GPF Malaysia in partnership with Asia Football Confederation and Department of National Unity of Malaysia brought to a close an eight-month Midnight Football program for at-risk youth in Kuala Lumpur in April 2012. The social impact program encourages youth to get ‘Off the Street, On the Ball’ and uses the social power of football to guide youth to realize their potential.

“We focus on instilling values such as dreaming big, teamwork, ownership, service for others and healthy living,” said program director James Poon.

The program, which started in July 2011 at Bandar Baru Sentul in Kuala Lumpur, consists of futsal training, character building camps, parents workshops, and community activities.

“We are very pleased to see how much the Midnight Football youths have transformed in the last eight months” said Dr. Teh Su-Thye, the Executive Director of GPF Malaysia. “They now have greater sense of purpose and higher self-worth, and many of them overcame their bad habits. We realize too that the program has been more effective this year by engaging parents, teachers and community leaders.”

“Before [my son] joined the MF program, he was a very careless person, poor in time management and managing his own life,” said one parent.  “I heard that he told MF organizers that he really wanted to change himself since the day his mother cried for him. As a father I felt really touched and grateful to all the staff of MF program who have been willing to take time to give attention to these kids. Before this, he was quite uncontrolled and lacked manners, but now he has become more respectful towards family members at home. I’m really proud of him.”

“The Asia Football Confederation (AFC) is pleased that we could roll out this partnership program (Midnight Football) to benefit the youths and community,” said Mr. Ingill Ra, Director of Social Responsibility for AFC. “The efforts that GPF Malaysia invested to make this program successful are highly commendable.”

“I am so glad that Midnight Football could be held at Sentul,” said Edwin Roch, the head coach of Midnight Football. “This program has helped these youths to develop self discipline, sense of responsibility and an greater awareness of the world they are living in, which will definitely help them in the future. My hope is this program will expand to other places and even to other countries.”