Za'atari Social Project spreads hope, optimism, values of football among children

Published: Jul 16, 2019, 17:44 IST | mid-day online correspondent

The aim of this LaLiga multidisciplinary project is for football to serve as an enduring educational tool that helps to promote core values and behaviour with the purpose of improving the quality of life of the inhabitants

Za'atari Social Project spreads hope, optimism, values of football among children

The LaLiga Za'atari Social Project, the socio-educational project that LaLiga has been developing for a year through its Sports Projects department and the LaLiga Foundation in collaboration with AFDP Global (Association Football Development Programme Global ), was officially unveiled yesterday. The aim of this LaLiga multidisciplinary project is for football to serve as an enduring educational tool that helps to promote core values and behaviour with the purpose of improving the quality of life of the inhabitants of the Za'atari refugee camp, with special emphasis on the children living in the camp.

Javier Tebas, LaLiga president, Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein, founder of AFDP Global, Aranzazu Bañon, Spain’s ambassador to Jordan, and Fernando Sanz, LaLiga's Director of International Institutional Relations & Director of LaLiga Ambassadors and Legends Project, were all present for this momentous occasion.

As a result of this collaboration and the solid commitment of LaLiga Santander, LaLiga 1l2l3 and the Liga Iberdrola clubs, the LaLiga | Za'atari Social Project has created a league competition with each side playing each other just once and the home and away fixtures to be determined by a draw.

The competition will be divided into two categories: an U15 male league consisting of 20 teams, and an U13 female league of 16 teams. All of the teams involved are twinned with LaLiga and the Liga Iberdrola clubs who have donated sports equipment.

The institutional representatives were keen to say a few words to the real stars of this initiative:

Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein, founder of AFDP Global commented: “The inauguration of this social project and league competition is an important moment for the young people of Za’atari, both girls and boys alike. Football has the power to shape characters and teaches children about the values of teamwork and the importance of taking on responsibility. The LaLiga Za'atari Social Project will provide invaluable personal development opportunities for hundreds of young people living in the Za’atari camp. I want to thank and commend LaLiga, the LaLiga Foundation and the Liga Iberdrola Clubs for partnering with my social enterprise AFDP Global to make this ambitious project a reality.”

Javier Tebas, President of LaLiga, commented: “Today is a very special day for LaLiga, after a year of hard work we have been able to transmit the philosophy of our competition and the clubs to the neighbourhoods, homes, and streets of Zaa’tari.

The LaLiga | Za'atari Social Project is not only focused around sports, but on educating children about the values of sportsmanship, fair play, teamwork, respect, and tolerance. We will continue to work to expand this project further.”

Aranzazu Bañon, Ambassador of Spain to Jordan, added: “Today is a very special day for the Embassy of Spain in Jordan and we want to express our gratitude and satisfaction for the launch of this project. I would like to thank HRH Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein and LaLiga for the commitment and work and also to the coaches for their everyday effort. We are proud that LaLiga Za'atari Social Project is already a reality for the more than 700 children that enjoy this initiative.”

The aim of the LaLiga | Za'atari Social Project is to become an effective tool to help instil values such as sportsmanship, fair play, teamwork, respect and tolerance through football. This has been evidenced in the training sessions that have been devised by the LaLiga Sports Projects department and which include exercises based on these core values, as well as other techniques employed to help participants manage their emotions and improve their ability to concentrate, thereby encouraging creativity and improving interpersonal relationships.

Since the LaLiga | Za'atari Social Project took off around a year ago, more than 750 children have participated directly in this program. In addition, many young people are taking different practical training courses targeted at helping run and manage the dynamics of the competition as well as to help convey the core values among the inhabitants of the Za'atari refugee camp.

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