June 21, 2019
In celebration of World Refugee Day this week, La Liga has rolled out a socio-educational programme at the Zaatari refugee camp (Jordan) through its Sports Project Department and LaLiga Foundation. The program is supported in part by AFDP Global, the international football social enterprise.
The initiative seeks to enhance the quality of life of 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, moved to the camp a year ago to help implement the program. 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 Amman, has a refugee population of 80,000, with 50% of this community under the age of 18. Through this initiative over 750 children are involved in the different activities carried out daily in the camp. Several youth 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 benefiting 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 (including full kits, boots, footballs) to bring this competition to life.
Javier Tebas, president of LaLiga commented: “The transmission of values through all our football projects is vital and this initiative is a great example. Together with AFDP Global and the involvement of the 33 participating clubs, I am positive that we will achieve our goals and improve the quality of life for more than 700 children involved in our project.”
AFDP Global Founder, HRH Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein of Jordan 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 working with LaLiga as they help young refugees not only build their footballing skills but also re-build their confidence.”