With over 75-million children across the world not currently enrolled in primary school, the 1 Goal initiative is taking the communications industry by storm by going to the root of the problem of access to education through mobilising governments and global leaders.

Officially launched on 20 August 2009, 1 Goal is a global movement that aims to help ensure that every child in the world has access to education. The information and communication technology (ICT)-driven action campaign involves encouraging people, one name at a time, to call on world leaders to make education for all children a priority and a reality.

The 1 Goal global ‘team’ will voice a collective plea to world leaders to keep the promise made in 2000 to give everyone an education by 2015. In 2000, 164 world governments came together to create the Education for All (EFA) Goals. World leaders also committed to the United Nations (UN) Millennium Development Goals that aimed to end poverty by 2015, in part, by striving to meet these two goals for education: to ensure that all boys and girls of school-going age have access to primary schooling by 2015, and to make sure that girls have the opportunity to access education at all levels by 2015.

One way of making sure that 1 Goal’s voice will be heard is through leveraging the 2010 FIFA World Cup platform and employing a number of communications strategies.

One of these is the use of the voice of the official 2010 FIFA World Cup broadcaster, the SABC, through a partnership that sees the SABC airing 1 Goal content throughout the World Cup, and urging fans to sign up to the campaign to make education for all a legacy of the tournament.

1 Goal is also employing the power of mobile by teaming up with Nokia to harness the power and global reach of mobile technology to launch an exclusive 1 Goal application on the Ovi store to promote ‘education for all’ in a fun and engaging way.

“For Nokia, supporting 1 Goal comes naturally. We want to make it easy and fun for everyone to advocate this great cause. By using your phone’s camera and built-in templates, you can show your support and get 1 Goal pictures that put you or your friends next to 1 Goal ambassadors such as Shakira and some of the world’s most popular football stars,” explained Matti Kuorehjärvi, Director of Ovi Experience at Nokia.

The free 1 Goal app enables users share their picture with their friends via social networks; email; and the 1 Goal website. The application also has additional information about 1 Goal, as well as exclusive videos and wallpapers for Nokia devices, which gives users the chance to show their support for the 1 Goal campaign.

Her Majesty, Queen Rania of Jordan, Co-founder and Co-Chair of 1 Goal said: “1 Goal is about people-power, and with the mobile phone, we have created the largest ever, never-before-done, cause-related campaign of its kind.”

The application can be downloaded in most of the Ovi Store countries, and users who download the 1 Goal Nokia app will be added to the growing list of supporters. Sign-ups from the 1 Goal mobile campaign will be presented as a petition to world leaders at an education summit later this year, urging both developing and developed countries to provide further funding for education.

Satellite projects of the 1 Goal campaign are also being launched , with Cameroon soccer star, Roger Milla; former Dutch international player, Ronald De Boer; and former Mexico, Nigeria and USA coach, Bora Milutinovic, launching a brand new education and football project that brings together children from a wide range of backgrounds as part of the 1 Goal: Education for All campaign. 1 Goal and the Qatar Football Association (FA) have developed a coaching and education programme to bring together 1 000 children and young people from around Johannesburg to experience 10 days of quality football coaching while learning about citizenship and the 32 countries taking part in the World Cup.

Owain James, 1 Goal Director said: "This important work with the Qatar FA shows how education and football together can help improve the lives of children and young people. We hope that the thousand children that take part in the course really take value from it and get inspired to support action on Education for All."

1 Goal ambassador, Roger Milla, said: “It is great to see the 1 Goal campaign really come to life in Johannesburg around the Education at Your Feet project. Seeing local children from a wide variety of backgrounds come together and get fantastic coaching mixed with education, shows what can be achieved if the will and resources are there. What has particularly impressed me is the way football has been rolled into the educational experience to get the kids excited about learning.”

The already-focused campaign will leverage the 2010 World Cup as the thematic and logistical organising thrust. Soccer players; FIFA officials; governments; celebrities; and most recently, former Archbishop, Desmond Tutu, are inviting citizens to sign up on the 1 Goal website, to "join a world team of millions around the globe," who will participate in speaking out to demand education for all as a key strategy for helping to end poverty.

Competitions and interviews involving the 2010 FIFA World Cup will be at the centre of the campaign. People were encouraged to follow the launch - and campaigning activities scheduled to take place in over 200 countries up until the FIFA World Cup final - on 1 Goal's Facebook wall and Twitter feed.

The 1 Goal website features updates on campaign activities and strategies as they develop. By also highlighting the latest football news, organisers hope to ensure fans they will not miss any of the latest sporting information as they read and learn about how to take action to ensure education for all.

Education is more than a luxury; it is a responsibility that society owes to itself,” and it is uplifting to see the communications industry mobilised to its full capacity to do good.
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