge difference between the two. I absolutely pay tribute to the progress made by the country. If we could move as fast in other countries, as a union leader, I would be delighted.”

The WISH report calls for global minimum standards and health policies for migrant workers; action to empower workers to take charge of their health and wellbeing; and an international collaboration hub to share data and best practices designed to protect workers’ health.

Around 1,000 migrant workers were medically assessed through a study by the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy and QF partner university Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar

A Model for Welfare

Since Qatar was awarded the FIFA World Cup™, QF has become established as a regional leader in worker welfare – with the standards it introduced in 2013 now being a model for the nation.

Over the years, QF has built a culture of worker welfare regulation, enforcement, and training, providing a template for the ethical treatment of migrant workers in Qatar and across the region.

Its experts and resources support many projects to enhance workers’ quality of life, with QF and the Ministry of Labor working together to design and deliver programs that enhance Qatar’s capacity to address workers’ welfare needs.

The outcomes of this committed focus on protecting the rights of workers have included QF contractors being part of a worker joint committee pilot program with the International Labor Organization; training for contractors and workers on employee participation rights; and a central worker-management joint committee at QF, Tashawor, that addresses issues such as health, safety, and social issues. And it is a focus that will remain fixed beyond the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™.

"We now feel like we have a voice – one that is heard. This has had a positive impact on the morale of the workers."

Karthik MandalA Nepalese craft and manual worker from Nepal, and a worker joint committee representative

Youth Take the Lead

For the first time, an international school exchange program designed to help young people be catalysts for positive social change was held alongside a FIFA World Cup™ – with QF’s Education City as the venue.

As part of the fourth edition of the Generation Amazing Youth Festival, which kicked off three days before the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ began in November, Goal 22 brought together more than 300 international students in Doha to learn football for development practices – exploring topics such as sports diplomacy, sustainability, diversity and inclusion, leadership, and mental health.

They represented each of the 32 nations competing in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, and, with Goal 22 continuing into 2023, their task will be to share what they have gained in their schools and communities to benefit others.

The Generation Amazing Youth Festival involved more than 30 partner organizations, including QF, and featured discussions focusing on, among others, women in sports, how sports can create a positive social impact, climate change, and inclusive leadership, alongside the All-In Tournament – a mini-World Cup.

"Our aim is to help people develop crucial global citizenship skills while supporting capacity building through the power of football."

Nasser Al KhoriExecutive Director, Generation Amazing

300+ students participated in the Goal 22 program

Insight and Empowerment

From learning how to be mediators in conflict and understanding how sustainability connects to football, to discovering how to use sports as a vehicle for social change and hearing from the daughter of one of the world’s greatest footballers, young people from Qatar and around the world gained insights and inspiration through Goal 22 sessions during the Generation Amazing Youth Festival.

With the Rwanda conflict as an example, one session saw students explore how football can help resolve conflicts and instill positive values, while another looked at the threat climate change poses to football.

Meanwhile, students from different countries brainstormed ideas on how they can be sports advocates to help fight issues such as corruption and discrimination in their home nations – and Goal 22 welcomed Kely Nascimento-DeLuca, whose father is the legendary Brazilian player Pelé, as she spoke about the power of sport to empower societies and bridge gender gaps.

And she told the program’s young participants: “I believe in your generation as the first to truly and wholeheartedly embrace their moral compass and make decisions with it.”

"Today, our goal is not to win, but to learn how we can win in a good way."

Dominic OmanaGoal 22 participant from Rwanda

Nurturing Women Leaders

Aimed at equipping a new generation of women leaders with the skills to overcome societal hurdles and forge careers in football, a special edition of the Future Leaders in Football workshop came to QF ahead of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™.

The five-day gathering – hosted by the Generation Amazing Foundation, QF, Qatar Football Association, the German Football Association, and the German Association for International Cooperation – saw participants from the Middle East, Africa, and Europe learn from leaders and impact-makers from and beyond Qatar, and tackle topics such as sport for development, gender empowerment, culture, sustainability, and ethics.

And women’s empowerment was also seen on the pitch, as the second edition of a QF football tournament specifically for women and girls – in partnership with Generation Amazing, the Ministry of Sports and Youth, the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, and Qatar Football Association – got under way. The goal of the tournament, which will conclude on National Sport Day 2023, is to contribute to the social legacy of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™.

"It has been a really joyful experience and a huge opportunity for us to work together and exchange knowledge."

Abrar AbdelrahmanFuture Leaders in Football workshop participant

22 young women from 12 countries participated in the Future Leaders in Football workshop.

Making a Difference

As the eyes of the world turned to Qatar, QF helped to amplify football’s role as a tool for social impact, education, and sustainability – at the United Nations.

On the sidelines of the 77th edition of the UN General Assembly in New York, QF was part of a panel hosted by Concordia where the need to use sport to create equal opportunities and greater women’s representation was placed in the spotlight.

And Her Excellency Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al Thani, Vice Chairperson and CEO of Qatar Foundation, met women footballers from Qatar who learned from industry leaders about how to pursue footballing pathways, as well as with young change-makers who travelled to New York through Ideas for a Bold Future – a QF initiative supporting them to use football as a way to address education, health, and sustainability challenges.

As student Nathan Wijaratne, a member of QF’s THIMUN Qatar, explained: “It showed me the extent to which youth-led initiatives can make a difference on a global scale – this week has helped galvanize action for the causes we are passionate about.”

"Representation is very important to us as we embark on a journey of women in sports and encourage more women to be part of it."

Machaille Hassan Al-NaimiStrategic Initiatives Executive Officer, QF, speaking at the Concordia panel session