Football is a universal language and City in the Community’s I Speak Football project brings together youth from a range of different backgrounds to help them to address isolation and loneliness in our diverse society.
Starting in 2015, the program has seen exponential growth, expanding to three programs between 15 young leaders and over 400 people participating from a range of different cultural backgrounds.
Melbourne’s multicultural fabric is evident where 58% of people have one or both parents born overseas. I Speak Football uses the world game to promote diversity and inclusion, training leaders and participants in English language skills, life skills and football coaching.
The program has also been a part of the global Cityzens Giving project which is a City Football Group initiative that distributes $600,000 between six global projects through a fan voting platform.
Albert Mambo, one of I Speak Football’s program leader, says his experience in the program has changed his life, reflecting on the importance of respect, friendship and understanding as well as his personal development.
“When I look back at where this project started and what we have achieved, I feel really proud,” Albert said.
“It’s given me a purpose, a set of skills, and most importantly to me, a group of people that I can call my family.”