GAME strives for a world with equal opportunities for all children and youth. To achieve this vision, GAME’s mission is to create lasting social change through youth-led street sports and culture. The nonprofit’s programs seek to integrate vulnerable ethnic-minority youth (refugees, immigrants, etc.) into the community and offers the opportunity for them to grow as peer-educators and drivers of social change in a local setting.
The activities are targeted young people in less-advantaged neighborhoods in 10 countries in Europe, The Middle East, and Africa and span across ethnic, religious, and social divides. In 2018 GAME had more than 320,000 visits at its practices, tournaments, workshops, and open gyms in 59 neighborhoods in across EMEA. The engagement of a record high number of volunteer role models (632) and “Parents’ Days” in the local communities, has allowed for an impact increase without increasing the costs.
Furthermore GAME has scaled its impact over the last five years by providing micro grants worth 2 mill. USD to more than 500 youth-led street sports projects. In 2019 this method has been innovated and tested in Jordan where young social and business entrepreneurs have been selected for a six-months journey with the Street Sports Incubator. After receiving their seed grants, the viability of the initiatives is new being tested by the market.
An acute need for social change in urban areas due to an increase in urban youth populations and historically high numbers of people on the move has led GAME to refocus its strategy to better address these challenges. At the annual general meeting in 2019, a new strategy with the name “Growing Together” was approved for 2019-2022. The new strategy will allow the organization to scale the impact and improve social cohesion, health and gender equality for underserved urban younger generations (5-25 years old) challenged by marginalization, social economics, and gender & health inequality.
To deliver on the new strategy, GAME has together with local partners started implemented its methods in Lithuania, Greece, Malta, and Italy in 2019. In Ghana, Somaliland and Jordan a scaling has been ignited with a significant 100% scale-up. With an average annual growth of 25% over the last four years, a special strategic focus will be given to strengthening the organization’s administration, methods and policies to ensure quality for partners and end users.
A set of five Design Principles has also been developed to ensure that social design and youth-led innovation stays at the forefront. Having an “ear to the asphalt”, “play with the ideas”, and “take it to the streets” constitutes three of these.
In 2018 the nonprofit opened the doors to its latest two new indoor facilities for street sports – GAME Viborg and GAME Aalborg. Both have come into being through a social design-based approach with the youth playing a central role. After the first year of operations, the 4 mill. USD facilities have each attracted more than 3,500 active members of all ages and GAME Viborg has won several awards including ArchDaily’s “Building of the Year” as well as IAKS Gold – the closest you can get to an Olympic medal in architecture. The latter was awarded for sustainable re-use of abandoned, industrial buildings and the creation of lasting social change through youth-led sports and culture.