Solomon Football > News > FIFA 11 for Health > Firm foundation set for 11 for Health

Firm foundation set for 11 for Health

The government was represented by the Minister of Health and Medical Services, Hon. Charles Sigoto and his permanent secretary, Dr. Lester Ross. Also representing the government was the permanent secretary for the Ministry of Home Affairs, Fred Fakarii, undersecretary to the Minister of Education and Human Resource Development, Aseri Yalangona and secretary to the Prime Minister, Barnabas Anga.
The FIFA chief medical offier, Professor Doctor Jiri Dvorak, who travelled all the way from the FIFA headquarters in Zurich was the key speaker at the meeting. Also attending the meeting from the football side was the SIFF president, Martin Alufurai, general secretary Eddie Ngava, special projects manager, Phillip Ohoto’ona and the OFC social responsibility manager, Franck Castillo.
The objective of the meeting was to rally government support for the FIFA 11 for Health program in Solomon Islands which FIFA is planning to implement this year. The consensus was an agreement in principal by the parties to accept the introduction of program. This paves the way for the planned pilot project to move forward later this year.
Prof. Dr. Dvorak made a presentation to the participants that described the value of the FIFA 11 for Health program for countries like Solomon Islands. Parallels were drawn with Mauritius where the program was successfully implemented and has seen the adoption of football into the national school curriculum. Its value in health education was especially driven at and the effectiveness of using football as a key vehicle in this endeavour was a highlight of Prof. Dr. Dvorak’s presentation.
In a press conference yesterday Prof. Dr. Dvorak spoke about the importance of having government support for any project in any country.
“It is absolutely essential for the FIFA 11 for Health program to have the support of the local government and organisations for it to be successful,” Prof. Dr. Dvorak said.
Following the meeting Prof. Dr. Dvorak was satisfied and said that an important milestone for the FIFA 11 for Health program in Solomon Islands was achieved with the discussions that were held today.
“The Minister for Health and Medical Services confirmed the full support of the government for the FIFA 11 for Health program which is to us a green light to act accordingly and we have no doubts that we will succeed,” Prof. Dr. Dvorak said.
Hon. Sigoto said he is very impressed with the objectives of the FIFA 11 for Health program and his ministry is very much in support of its implementation here.
“I am impressed with the initiative that football is taking with this special program that also encompasses a role in community education. We engage this function of community health awareness in my ministry but I can see here that football will make enrich this role and make a big impact in our communities,” Hon. Sigoto said.
Alufurai said that the meeting struck the right chord with the government officials and he is confident about the success of the FIFA 11 for Health in Solomon Islands.
“The introduction of the FIFA 11 for Health is based on the success of other projects which we have active in Solomon Islands and I believe that this success will be shared by this program. Once again football is being utilised as a powerful tool to assist in community education and football shares this role with our government,” Alufurai said.
The pilot project for the FIFA 11 for Health program is scheduled to kick off in May. It will involve 18 schools and will be tested in Honiara and its success will see it extended to the outer provinces. The SIFF special projects office will be managing the program under the leadership of the FIFA 11 for Health local project leader.
The 11 for Health has been successfully implemented in Africa where the program has received widespread support in partner communities. In Mauritius, the countrywide implementation of the 11 for Health for all children in their first year of secondary school (approx. 17,000) started in February 2011, in cooperation with the Mauritius Football Association, the Mauritian Ministries of Health and Quality of Life, Education and Human Resources, and Youth and Sport. Nationwide implementation of the FIFA 11 for Health is underway in Namibia, Malawi and Botswana with pilots taking place in Mexico and Columbia.
Solomon Islands is the first country in the pacific to be involved in the FIFA 11 for Health program.