AMMAN, Jordan: LaLiga has implemented a socio-educational programme at the Zaatari refugee camp (Jordan) through its Sports Project Department and LaLiga Foundation, along with AFDP Global, the international football social enterprise.
The initiative seeks to enhance the quality of life of the young refugees using football as a tool to instil positive values and benefits of the game.
To create a sustainable and long-lasting project, two LaLiga specialists, Javier Garcia and Izzat Jandali, were moved to the camp around a year ago to help make change and improve the quality of lives of the children. Their integration and daily work within the refugee camp have seen them lead various sporting and socio-educational activities that are promoting a favourable environment of communal living, integration, and adaptation amongst the participants and their families.
Zaatari, which lies in the north of Jordan, 70 km from the Jordanian capital Amman, has a refugee population of 80,000, with 50% of this community aged under 18. Through this initiative over 750 children are involved in the different activities carried out daily in the camp, whilst several youngsters have been given the opportunity to participate in various training programmes, which have been designed to help launch a competition which will be at the heart of this project.
Meanwhile, tailored and personalised training courses have also been laid on for football coaches and referees within the camp with a view to guiding and advising the various teams involved in the competition, as well as ensuring compliance with LaLiga's on-pitch values.
LaLiga is also benefitting from the support of the majority of LaLiga Santander, LaLiga 1I2I3 and Liga Iberdrola clubs. A total of 33 teams have taken part in the project by donating sports equipment (full kits, boots, footballs) to bring this competition to life.
This project hopes to be a be a big source of inspiration and motivation for these youngsters, is enabling the Zaatari refugee camp, which is one of the biggest in the world, to build a new identity through the vibrant colours of the LaLiga teams.
Javier Tebas, president of LaLiga commented: “The transmission of values through all our football projects is vital and this is initiative a great example. Together with AFDP and the involvement of the 33 participating clubs, I am positive that we will achieve our goals and improve the quality of life through the sport for more than 700 children involved in our project.”
Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein of Jordan, Global founder AFDP, said: “This is a remarkable initiative and we are pleased to be supporting LaLiga and hosting them in the Zaatari Refugee Camp. Football is more than just a game and we have seen in Zaatari how playing football can truly help children overcome barriers. We look forward to welcoming LaLiga and working with them as they help young refugees not only build their footballing skills but also re-build their confidence.”