Faisal Cup
The first and only football tournament of its kind in Malaysia.
A voice of freedom and opportunity.
Refugee children in Malaysia do not have access to formal education. In fact, only about 34% of all refugee children who are of school-going ages here have access to any kind of education programmes at all. 

As most sports events take place within the context of school, this means the majority of refugee children are unable to participate in competitive sports.
For children the psychological and physiological impact of displacement is far reaching and often, long-lasting. They are denied many basic rights while in exile, including the right to just be children and have access to play. This is the experience of some 34,000 refugee children in Malaysia.

The Faisal Cup tournament, which has grown from strength to strength each year, provides these children the rare and treasured experience of competing in sports and reaping the benefits of competitive sports.
In sports, we unite.
"Sporting events have the ability to unite people - no matter their origin, religious belief, or immigration status. The Faisal Cup tournament over the years has shown how it breaks down barriers between refugee and non-refugee children, and foster acceptance and understanding among these communities."
– Richard Towle, UNHCR Representative
Story behind Faisal Cup
The Faisal Cup was birthed out of tragedy.

On a sunny Saturday afternoon in April 2006, just as the excitement surrounding the World Cup began to build, one of our students Faisal, drowned while trying to fetch an old football he saw floating in the Gombak river.

Faisal and his group of friends had walked home from Dignity for Children Foundation along the Gombak river in Kuala Lumpur. The boys walked along, kicking a ball back and forth. This old and tattered football was the only ball the boys owned, so when Faisal miskicked and the ball rolled past him into the river, he didn’t hesitate to jump in to retrieve it.
At first, he splashed around, laughing and having fun until he lost his glasses and couldn’t see. Then he disappeared from sight. His friends heard a cry for help and at first, thought he was fooling around.

Faisal was actually drowning.

The young friends tried in vain to rescue him from the swollen river but sadly, it was too late. He was caught in the currents of the river.

Faisal never had an opportunity to play football in a safe and proper environment, being raised in a squatter area by parents who were unemployed and unable to afford a ball, let alone send him for training.

Faisal gave up his life just for a chance to play for a RM 20 ball.

The Faisal Cup was initiated to ensure that children from underprivileged backgrounds have an equal opportunity to play in a safe environment. It is to ensure that never again would a child lose their life over something that seems so small to us but is so important to them. It is to build a better tomorrow through the restoration of peace, hope and dignity.

It is to build a better tomorrow through the restoration of peace, hope and dignity.
Faisal Cup stories

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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© 2023 Dignity for Children Foundation (200001003583 [506188-W])
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