Match between All Stars DOSTI Karachi Team and Team Pakistan. Photo: Omer Farooq; copyright: British Council

Match between All Stars DOSTI Karachi Team and Team Pakistan. Photo: Omer Farooq; copyright: British Council

Match between All Stars DOSTI Karachi Team and Team Pakistan. Photo: Omer Farooq; copyright: British Council

A football programme has helped Pakistani children leave behind a life of drugs and beatings. Former street children Meher, Rajab and Awais speak here about how they turned their lives around through the British Council's DOSTI project (Developing and Organising Social Transformation Initiatives -- the acronym means 'friendship' in Urdu).

Premier Skills launches in Chicago this month. Photo courtesy of Sarahmaria Gomez.

Premier Skills launches in Chicago this month. Photo courtesy of Sarahmaria Gomez.

Premier Skills launches in Chicago this month. Photo courtesy of Sarahmaria Gomez.

While the World Cup is on in Brazil, Premier Skills, our international football-based community programme with the Premier League, launches later this month in Chicago. We spoke to Jessica Yavitz, senior director of community relations at the Chicago Fire Soccer Club, one of our local partners and executive director of the club's charitable arm, the Chicago Fire Foundation,

'We Brazilian women have been able to conquer our space, although there is still some sexism and some barriers to be removed.' Premier Skills coach Geisa Silva Santos. Photo: British Council

'We Brazilian women have been able to conquer our space, although there is still some sexism and some barriers to be removed.' Premier Skills coach Geisa Silva Santos. Photo: British Council

'We Brazilian women have been able to conquer our space, although there is still some sexism and some barriers to be removed.' Premier Skills coach Geisa Silva Santos. Photo: British Council

The British Council and the Premier League have committed to an aim – in 2016 – of increasing the proportion of girls and women to 50% among all the young people taking part in Premier Skills. We spoke to two female coaches about the football and education programme in Brazil and Botswana.

Frozan Tajali from the Afghan national women’s team belts the ball. © Gabriela Maj / British Council

Frozan Tajali from the Afghan national women’s team belts the ball. © Gabriela Maj / British Council

Frozan Tajali from the Afghan national women’s team belts the ball. © Gabriela Maj / British Council

The enthusiasm for football is great in Afghanistan and stayed alive even under Taliban rule. Daud Rasool, Deputy Director British Council Afghanistan, walks us through a recent history and the transformational aspect of the Premier Skills programme on the lives of young Afghans.

Young Brazilians practising rugby on a study visit to the UK (Image credit: Frank Noon)

Young Brazilians practising rugby on a study visit to the UK (Image credit: Frank Noon)

Young Brazilians practising rugby on a study visit to the UK (Image credit: Frank Noon)

Premiership Rugby and the British Council have teamed up with Brazil's Social Service for Industry (SESI) on Try Rugby SP, a community rugby programme in Sao Paulo. The programme coaches disadvantaged young people in rugby to improve social inclusion, teach English, and boost interest in the sport in the lead-up to the Rio Olympics