Location and general information

Location Syria
Start date 01/01/2021
End date 12/31/2021
Cost of the project €250,000
Foundation funding €200,000
Project identifier 20200868
Partners Cross Culture (CCPA)


The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) calls the situation in Syria the biggest humanitarian crisis of our time and estimates that there are 6.1 million internally displaced people in Syria, of which 2.5 million are children. Furthermore, it is estimated that the conflict in Syria has resulted in 18.8 million people in need of humanitarian assistance. Children have been raised in a violent context impacted by internal warfare, displacement, severed family ties, a lack of access to vital services, food insecurity and disruption to schooling caused by insecurity and massive physical devastation and exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a 2020 survey, more than half of the respondents reported damage to schools in their area and, in some parts of Syria, more than half of the people surveyed said they had at least one child out of school. 90% felt that children were the greatest victims of the conflict and 92% believed that psychological wounds and the impact on children’s mental health were as serious as physical wounds.

In Syria today, many families have started to return to their neighbourhoods and are trying to lead a 'normal' life. However, in many places, organised sports activities are still not accessible to children due to conflict and human and physical devastation.

Project content

This project is about bringing fun football to children in Syria and giving returnee children living in the 'reconciliation' areas an opportunity to interact, have fun and develop friendships with other children in their community.


  • Enhance resilience and stimulate a culture of peace and non-violence, gender equality and child protection, as well as an appreciation of cultural and social diversity and culture’s contribution to sustainable development.
  • Mobilise a network of young Syrian leaders and coaches and build their capacity to independently organise Open Fun Football Schools (OFFSs) and other regular community-based fun football activities within their local communities.
  • Facilitate the creation of sustainable, community-based fun football clubs.

Project activities

  • Capacity building: training of OFFS leaders, trainers-of-trainers, coaches and coach assistants.
  • OFFS activities: facilitating five-day Open Fun Football Schools and one-day Open Fun Football Festivals.
  • Club formation: providing club formation seminars and facilitating the formation of eight community-based football clubs/clusters that will organise OFFS activities and fun football training on regular basis.

Expected results

  • 104 young (male and female) OFFS leaders and coaches trained and able to independently organise OFFS activities.
  • 96 voluntary coach assistants aged 14–18 trained in the specific community-based and child-centred OFFS approach and able to assist the voluntary coaches in organising OFFS activities.
  • 1,600 children aged 6–12 (minimum 30% girls) attended a five-day Open Fun Football School and a one-day Open Fun Football Festival.
  • 60 leaders and coaches participated in the Open Fun Football School club formation workshop where they will have exchanged experiences and best practices and learned to establish community-based football clubs.
  • Eight community-based football clubs/clusters set up which organise regular OFFS activities for children in their local communities.
  • 800 children (minimum 30% girls) socialised through regular psychosocial fun football activities.


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