The Montserrat Football Association (MFA) stepped up this year to support the families of the athletes in their programme with vouchers for food and back to school supplies.
About 360 young people and their families have been positively impacted by the MFA COVID-19 relief assistance programme, which was done in partnership with the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA).
In April, FIFA releases all operational funding due to member associations for the years 2019 and 2020 as the first step of a relief plan to assist the football community impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Approximately USD 150 million was distributed among the 211 national football governing bodies around the world, each receiving USD 500,000 as well as any outstanding balances for 2019 and 2020.
The assistance was intended to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on football in member associations, to enable them to meet their financial or operational obligations to staff and other third parties.
More than 150 students in the football programme were able to get their school supplies at the start of September. Another 210 footballers from the grassroots to elite sections benefited from $500 food vouchers.
Tandica Hughes General Secretary of the MFA said, “The COVID-19 Back to School assistance program was implemented to assist parents in purchasing school supplies for children that are in our football programme and we also extended to the children who participated in the MFA summer camp which ran from August 17th to 28th summer program. Once you attended the summer program you were eligible for assistance also.
“Its crucial times, some parents are not working due to Covid-19, so we wanted to assistance them in a small way,” Hughes noted.
Under the back to school program the EC$500 vouchers were redeemable at one of the specified local vendors, Johnny Mecca Fashion store, Montserrat Stationary Centre, Margret’s Tailoring. Parents were also allowed to apply the vouchers towards school fees, for those members who attended the St. Augustine Catholic School or those moving on to the Montserrat Community College. Parents were expected to register online via the MFA portal to benefit from the vouchers.
The food voucher initiative was delivered in April to assist members and their families with food supplies during the height of the COVID-19 outbreak, when the island was under lockdown. The $500 vouchers were redeemable at the Victor’s Supermarket and Aravin’s Supermarket.
“The voucher was a God send,” one parent told Discover Montserrat.
The MFA expects to resume its football programmes on September 28.