Soccer Aid for Unicef
Defending Play for Every Child

Defending play with the UK government

Give until 23 July 2019 and your donation to Soccer Aid for Unicef will be matched by the UK government, doubling the difference you make to children’s lives.

The funding from the UK government will help make sure more than 80,000 children in Sierra Leone and Zambia can have a childhood full of play. In parts of Sierra Leone and Zambia where poverty and malnutrition unsettle childhoods we’ll support our partners in caring for mums and new babies. We’ll help provide vaccinations so children can spend their time in the playground. And in Zambia we’ll provide preschools-in-a-box and fill them with everything children need for a stimulating playtime. We need your support to make it happen.

So if you believe in play-filled childhoods, then join Soccer Aid for Unicef. Whether you watch it live and donate, take part in our schools Playground Challenge or simply grab a ball and have a kickabout for the cause, you’ll help to give children back a crucial piece of their childhood – play.

Every pound you donate to Soccer Aid for Unicef until 23 July 2019 will be matched by the UK government - up to £3 million.

In Zambia, thanks to the UK government doubling your donations this year, we'll provide 'pre-schools in a box' and fill them with everything children need for a stimulating playtime.

The funding from the UK government will help make sure more than 80,000 kids in Sierra Leone and Zambia can have a childhood full of play

Photo: Unicef/Dawe

By the time children are three, 80% of their brain has grown. Playing is a vital part of their healthy development.
Unicef/Dawe

The power of play

Childhood play is the stuff memories are made of. It’s the joy of a carefree childhood. A living room scattered with toys. A cry of ‘can we have our ball back please?’ It’s the type of childhood every child should have. But around the world, disease, conflict, hunger and poverty are disrupting play for millions of children.

Playing isn’t just about having fun. It’s a vital part of early development that can have a major impact on children’s lives. Just 15 minutes of play can spark thousands of connections in a baby’s brain. And playing before they’re old enough for school has a proven impact on performance when they get there.

Play matters. It’s about every child being able to fulfil their potential. It makes us who we are. And if children aren’t able to play, their potential starts slipping away. We won’t let that happen.

With your help, even more children can have a chance to play

Thanks to Soccer Aid and the UK government doubling your donations Adoum is coming out to play

In Chad, two-year-old Adoum was severely malnourished when his parents' crops failed and they couldn't afford to buy food.

Thanks to Soccer Aid for Unicef the therapeutic feeding centre was able to provide treatment and follow up monitoring to Adoum, who successfully recovered.

In addition to being given a mosquito net and soap, his mother Zenaba learned simple things she could do to prevent Adoum getting malnourished again.

Photo: All photos: Unicef/Asselin

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Since 2012 Soccer Aid for Unicef has received more than £11.2 million in Aid Match funding from the UK government

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Thanks to projects funded by Soccer Aid and the UK government…

2,000,000

Children

in some of the world's poorest countries have improved health and nutrition

903,000

Pregnant women

have been supported with antenatal and nutritional care in Sierra Leone, South Sudan and Liberia

Chandika’s story

Not even Chandika’s favourite doll could be saved from the devastating earthquake that tore through Nepal in 2015. She was at her friend’s house drawing when she felt the earthquake. The whole of the top floor of her house collapsed.

Every child at the Samajkalyan Primary School lost their home that day. But within a month Unicef set up temporary classrooms, before building new earthquake-resistant ones and filling them with everything kids needed to have the perfect playtime – from building blocks to puppets, footballs to musical instruments, storybooks to clocks.

Child psychology research shows that 95% of kids will recover from traumatic experiences if they can get back to a normal routine and have a chance to play. Initiatives like Soccer Aid enable children in Nepal to have that chance.

Thanks to the support of initiatives like soccer aid for unicef, Children in Nepal in, like Chandika were back in school within a month of the devastating earthquake in 2015.
Photo: Unicef/Willie

With your help, even more children can have a chance to play