Ensuring the Right to Play – Opening Two New Football Fields in Lebanon
JOINT PRESS RELEASE
Anera, Education Above All, and UNICEF Partner to Open Two Football Fields in Lebanon
October 27, 2018 | Beirut A new initiative is restoring sports facilities and initiating a training project to benefit Palestinian refugee youth in the camps of El Buss and Nahr El Bared in Lebanon. As part of Anera’s ongoing efforts to provide marginalized children and youth in Lebanon with opportunities to live in dignity, well-being and hope, the organization has partnered with Education Above All Foundation (EAA) and its Reach Out To Asia (ROTA) program and UNICEF on the Empowering Palestinian Refugee Children and Youth through Sports in Lebanon project.
The program provides safe spaces for children and youth in the camps, upgrades and equips sporting facilities and organizes sports activities. On October 26 and 27, children, youth, sports clubs and representatives from the community gathered with Anera, EAA and UNICEF to celebrate the opening of two football fields.
Samar El Yassir, Anera Lebanon’s country director, comments:
“At Anera, we are committed to supporting young people from different nationalities living in vulnerable communities across Lebanon, and creating opportunities for hope to find its way, even in the most difficult places and circumstances. These fields are much more than a space for youth to play or socialize; they are essential platforms to engage young people living inside camps with recreational activities, while providing them with the necessary opportunities to express themselves, learn, grow, and build their skills and capacities, all within a fun atmosphere.”
For his part, Ghanim Al Muftah, ROTA’s goodwill ambassador, says:
“I am very much aware of the difficulties that thousands of children endure in the Palestinian refugee camps, having witnessed it firsthand in my visit. I must stress the importance and relevance of this project. It is crucial that we help Palestinian refugee youth to improve their lives and actively make a change in their communities. This program is a way for youth to let go of all the hardships they have endured and to look forward to brighter prospects.”
Nazih Yacoub, UNICEF’s Palestinian program specialist in Lebanon, adds:
“The hundreds of children and youth who will benefit from the playfields are a reminder of what can be achieved through our collective efforts. We are committed to continue working with all partners to ensure the right to education and the right to play for all Palestine refugee children and youth are guaranteed in an attempt ease some of the real burdens facing Palestine children and families in Lebanon.”
For more information:
For 50 years, Anera has helped refugees and others hurt by conflicts in the Middle East live with dignity and purpose. Anera, which has no political or religious affiliation, works on the ground with partners in the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem, Lebanon, and Jordan. We mobilize resources for immediate humanitarian relief and for sustainable health, education, and economic development efforts. Our staff are from the communities they serve, navigating the politics that constrict progress to get help where it’s needed most. In this way, Anera has grown to deliver more than $65 million in programming annually. We will keep building better lives until hope finds its way in the Middle East. www.anera.org
ROTA believes in the essential role of sports in developing the youth’s skills, helping them build their self-confidence, embrace sport spirit, and work collectively in teams. Sport provides a solid foundation for holistic learning, promotes self-development, creates a sense of belonging and helps youth feel socially integrated and connected to their community. This project is a major stepping stone in rehabilitating a community and redirecting it toward cohesion and prosperity, by implementing the notion of togetherness within the camps, and using the power of sport and informal education to shape the future leaders of tomorrow. www.reachouttoasia.org
UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone. For more information about UNICEF and its work for children visit www.unicef.org.