Projects in supplier countries
Quality Education for all: Sudhaar, Pakistan
For more than 30 years, the adidas Group has sourced footballs from Pakistan.
Sialkot is the centre of the football stitching industry in Pakistan, which has in the past employed under-age workers. To discourage this, an industry-wide initiative - supported by the International Labour Organization, FIFA and UNICEF - resulted in an independent and self-governing committee to monitor the prohibition of child labour.
To address the issues causing child labour - which are poverty, unemployment and a lack of education - standards of education and access to schooling have had to be improved in rural communities in the area. That is what the local NGO Sudhaar has done with its Education and School Infrastructure Programme, which the adidas Group has fully funded since 2002.
Since 2002, the adidas Group support has brought many bright smiles to the faces of no less than 20,990 children enrolled in 125 schools located in four union councils in Sialkot district. About 20% of the children came from football stitcher families.
Children are realising that they are important as individuals, that people care for their welfare and that there is value in being at school. The adidas Group project may have made huge school improvements in terms of infrastructure facilities and teacher skills through various training sessions, greater engagement of school councils etc. But by far its major contribution has been in giving hope and enthusiasm to children simply by making chances for self-expression available to them through various small interventions. Here is what a former football stitcher boy had to say:
"I was so proud to be elected as a group captain,” exclaimed ten year-old Muhammad Asif, Grade 4, and former football stitcher. "It gave me a wonderful opportunity to learn leadership skills and awareness of my responsibilities leading to my contribution in making my school a better place for all the children.”
Miss Shaheen Kokab, a head teacher at a girls primary school said "I have been working as a head teacher since 1985, but it was the adidas project which enabled me to learn School Leadership and Management Skills. I was able to work with the school council members to bring numerous improvements to our school. We have registered an 18% increase in enrolment and our retention has increased by over 40% since last year”.