Faisal Cup: Providing safe spaces for children
03 July 2023

The Dignity for Children Foundation (Dignity), a local NGO based in Sentul, has organized the annual Faisal Cup Tournament to provide refugee children with a safe environment to play football and netball. The tournament, which began with just two teams, has now grown to include 188 teams comprising children from Dignity and other learning centers for underprivileged youth.

The inspiration behind the Faisal Cup Tournament dates back to 2006 when a student named Faisal, from the Dignity for Children Foundation, tragically drowned while attempting to retrieve a football from the Gombak River. However, his brave and selfless act has ignited a spirit of hope among refugee children, who not only aspire to participate in the tournament but also to be scouted by professional football clubs.

Faisal’s courage deeply moved the Dignity foundation, prompting them to establish the Faisal Cup Tournament as a means for refugee children to engage in sports in a safe and nurturing environment outside of their squatter neighborhoods.

Over the years, the tournament has gained significant attention, particularly from football clubs, who view it as a potential source of young and promising talent.

From Humble Beginnings to a Growing Event

The Faisal Cup Tournament continues to grow in popularity, attracting participants from various backgrounds and communities. The success of the Faisal Cup Tournament has resulted in an increasing number of students being scouted by various clubs, including the Football Club of Kuala Lumpur and Little League Soccer.

Five refugee children, Zen Neih Thang, Cing Sian Pal, Kap Tuan Sui, Kam Sian Mung, and Vung Za Lawm, siblings from a Myanmar refugee family, have already caught the eye of talent scouts. These students, who initially participated in the Faisal Cup in 2015, impressed Destiny Football Club to such an extent that the club signed them on in 2019.
The tournament not only provides a platform for underprivileged children to showcase their skills but also offers them an opportunity to pursue their dreams of playing professional football. As the tournament progresses, it serves as a powerful testament to the enduring spirit of hope and resilience that shines through even the darkest of tragedies.

Faisal’s tragic drowning has not been in vain. It has ignited a spark that Dignity, along with the support of the community, has nurtured, keeping alive the dreams of hundreds of underprivileged children and refugees. The legacy of Faisal will forever live on, inspiring generations to pursue their dreams and reach for the stars, both on and off the football field.

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About Dignity for Children 

Dignity for Children provides quality education and vocational training to underprivileged children, transforming their lives and giving them a better future. Sponsor a child and join us on this remarkable journey!

About Dignity

Our work began in 1998 in Sentul, Kuala Lumpur with only 20 students then. Dignity is now a learning centre with more than 2,300 children ranging from 2-19 years old.
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