In collaboration with UNICEF, Electronic Arts Inc. has unveiled a new programme, Namibia Futures, as part of its EA Sports FC Futures initiative.

As part of the multi-year partnership, the Namibia Futures programme aims to extend UNICEF’s reach to an additional 46,000 youths in the country, providing support through football and game-based training to help young people realise their full potential both on and off-the-field.

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, hindering their access to social mobility and increasing the risks of exploitation and abuse. This situation particularly impacts girls, making it difficult for them to complete their education. UNICEF, in collaboration with local partners, is already engaged in providing accessible interventions for girls.

UNICEF has a history of working with sports organisations, often partnering with football clubs. The charity’s partnership with Nottingham Forest, for example, was referenced by club Chairman Evangelos Marinakis when the team announced a deal with the UK for UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency) back 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 inaugural year, FC Futures has broadened football’s global reach, reaching over 170,000 individuals worldwide, achieving several significant milestones.

Firstly, FC Futures, in collaboration with UEFA, developed and released a collection of seven free-to-access training sessions and the initiative has contributed to the establishment and renovation of 11 football pitches across the globe, spanning from London to Sydney.

Additionally, over 12,000 footballs and essential equipment such as boots, cones and bibs have been distributed to grassroots clubs, coaches and children. 

Furthermore, FC Futures awarded the inaugural FC FuturesHero Award to ambassador and former Arsenal player Ian Wright, recognising his contributions to fostering a global passion for football. This recognition was accompanied by a charitable donation to support grassroots football initiatives.

James Salmon, Senior Marketing Director at EA Sports FC, stated: “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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