The Agence française de développement (AFD), the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and the German Development Cooperation (BMZ/GIZ) have joined forces to implement the "Sport for Mental Health and Social Cohesion" (SMHSC) programme in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of 13 projects were selected for support, nine of which are related specifically to football.

The final selection committee of the SMHSC programme took place on 16 December 2021 and brought together representatives of AFD, FIFA, GIZ, La Guilde, Sport en Commun (Sport in Common) and the experts mobilised to review the applications. Out of 45 projects, 13 laureates (1) from 11 different countries around the world were selected.  

These projects use football, basketball, boxing, zumba, table tennis and multisport as a tool for mental health and well-being, the programme’s main theme, but also as a tool for gender equality and social inclusion.

Through the SMHSC programme, AFD, FIFA and GIZ (on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)), are working together to fight the negative social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and strengthen sport as a tool for mental health and well-being. The call for projects was entrusted to the non-governmental organisation (NGO) La Guilde, and was open to projects in selected countries in Africa (Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Namibia, Senegal, Togo, Tunisia and Uganda), Asia (India, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Pakistan), Europe (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Northern Macedonia and Serbia) and South America (Colombia and Ecuador). The total amount of funds distributed amounts to €343,050, i.e., an average funding of €26,000 per project.

Find out about the 13 winners of the SMHSC programme:


Alive and Kicking Kenya – Kenya (football)

Golden Boots Uganda – Uganda (basketball, football, zumba and boxing)

Special Olympics Senegal – Senegal (football)

Tackle Africa – Côte d’Ivoire (football)



ASA Foundation – Indonesia (football)

Reclaim Childhood Inc – Jordan (basketball and football)

Youth Football Club Rurka Kalan – India (football)



Center for Youth Progress – Albania (football)

Epoka e Re – Albania (multisports)

Together Advancing Common Trust – North Macedonia, Serbia, Bosnia Herzegovina (football)



FUDELA – Ecuador (football, baseball and table tennis)

Fundación Fútbol Más Ecuador – Ecuador (football)

Fundación Sidoc – Colombia (football)


(1) Pending validation of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing (AML/CFT) due diligence.