KARACHI: An elite football club and the street children of Karachi played a football match Wednesday, as a part of the week-long celebrations of Oxfam’s global inequality report that was launched on Monday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
The event showcased the prevailing class difference and rising inequality crises in Pakistan. The event was organized by Oxfam in collaboration with Leisure Leagues because team sports are extremely beneficial for young children.
The friendship built amongst a team of football players is unlike any other sport due to the high volume of players. With dozens of players working toward one common goal, the bond many kids develop is priceless.
Oxfam in Pakistan’s Director Programmes, Adeel Qaiser welcomed the participants and said, “Soccer is truly a team sport. Everyone is counted on to play their individual role as part of a synchronized team. Oxfam organized this match to promote equality and a fairer society, where everyone can participate and has the opportunity to fulfil their potential. We must ensure more gender and economic equality in public services, education and fair wages as a way out of the inequality crisis we are witnessing. We should all work together to build a brighter future for everyone – not just a privileged few.”
Ishaq Shah, Chief Operating Officer of Leisure Leagues, echoed said, “Sport, football in particular, has become one of the most powerful tools to incite passion, bring people together, and communicate important messages about the development agenda on a massive scale.”
He said aligning themselves with a global institution like Oxfam seemed only natural, particularly since they both work at grassroots level, promoting development. “With our respective areas of specialisms and expertise, both Oxfam and Leisure Leagues will be able to work towards helping people to help themselves out of poverty – supporting their right to work and advocate for equality,” he said. “This partnership with Oxfam demonstrates just how sports, brings people together, and working at multiple levels makes sense. We have always believed that football presents a unique activist platform for engaging stakeholders from all sectors of society to invest in children and more broadly, in communities. It’s one of the smartest ways to invest in society as a whole and attain impact”.
On a global level, Oxfam is calling for governments to ensure our economies work for everyone and not just the fortunate few. Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam International, has said, “The size of your bank account should not dictate how many years your children spend in school, or how long you live – yet this is the reality in too many countries across the globe. While corporations and the super-rich enjoy low tax bills, millions of girls are denied a decent education and women are dying for lack of maternity care.”
Results of a new global survey commissioned by Oxfam demonstrates a groundswell of support for action on