Due to the war in Syria, Hanaa’ and her family were forced to leave their home in 2014. She had been a Kindergarten teacher in Syria, and now, having completed our Young Coach Education Programme, uses football to support the personal development of children in the Azraq Refugee Camp.
Hanaa’ was nominated for the Young Coach Education Programme by World Vision, our main local partner in Jordan. The education programme has inspired her to use football as a positive distraction in the lives of conflict-affected children. Her football activities have given children a safe environment to grow as individuals, and most importantly, be children once again.
“I come from Daraa, a city in the South of Syria. I have been here in the camp since it opened over two and a half years ago. I came here with my husband and my four children, two of which are boys. Even back in Daraa they loved to play football, and here in the camp playing football and taking part in tournaments is one of the most important things for them.
I am a Kindergarten teacher and here at the camp I got a job at the pitch. When I heard about this programme, I knew I had to take part, for my boys. It is tough here in the camp, and the children don’t have much perspective, their future is unclear. Activities are especially important for them, as they help the kids grow mentally, and support their personal development. I like to see how happy the kids are when playing football, and how much they enjoy it.
Also, this programme makes my days more interesting, it gives me a purpose and a chance to get together with other people. It has been a lot of fun, planning, playing and conducting activities together. We do not have these type of activities back in Syria. Back home, tradition is strong and there are lots of customs and social norms that won’t allow something like this. For me, this is something new, something very exciting.
We are very happy that you guys came to us. We spent beautiful days here. We hope that we are able to live up to your expectations, and are able to coach and teach kids about football. We have learned a lot from you. Thank you so much.”
Our Young Coaches are community leaders and role models in less privileged societies. They commit themselves to support the children of their communities by conveying important social topics (conflict resolution, inclusion, HIV prevention, etc.) through football. Each of the Young Coaches represents a unique personal story.
Fasloon is an English teacher from Kalmunai, in the Eastern province of Sri Lanka. His hometown was heavily affected by the 30-year civil war and the devastating Tsunami in 2004. Yet, this has not deterred Fasloon from being a positive role model to disadvantaged children, both on and off the pitch.
Having fled Syria due to the war, Ahmad counts himself as fortunate to be alive. It has not been plain sailing since his arrival at the Azraq Refugee Camp, but football has given him a purpose in life again. He wants to offer children hope where there was once despair, and a chance to be children again.
Five decades of armed conflict and organised crime, have led to an increasing number of families living in impoverished conditions. In these conditions, children are especially vulnerable to being drawn into crime, drugs, and violence. Andy’s activities give children an opportunity to see life beyond conflicts and crime.
Due to regional conflicts, Rinto had to move several times in his childhood before he was able to settle down and study. Although he didn’t have any experience in playing football, he wanted to be a coach and work with children. Together with 4 other Young Coaches he now trains over 80 kids.
Sarah and George are a true success story of the FCSA Tandem Young Coach Education. In 2014 they formed a so called “Tandem” – a team that supports and guides each other throughout the education. Since then, every Friday evening, they team up again for training a group of the Old Boys Basel Dream Team.
Due to the armed conflict that erupted in 2014, Oleksandr was forced to leave Donetsk. He is now coaching underprivileged children in Western Ukraine. In addition to coaching his own group of children, Oleksandr takes pride in training volunteers to use football as a means of teaching about Child Rights.
Due to the war and difficult family circumstances Shabella was mostly left on her own and lacking care when she was a child. Becoming a Young Coach gave her the powerful impulse to build a community of peer coaches that share the passion for football to support abandoned and deprived children.
At the young age of only 24, Parvati from Mumbai is a true role model. She could have been a child bride like her sisters. But she became a coach instead. She fought for her right to play sports as a woman, and even started her own NGO that uses sports to empower especially girls from poor families.
Govinda grew up in a family with little money, and dropped out of school at the age of 12. It was through football, a sport he had never previously played, that Govinda transformed his life. He now delivers grassroots football activities for children, and trains other people to become coaches.
50 years of continous armed conflict and drug-trafficking in Colombia have put thousands of children at the risk of being illegally recruited by guerrilla groups, sexually exploited or killed. Through their activities, James and Eliana prevent vulnerable children from falling into a life of gangs, drugs and crime.
Rizki grew up in Bandung on Java under most difficult circumstances. He believes in sport as a tool for social change and is now fighting to prevent young people from taking drugs. Read more about his moving story and how he uses the power of football to make his community a better place.
Through his love for sports, Elly was able to acquire a degree in sport science and started coaching in 2013. Since then, he has discovered the power of football to bring people together, make the community safer and have a lasting, positive impact on children.
Jacqueline and Patrick supported each other during the Tandem Young Coach Education 2015. Together as a “Tandem” they completed the Programme in Bremen and Basel. Since then, both of them work as Young Coaches with the disability football team of SV Werder Bremen – the Werder Youngstars.