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UEFA President Čeferin inaugurates pitch at Jordanian refugee camp

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UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin has helped to officially open a new football pitch at the Za’atari Refugee Camp in Jordan, which will give thousands of children the opportunity to play the game they love, with the best facilities possible. Over 200 boys and girls between the ages of 10 and 13 took part in the opening ceremony, and were joined by Mr. Čeferin for a football match on the new playing surface. “It’s a wonderful feeling to see how something as simple as a football pitch can bring so much joy and happiness. Football has the ability to inspire, unite and also teach children important life skills and values, such as teamwork and respect,” the UEFA president said. The building of the full-sized artificial pitch was backed by the UEFA Foundation for Children, the Asian Football Development Project (AFDP), the Jordanian Football Association, the Norwegian Football Federation and Lay’s, who…

Hope through football

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“We play football to become better people – not necessarily better footballers.” This is the main motto of the ‘Goal Sti Ftohia’ (Kick Out Poverty) project, which is operating in Greece in the midst of an unprecedented socio-economic crisis. This project brings together the poorest of the poor – people who are experiencing social exclusion at its most extreme. Homeless people, refugees and recovering drug addicts of all ages – men and women alike – get together at least once a week to play football. For these people, playing football is not about winning games; it is about winning back their lives. This is Greece’s national homeless football team. A photographer has been following the members of that team as they train together and seek to overcome their personal challenges and difficulties. He attempts to capture the players’ transformation as they go from being social pariahs to community leaders. Through…

Fostering inclusion through football

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  KICKFAIR seeks to bring children together, uniting refugees and non-refugees through their shared love of football. However, the KICKFAIR concept goes far beyond that. Playing the game is just an initial starting point, giving children the chance to share experiences, using football as a common language. By playing together regularly, children build trust, and that forms the basis for deeper relationships. KICKFAIR has developed various different modules, using elements of football to foster mutual understanding both on and off the pitch. Those modules combine regular games of football with workshops where participants answer questions such as “Where am I from?”, “Where do I feel at home?”, “What makes a home?”, “What do we have in common?”, “In what ways are we different?” and “How do we want to collectively shape our future?” The overall objective is to foster inclusion by tearing down barriers between children that have built up…

Kick For Hope – Karak Football Coaching Course

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UEFA Foundation for Children extends its support to communities and schools in Jordan. With the help of the Jordanian Ministry of Education, the Jordanian Football Association and streetfootballworld, the UEFA Foundation For Children and the Asian Football Development Project have provided training in non-violent communication and negotiation skills to 21 physical education teachers and football coaches, both men and women, in order help them to build positive relationships between students. Early March, the one-week course involved teachers and coaches from 12 schools in the city of Karak, south of the capital, Amman. It provided them with the knowledge and skills necessary to run regular football activities for children and to use the sport as a platform for building self-esteem and encouraging social cohesion by facilitating interaction among children of different origins. The course was led by streetfootballworld instructor Hiba Jaafil (former captain of the Lebanon women’s national team and current…

UEFA Foundation for Children supports Brussels Play 4 Peace initiative using sport as an instrument for peace

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A UEFA Foundation for Children photo exhibition highlighting the lives of children at the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan was staged in Brussels on Sunday 10 April to help mark the UN International Day of Sport for Development and Peace. The exhibition, showing how football can play a key role in giving meaning to the refugee children’s everyday lives, was part of a sports event organised by the Brussels Play 4 Peace (BP4P) organisation and held at the Stade Roi Baudouin in the Belgian capital. Almost 4,500 children and young adults – boys and girls aged between 8 and 20 – are involved in sport, and football in particular, at the Zaatari camp. The UEFA Foundation supplied cameras to enable the children to be creative and portray life at the camp through a lens, thereby contributing to the exhibition and promoting it beyond the borders of the camp. Alongside the exhibition, more…

UEFA Foundation for Children supports Spirit of Soccer in Iraq

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Football programme launched to educate children about the danger of landmines The UEFA Foundation for Children is supporting the Spirit of Soccer project in Iraq, using a programme that emphasises the power of football to educate children about the dangers of landmines and explosive remnants of war. The project includes mine risk education, raising awareness of the danger and promoting behavioural changes. The humanitarian consequences of violence in Iraq and Syria have been catastrophic. More than 2.2 million Iraqis – half of whom are children under the age of 18 – have been displaced, and are forced to live in camps without any formal education or social structures. One day, they will return home to regions polluted by the legacy of conflict, where landmines, unexploded weapons and ammunition, and improvised explosive devices will be a constant and deadly threat. The funding provided by the UEFA Foundation for Children will support…

Children’s lives at the Za’atari camp

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Nearly 80,000 Syrian refugees – 57 percent of whom are children – live at the Za’atari camp, which is located in the Jordanian desert. The UEFA Foundation for Children, in collaboration with UNHCR and the Asian Football Development Project, is helping children and young people through sports activities, in particular football, to allow them to play and remain children in a situation of war. This exhibition draws a parallel between three different aspects of children’s lives at the Za’atari camp. Children at the camp have had the opportunity to show, through their eyes, how life goes on despite the particular context in which they are living. In partnership with a local NGO, these youngsters have benefited from training as photographers, and the UEFA foundation provided cameras to allow them to realise their own exhibition and promote it beyond the borders of the Za’atari camp. The aspiring photographers were very motivated…

A treasure hunt at Zaatari

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Many activities were organised at the Za’atari refugee camp to celebrate the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace on 6 April.