The AFC Social Responsibility Committee chairman, who himself has worked tirelessly to help communities in his native Myanmar, said: “I am sure that the work of this committee at this critical time of the COVID-19 pandemic has united communities across Asia and has contributed to saving many lives.
“The Social Responsibility Committee, under encouragement from the AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, has joined forces with many MAs and RAs as well as Non-Governmental Organisations like the International Federation of Red Cross/Red Crescent and UNOPS.
“This effort is about more than football; it is about the unity and solidarity that we have shown with the communities during this extremely challenging time. We should be extremely proud of what we have achieved through hard work and important contributions.”
The Social Responsibility Committee reflected on the impact of the AFC’s contributions to COVID-19 relief efforts in many Member Associations including Afghanistan, Bhutan, Chinese Taipei, Guam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia and Nepal as well as Myanmar in the last six months.
There was also a report on the 42 Member Associations who took part in the eGoal Youth Ambassador programme, in conjunction with Aurora Training for Development, which has seen 83 young footballers graduate and devise projects to assist their communities.
In addition to these projects, the Committee also approved the re-allocation of funds in Nepal to an important ‘Feed the Hungry’ campaign which is helping provide food for marginalised children and communities in the country.
Remembering there are other challenges than COVID-19, the Committee agreed to contribute humanitarian aid for flood relief in Central Vietnam and the AFC will work closely with the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) as well as a donation to the Malaysian Deaf Sports Association to assist in the organisation of the Asia-Pacific Deaf Men’s Football Championship in 2021.
The on-going safeguarding work by the AFC was also applauded by the Committee and they recognised the impact of the AFC-FIFA Safeguarding Orientation Webinars, which are being held online. The Central and South Zones session, involving an excellent presentation on the progress by the Uzbekistan Football Association, concluded minutes before the meeting.
The West Zone webinar, incorporating learnings from the United Arab Emirates Football Association, was held last week and the ASEAN and East Zone webinars will be held before the end of the month and Zaw Zaw said: “It is vital that we provide a safe and secure environment for our young players.
“The AFC Executive Committee took the lead on this in 2018 and I am delighted that 46 of the 47 Member Associations as well as all five Regional Associations are taking part. It shows their commitment matches that of the AFC and FIFA."