Since the Syrian crisis began in 2011, almost five million people are now living as refugees, 52 per cent of them are children. In Lebanon, more than half of the one million Syrian refugees there are children.
As the number of refugees has grown, so too have the challenges faced by both the host communities and the refugees, especially children and young people. For many of them, conflict has not only torn them from their homes, but has also brought them into strange and unfamiliar environments where often, both refugees and the existing communities struggle to connect and integrate.
By partnering with UNICEF, War Child and the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) and through funding from the Dutch government, Right To Play is helping to facilitate and foster social cohesion between Syrian refugees and the host community.
Through the Sport and Humanitarian Assistance (SaHA) program in Beirut, we are bringing kids together to play–whether on a football field or in a classroom–creating the opportunity to connect, build friendships and understanding and through it all lasting peace.
Currently, approximately 2,500 children are engaged in the program, while more than 100 youth have been specially trained how to use each game of soccer as a teaching tool to learn about teamwork, social cohesion and cooperation. And while playing is at the core of the program so is psycho-social support, capacity-building of caregivers and community leaders and the creation of youth committees to raise awareness on child protection issues.
Two of our Right To Play Coaches: Oussama, a 19-year-old, Syrian-refugee who lives in West Bekaa, Lebanon and Rouya, a 16-year-old Lebanese girl living in Tripoli, Lebanon share their own experiences of how our play-based programs have impacted and changed their lives and the lives of the children and young people they work with.
Join us @righttoplayintl on June 20th at 9am EST/2pm GMT+1 to hear from to Rouya and Oussama about their stories, their work with Right To Play and the impact it is having on the ground.
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