The Asian Football Confederation (AFC)’s commitment to leverage on the power of football for social development, as underlined in its Vision and Mission, received a significant boost on Tuesday after the Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) pledged USD500,000 to the AFC Dream Asia Foundation.
AFC President and Patron of the AFC Dream Asia Foundation Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, who received the cheque from SAFF President Yasser Hassan M Almisehal in a special ceremony held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, expressed his appreciation to the SAFF for sharing the AFC’s belief to empower and strengthen vulnerable communities across the Continent.
Shaikh Salman said: “I would like to express the gratitude of the AFC and the Asian football family to the Saudi Arabian Football Federation for their incredible generosity which will undoubtedly serve as a catalyst for us to positively impact the lives of those who need us the most.
“Since its launch, the AFC Dream Asia Foundation continues to leave a lasting and meaningful legacy and I am confident that this donation will strengthen the AFC’s ambitions to enhance and uplift the most marginalised communities across the Continent through the unifying force of our beautiful game.”
The latest contribution exemplifies the SAFF’s long-standing dedication in supporting worthy causes through football and further underlines the steadfast spirit of partnership with the AFC in recent years, with the Kingdom also among the first benefactors to the AFC Dream Asia Foundation when it was launched in March 2017.
SAFF President Yasser Hassan M Almisehal added: “We are pleased to have the opportunity to foster this collaboration with the Asian Football Confederation and the AFC Dream Asia Foundation through this partnership. As one of the leading AFC Member Associations and a country with mass engagement with football at every level, it is important that we remain at the heart of initiatives aiming to leverage the sport for the greater good of humanity.
“Football has always united people as we have seen throughout these difficult times when AFC competitions continued to inspire hope across the Continent, and through the AFC Dream Asia Foundation, this impact has reached people most in need throughout Asia. By being part of this project, we are extending our supporting hands to the rest of the Continent in keeping with our proud Saudi Arabian traditions.”
The AFC Dream Asia Foundation was introduced as a platform of providing a clear, transparent, and efficient way of distributing aid within the three main pillars of Child Safeguarding, Education and Social Inclusion.
In addition, the Foundation also undertakes the role of assessing the need for assistance across the AFC Member Associations (MAs) and Regional Associations (RAs), whilst monitoring the progress of ongoing projects and upholding the highest standards of accountability and transparency.
Since its establishment more than four years ago, the Foundation has had a profound impact across nearly all 47 AFC’s MAs and the five RAs through numerous projects delivered together with some of the most renowned international and local organisations including the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) amongst several others.