National partner profile: Liberia



Football to Develop Destitute (FODEDE) is a non-profit organization that is at the vanguard of harnessing the talent of underprivileged people, and particularly women. They use football as a catalyst in restoring hope and uniting youths affected by the prolonged period of civil crisis in Liberia. Their motto is “Searching for a Better Future.”

FODEDE’s national ambassadors are Liberian professional female football players Cherie Sayon, Dehkontee Sayon, Famatta Boimah, and Kebeh Lamine, the first two being former Homeless World Cup participants. They are role models and inspirations for many marginalised girls and young women who come from disadvantaged communities.

Their main goal is to address the problems of underprivileged youth in Liberia. They use street football as a tool to recruit participants. Once in the programme, football becomes a tool for developing and encouraging social and leadership skills. A particular focus for FODEDE is to liberate girls and women from restrictive gender roles, empower them within their communities, and achieve positive health and welfare outcomes.

The organisation runs two programmes: the Career Hour skills training and a girls’ football programme in primary and secondary schools.

The Career Hour workshops are integrated into the communities’ school curriculum, and they empower young people through education, skills development (tailoring, phone/electronics repair, cosmetology, etc.), and creating job opportunities. Currently, FODEDE is concluding the construction of the new “Career Hour” centre with three rooms, which will be able welcome 20 to 30 participants to take part in courses ranging from three to six months.

FODEDE encourage former female players to take part in grassroots coaching training programmes, organised in collaboration with the Liberia Football Association (LFA) and Coaches across Continents.

Due to the Ebola outbreak, FODEDE temporarily diverted their attention from empowerment programmes to health care and Ebola prevention. Together with LFA, Pro-Life Media Initiative, and local sports organisations, they organised the Global Peace Games for Children and Youth Celebration in September 2014 with the theme of “Kicking Ebola out of Liberia.”

Player profiles & Stories

Mission statement


Football to Develop Destitute work to strengthen football-based social and developmental initiatives that transform the lives of disadvantaged men and women. They aim to increase the number of opportunities available to them, and to promote an environment of social change through football.

“Women in sport leadership shape attitudes towards women’s capabilities as leaders, especially in traditionally male-dominated domains.”

Goals for the future

Women's Programmes

To increase girls’ participation in football through its introduction in more primary and secondary schools


To establish more “Career Hours” (skills training) in addition to football in key schools


To have a team representing Liberia in future Homeless World Cups

Additional information

Football Activities

Grassroots football projects, especially for girls in primary and secondary schools

Team selection

They are chosen from among the participants in FODEDE’s football programmes and they are required to have participated in one of FODEDE’s capacity building programmes.

Non-football services

Skills training (cosmetology/hair braiding, small business leadership, tailoring, carpentry, phone/electronics repair); education; health education, in particular raising awareness about prevention of Ebola

Participants challenges

Gender inequality and gender-based violence; and a lack of work-related skills

Organisation challenges

Due to Ebola, the government restricted freedom of movement and public gatherings, including sporting activities. This has had an impact on both the programme and its participants as it has been difficult to keep up a regular programme of events and educational activities in 2014.

Country challenges

Two decades of civil wars have resulted in high unemployment and a high rate of poverty for young people and women in particular. The Liberian civil war created huge instability, a vast number of displaced families, and countless orphans. Young people and women are often victims of sexual exploitation, crime, and other related problems (FODEDE).


Currently, the Ebola outbreak presents the main challenge to the country – more than 4,000 people have died due to the disease (SOS International, 2015).

Homelessness Statistics

In 2007, 63.8% of the population lived below the national poverty line (World Bank, 2014).

Landlords often charge exorbitant rates for accommodation in slums (OPIC, 2012). Many people live in slums, with no access to drinking water or sanitation services (IRIN News, 2009). Less than half of the capital’s population has some sort of permanent accommodation (OPIC, 2012).

Go behind the scenes with our National Partners

Join the Supporters Club and play your part in changing the lives of homeless people.

Membership gives you access to exclusive stories and additional information about these remarkable organisations, each of whom use the power of football in different ways to help homeless and socially disadvantaged people.

Become a supporter
The Game is Real

Supported by: