Plan continues to pay off
news Wed 9 Aug 2017
It is two years since Chelsea FC and Plan International launched our global charity partnership and there is much to celebrate following our second season working together. Here we look at some of the highlights from 2016/17
Manager Antonio Conte led the support for the charity on International Women's Day, alongside Chelsea Ladies captain Katie Chapman and her team.
Chapman said; ‘It is great for the club and our squad to stand together with Plan International on International Women’s Day. It’s important for us as women in elite sport to recognise the challenges girls and women are facing around the world, and show our support for them.’
At the ‘Audience with Chelsea Ladies’ event in May, in partnership with Plan International, new signings Ramona Bachmann, Erin Cuthbert, Crystal Dunn and Maren Mjelde took to the stage at Stamford Bridge and discussed the barriers they faced as women playing football and the advice they would pass onto the next generation.
Later on in the season Plan International and Chelsea Foundation coaches led an interactive workshop for 180 girls, aged 10 to 13 at Stamford Bridge, which looked at the barriers to girls taking part in sport both in the UK and globally.
Chapman lent her support for the day and said: ‘Organising these big events makes a real difference. We have to show that there should always be equality, whatever the circumstances, whether it’s in football, sport or everyday life.’
The end of the season was marked with a trip to our joint project in Colombia; Champions of Change. Women in Colombia face many social problems with girls often expected to stay at home or marry early, while boys are not always educated about gender equality and violence and aggressive behaviour remains an issue.
We're in #Colombia with our partners @Chelseafc & @Chelsealfc as part of the Champions of Change project, using football to tackle gender-based discrimination and teach boys and girls about equality, respect and tolerance. #PlanCFC #ChelseaFC #Chelsea #ChelseaLFC #Equality #Genderequality #Respect #Football
Together, Plan International and Chelsea have been working to change this through our Champions of Change programme, which aims to break down gender stereotypes and tackle gender-based discrimination, enabling boys and girls to fulfil their potential. Football is helping us to do this by engaging the most hard to reach and teaching them about equality, respect and tolerance.
Chelsea Ladies' Claire Rafferty visited the programme in Cartagena and said; ‘I could see how Champions of Change is helping the next generation and how football helped to facilitate this change. It was a privilege to play a small role in helping with this fantastic project.’
There was also the inaugural matchday dedicated to Plan International, when Crystal Palace visited Stamford Bridge in April.
Among other things the club also donated £1 from every ticket sold for this game, and the players' signed match shirts were auctioned to raise further funds to support Plan’s outstanding work across the globe.
After the end of the season we had one last kickabout on the pitch at Stamford Bridge. The now annual Plan International fundraising football tournament saw teams battling it out for the Champions of Change Cup. Tore Andre Flo joined players at the event, which raised £50,000 in total.
As partners, Chelsea and Plan International are working to help transform the lives of thousands of children through the reach and power of football. Plan works in 51 countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America, providing education, healthcare and clean water.
This season we have not only been raising vital funds to help children into football and out of poverty, but to also challenge and breakdown gender stereotypes.
Across the world, Plan International is using football to help educate young people, especially girls, making sure they stay in school longer, marry later, and have the chance to fulfil their potential.