New York City FC has announced the return of its Group-wide global charity initiative, Cityzens Giving, and is calling on fans to pledge their support. The initiative funds community soccer projects run by young people, created to tackle pressing issues affecting their communities including crime prevention, girls’ empowerment and disability inclusion.
For the fourth year, fans of CFG’s family of clubs – including New York City FC, Manchester City and Melbourne City FC – will decide how a $500,000 charitable fund is split by voting for one of six causes that inspires them the most. The more votes a project gets, the more funding it will receive.
CFG will be working in collaboration with established charity partners in New York City, Manchester, Melbourne, Bangkok, Guangzhou and Los Angeles. Projects combine youth-led project delivery with soccer pitch building and refurbishing, where needed.
Here in New York City, Cityzens Giving will provide the funding needed for local Young Leaders to design and deliver free soccer programs in underserved neighborhoods all across the five boroughs. This includes programming on the 50 New York City Soccer Initiative (NYCSI) mini-pitches that are being built over the next five years thanks to this public-private partnership between New York City FC, the Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC, the U.S. Soccer Foundation, adidas and Etihad Airways.
CFG Chief Executive, Ferran Soriano, said:
“Since the Cityzens Giving initiative launched in 2014, we have trained 750 young leaders in 18 cities around the world who have in turn, worked with 23,000 children and young people in their communities.
“We are immensely proud of our community work that empowers better lives through the universal language of football. By placing fans at the heart of the decision making we are creating a truly connected global community.”
Young Leader Ebrahim, 20, is a shining example of how fan votes from the Cityzens Giving campaign can impact lives of young people right here in New York City. Raised in the Bronx, Ebrahim has been actively involved in one of the local NYC Cityzen Giving community projects. Starting out as a participant, Ebrahim has now moved into a leadership role as a Young Leader where he delivers the free soccer programming to younger kids. The program is funded by votes for the New York City project as part of the Cityzens Giving campaign.
Ebrahim shared how this free soccer programming has benefited both himself and the wider New York City community. He commented, “Our program allows anyone to come and play for free and if you don’t know how to play soccer we’ll provide training so you can improve. It was founded to help young kids by giving them something to do on Friday or Saturday night. It gets them off the street and brings them together.
“In New York City, everyone wants to stick with what they know. They don’t want to integrate. Only a few people have an open heart to allow people in. If we don’t try and change things it will create more isolation and more conflict between people.
“I’m trying to change that, to bring people into our program so they could know how it feels to hang out and play with people from different nationalities and backgrounds. We will use soccer to change people’s minds. Through our fun sport people can see there is brotherhood between people from different nationalities.”
Starting today, fans from across the CFG network can vote for their preferred cause at www.cityzensgiving.org/newyork
The initiatives, which fans will be voting for, are:
New York City: Supported by SAP, Soccer Bloc uses street soccer to bring together 500 children and young people from different communities in safe spaces across the city where they will make friends and celebrate New York City’s cultural diversity.
Manchester: Supported by SAP, City Girls will engage with 250 girls at risk of dropping out of soccer through weekly, girls-only sessions which build confidence and leadership skills.
Melbourne: I Speak Football uses soccer to bring 240 young people from different communities together to build social connections and get support with their language and school work.
Bangkok: Not Just For Kicks uses soccer to create safe spaces and engage 650 vulnerable young people and teach important life skills that will keep them away from crime and gangs.
Los Angeles: Supported by Nexen Tire, Health Goals combines soccer with education about health and nutrition, supporting 250 young people to improve their fitness and live healthier lives.
Guangzhou: Unified Schools uses the power of soccer to improve health, build friendships and create an inclusive environment for 200 children of all abilities.
Building on the community blueprint and expertise gained from the City in the Community (CITC) charity over the last 30 years, the global footprint of CFG continues to expand and currently supports community soccer projects in 18 cities around the world. CFG provides both funding and training to support these projects, empowering young leaders around the world to address social issues affecting their communities.
CFG continues to fund projects in Beijing, Bandung, Mexico City, São Paulo, Cape Coast, Kolkata, Cape Town, Barranquilla and Kuala Lumpur which were part of former Cityzens Giving campaigns.