Kick Through Poverty

A project harnessing passion for football to affect real-world change for children in an impoverished region of Morocco.
Kick Through Poverty

RifCom is a Gibraltar registered charity, run entirely by volunteers, working in the Rif Mountains together with local village people and associations to provide educational infrastructure & teachers’ salaries, medicine and food for families in need and much more. Our projects encourage up-skilling of locals by providing resources they would not otherwise have access to. 

A stone’s throw away from Europe, but existing within a much harsher reality, are the rural communities of the Rif region in North Africa. We’ve all been saturated with tantalising images of Marrakesh’s bustling markets and Casablanca’s art-deco architecture.

These postcard images of thriving cities cast a long shadow over the rest of the country, and beneath it are rural communities deprived of the most basic needs and struggling to survive. The people of the Rif have been forgotten. And they need help.

This is particularly true for the children of the Rif. Their needs are myriad and complex. But we’ve devised a way of helping them through something they all love, a universal language we all speak.

The beautiful game is what can help change their situation. For the past 12 years, we at RifCom have seen the positive impact football can have on these young people’s lives – and their families and communities.

So far, our remote mountain football tournaments have been a great success – providing sporting enjoyment and education for the children, promoting trust between RifCom and the communities it seeks to help, as well as allowing us to set up a partnership with a UK registered dental charity to address much needed dental hygiene issues in the region, amongst other milestones.

But we want to take things further. We want to utilise football as a way of breaking the cycle of poverty. Our work has seen us assist with schooling, providing medical and dental care and more – and we’ve realised football can be the gateway to all these things the region desperately needs. We want to harness that passion for the beautiful game for our biggest project yet: Our project aims to enrich both the present and future of these in-need children – with football as the driving force, the engine for change.

Phase 1:

In April 2023, RifCom are staging a football tournament hosted by the small, remote mountain village of Ametrasse. Teams will be invited from nearby impoverished villages to participate.

Our tournaments are joyous occasions. But they’re about so much more than football. These events use football as a reason to come together to offer the children help in essential ways – organised to provide dental and medical assistance, as well as improving medical and educational practices within the community by raising awareness and offering instruction.

  • 16 boys’ and girls’ teams will be invited, with over 160 children expected to attend. Each team requires a kit, transport, insurance, food, water and equipment.
  • RifCom purchases goals, balls, sources kits from local suppliers and organises the pitches to be improved and made safe for the children – which often wash away and become unsafe for play due to harsh weather conditions.
  • We are aiming to have two tents with medical and dental check-ups included as part of the tournament. We also provide oral health checks for children attending the tournament as supporters.  
  • We purchase all food provided for the event from the local village to help spread the money where its needed and make sure it goes back into the local community.
  • This event has been designed to create community spirit and foster village pride amongst children from underprivileged backgrounds, and also provide an opportunity to deliver positive messages on health and local environment issues – all within a safe, positive and fun environment.
  • The aim is to use this tournament as a pilot for what will become an inter-village football league – one which RifCom will continue to support through further annual tournaments and team sponsorships.

How You Can Help:

The cost is approximately £300 per team, so we are looking to raise a sum of £5,000 for the whole event. We are also looking for sponsorship and support in other ways. Please get in touch to find out more.

Phase 2:

If we can set up a sporting hub in the Rif, we can massively help the surrounding villages break free from the cycle of poverty. Our aim is to provide much-needed services and avenues of opportunity to these impoverished children and their families. And beyond that, who knows, the region might count football stars of the future amongst its children – but we’ll never know unless we give them the opportunity!

  • The hub would provide an outlet to develop sporting skills. Talented children would be directed to advanced schemes.
    School attendance and recycling projects would be mandatory for using the facility and therefore incentivise and encourage positive behaviour.
  • Medical and dental facilities would be a permanent part of the sporting hub and safe transport would be provided to encourage attendance from the wider neglected community.
  • The project would create much needed jobs in the area and help it to become self-sufficient.
  • The hub would create a local football league that may help stem the flow of young people having to migrate to cities to seek opportunity.
  • Coaching sessions and training camps run by experts in the field would teach the children invaluable lessons, both sporting and psychological, and deliver a shot of positivity into the community. Perhaps even visits from scouts might mean skilled players are discovered and offered opportunities.
  • We can encourage girls (who are normally marginalised in this context) to become involved in sports. Children of all genders would be exposed to positive role models, as well as gaining a sense of belonging and camaraderie.
  • The project would give the region much-needed investment, positivity and become a point of pride – all while giving these children an immeasurable sense of joy.

Football can be the champion of the region’s transformation!

How You Can Help:

To make this dream a reality, we need financial sponsorship and the backing of a football brand who can bring its expertise to this project. Please get in touch to learn more.

Another reason PHASE 2 of our project is so important is that so many children want the chance to play football, but there are no suitable facilities or opportunities for them to do so. That is why RifCom also sponsor less fortunate local children to join teams and play in existing local structured leagues. This year we financially supported a team of orphans to participate in structured football.

The donation enabled the under 12 boys’ team to purchase kit, pay for transportation and cover the insurance and administration costs for playing each week, including medical check-ups. The criteria for our funding depended on their school attendance and behaviour, which will hopefully have a long-term positive effect on the children themselves as well as their communities. The Chefchaouen league for boys is currently full, but girls’ teams can be sponsored. Please get in touch if you’d like to help.

  • Tom Cawthorn
  • RifCom Sports Liaison
  • +350 58770000
  • Info@RifCom.Org
Rifcom charity

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