Throughout his childhood, Kamal faced rejection and emotional abuse due to his disability. His experiences inspired him to become a social activist and help children. Due to an unfortunate encounter, however, Kamal was forced to flee Syria and now wants to use sports to teach the children in Lebanon.

QUICK FACTS

Kamal volunteers for a charitable foundation in Beirut. He is determined to use what he learns during the education programme to defend the rights of abused people and children that live on the streets.

Name: Kamal

Project: Lebanon, September 2017 – March 2018

Parent Organisation: UNHCR Lebanon

Born: 1988

Nationality: Syria

Project Lebanon | Facts
1
Peer Young Coaches
20
Benefiting Children

MY STORY

“I was raised in Syria, in a city called Raqqa. Since I was born I had a disability, so I couldn’t be educated because society did not accept people with disabilities. I used to sit under the classroom window of the school to listen to the lessons. I would take my brother’s and sister’s books to study and take notes, I even used to solve their homework.

Later on, after several years, I created an NGO that organised social activities for kids and different activities that help the environment. I also worked at the hospital. One day, at the hospital, I refused to nurse and help a criminal leader. This did not go down well, and gang members threatened to kill me for this and for also being a social activist. My life was in real danger. I was captured on numerous occasions trying to escape these criminal groups. While I was captured, I was abused physically and verbally. However, I was fortunate as my brother helped me escape to Lebanon.

I now volunteer for a foundation close to where I live. The area is not safe, especially not for children. The children that I train are from Syria, Palestine, Iraq and Sudan. I am from the same background as many of them, so I understand their needs. I can teach them how to deal with living in an unsafe area. I want to pass on the experience that I have gained growing up and during this programme to help these children.

In the refugee camp, there is a boy who has a disability in his legs. I have tried very hard to include him in my activities. I adapted the games and allowed him to use his hands instead of his feet. This training has shown me how I can adapt games to include everyone. I volunteer to help people that truly need help. It is my passion to be a coach and help children.”

GALLERY KAMAL

Young Coaches

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.