Everyone knows the power that football, also known as soccer, has on the world. Played in over 200 countries and watched by millions upon millions of fans, it’s considered the world’s most popular sport, according to Encyclopædia Britannica and leading experts on the subject.

Harnessing this power, streetfootballworld is a global network of almost 100 organizations that use football to accomplish positive change in communities in such areas as HIV/AIDS prevention, social integration, education and peace building. streetfootballworld says it supports entities “that use football as a tool to empower disadvantaged young people by engaging private and public partners to create social change.” Its mission is thus “to strengthen our worldwide network of local organisations that use football to help young people overcome challenges like poverty, discrimination and lack of education.”

Since its founding in 2002 in Germany, streetfootballworld has been involved in such projects as the Football for Hope Festival, in which 32 teams of disadvantaged youths from all over the world met in 2010 in South Africa “for a festival of education, culture and football. The boys and girls [involved were] members of organisations which tackle social issues using football – from homelessness in the UK and landmines in Cambodia, to HIV/AIDS education in South Africa and integration of refugees in Australia.” That event was organized by FIFA, football’s international governing body, streetfootballworld, the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee South Africa and the City of Johannesburg.

streetfootballworld network members include Coaching for Hope, Grassroot Soccer, Kick4Life, Soccer in the Streets, The Peres Center for Peace, and many other initiatives worldwide that empower young people while tackling major social issues through the sport.

Learn more about what streetfootballworld does here.