The United Nations in Bhutan and the Bhutan Football Federation have come together to advocate for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through the game of football. The “Football for the Goals” initiative was launched in the capital on Friday. It is a five-month campaign which will focus on health and well-being, protecting children and youth, gender equality and women empowerment, and climate action.
The initiative was launched at the Changlimithang stadium during the finale of the Bhutan Higher Secondary School Football Championship.
As a member of the initiative, the BFF says it commits to harnessing the potential of football to address pressing issues and bring positive change in society.
The UN said it recognizes the influence of football in Bhutan and its potential to promote the SDGs.
“We really want to highlight issues like mental health and substance abuse, which we know is on the rise in Bhutan, gender-based violence and climate change, and we really want to spark conversations at the family level, at the community level, to really affect change for children and their families,” said Andrea James, the UNICEF Representative to Bhutan.
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals were adopted by world leaders at the Sustainable Development Summit in September 2015.
According to a joint news release, innovative and inclusive approaches are essential to inspire positive social change.
The “Football for the Goals” initiative aims to empower young Bhutanese with football’s influence to create positive change in their communities.