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Our Story2018-11-18T21:38:46+00:00

Our journey so far in building a safer world, where every child
and vulnerable person is free from violence

I started It’s a Penalty because I met 16 year old Rose, on the streets of Recife, North East of Brazil, in 2013. At that time, I was CEO of Happy Child International, an organisation I founded 25 years ago in Brazil to rescue, rehabilitate and reintegrate children in street situations. Since Rose was 11, she had been exploited on the streets. When we met during a night walk Happy Child were conducting on the streets of a marginal neighbourhood in Recife, Rose and many other  young girls were out, working and looking for clients. As we talked, Rose explained that many of their clients came from all over the world, and, although she had resigned herself to a life of abuse and exploitation, she wanted others like her to be able to escape. At the time, Brazil was the focus of international attention with the World Cup commencing, and the high influx of people attending the event meant that vulnerable children and young people like Rose would be at an even greater risk of exploitation.

I believed that the thousands gathering together could be used as a force for good, and so launched It’s a Penalty to seize the opportunity that these major events offer,utilise our global passion for sport and impact positive change.

Since 2014, we have run the It’s a Penalty Campaign during six major sporting events, including the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, the 2016 Rio Olympics & Paralympics, and the 2018 Global Campaign at four separate events (Super Bowl LII Minneapolis, PyeongChang Winter Olympics, HBSC/Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Rugby Sevens and the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games) – impacting over 960 million people worldwide.

Our vision is for a world where every child and vulnerable person, regardless of their gender, nationality, sexuality, religion or ethnicity, can be protected from abuse, exploitation and trafficking.

If we are serious about building a safer world for all, whilst giving voice to victims of these crimes, prevention needs to be at the top of the agendas of Governments, and the Private and Public sectors. By preventing these crimes, we are fulfilling part of our responsibility to protect the world’s most vulnerable from violence.

Sarah de Carvalho MBE
CEO
It’s a Penalty Campaign

LEARN MORE ABOUT HOW WE WORK

Our Board of Directors

Katherine Corich

Chair

Katherine Corich

Founder and Global CEO of Sysdoc, Katherine provides expertise in setting It’s a Penalty’s strategy and organisational development. Voted UK New Zealander in 2015, she is a global networker and engages her staff in the work of It’s a Penalty.

Ewen McAlpine

Board Member

Ewen McAlpine

Ewen works for Macaulay Search, an agency which provides executive search services for organisations with strong social, ethical or charitable objectives. He is a strong networker with a wealth of valuable contacts and introductions to provide in the Third and Commercial sectors for It’s a Penalty.

Christianne Williamson

Board Member

Christianne Williamson

Christianne is a strategic branding and communications expert who previously led a global DFID-funded campaign to end female genital mutilation. Christianne brings expertise in partnership- and resource-leveraging to the It’s a Penalty board, having worked in various international development organisations.

Geoff McDonald

Board Member

Geoff McDonald

Geoff co-founded Minds@Work, a network whose purpose is to inspire and equip individuals to break the stigma of mental ill health in organisations they work in. An invaluable asset, Geoff previously spent 25 years at Unilever, where he honed his skills in global marketing, communications, HR and sustainability.

Colin McLellan

Treasurer

Colin McLellan

Colin McLellan is a Chartered Accountant who, prior to retirement, was Finance Director of MJ Gleeson Group plc.

Jackie Brock-Doyle OBE

Board Member

Jackie Brock-Doyle OBE

Jackie has worked in communications and marketing for more than 25 years. She served as Director of Communications and Public Affairs for the London 2012 Olympics & Paralympics Games. Currently, Jackie is Executive Director or Communications for the IAAF, based in Monaco.