MegaFon’s social mission is to open up new opportunities for people in Russia, breaking down barriers and creating truly equal conditions for everyone. Helping orphans and children left without parental care is one of the key focuses of our charity activities. 

 

The company’s flagship project in this area is the Future Depends on You open Russian nationwide football tournament for teams from children’s homes and orphanages, which we have been running since 2005 with the Football for Children charity foundation and support from the Russian Foreign Affairs, Education & Science and Sports Ministries and the Russian Football Union. This is the only national-scale project for orphans focused not just on physical development but also on social adaptation and helping them find homes. The tournament helps the children find their place in society and life through sport: football takes effort, time and imagination, adding colour to life and increasing self-confidence. 

Every year between February and April, participants compete in the city and regional qualification stages, and in May the strongest teams traditionally meet in the final in Sochi. The main prize for the winning teams in the senior and junior age groups is a trip to London, where the young footballers not only get to enjoy the sights of the British capital but also play a friendly game against their peers from the Arsenal youth academy, attend an English Premier League match and closed club training session and speak with manager Arsene Wenger. In 2016, with support from the Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry, for the first time ever in the tournament’s history, the young footballers were invited to a reception at the Russian Embassy in the UK, where they spoke with Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko. 

Here are just a few examples of the sporting success that has been achieved by tournament participants over the years: 

Alexey Skvortsov, winner of the 2005 tournament, plays in the Russian national football league for FC Volgar Astrakhan and was also called up to the Russian national youth team; 

Parviz Aliyev, winner of the 2011 tournament, now plays professionally for FC Khujand (Tajikistan); 

Natalya Teymurova, from a children’s home in Moscow, was recommended to the Russian national junior women’s team manager, while Vladimir Timofeev was recommended to the manager of FC Rostov’s youth team; 

In July 2016, Krasnoyarsk team Totem, which won the tournament in 2010, was crowned world champion at a prestigious tournament for orphans in Poland, competing against teams from 27 countries. 

Aside from encouraging a healthy lifestyle and social adaptation, the Future Depends on You tournament also helps the children find new parents. Since 2014, MegaFon has been working with the Change One Life foundation to film video interviews with the young footballers through which those aged over 10 can find new homes. Experts have proven that videos are an effective tool in adoption decision-making and that sometimes the child’s passion for sport is the deciding factor for future parents who are adopting not a young child but a teenager. Over a period of three years, we have made more than 2,100 videos with young players, some 462 of whom have already found new parents. 

In May 2018, with support from the international charities Save the Children and Street Child United, MegaFon will, for the first time in Russia’s history, host the Street Child World Cup: The Future Depends on You on the eve of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. Twenty-four teams of girls and boys aged 14 – 17 from 20 countries will meet in Moscow to compete for the title of world champion.