At the end of 2016, in partnership with Step UK and UNICEF , we opened a soccer training academy in a refugee camp in northern Iraq, providing coaching for young Syrian refugees three times per week. We wanted to do this to bring some normality into the lives of children and young people who, through no fault of their own, have found themselves living far from their homes in a strange and sometimes hostile environment. Training currently takes place three times per week with approximately 40-50 young people attending. Funding, however, has now run out and we desperately need to raise £3500 to keep the academy functioning for the next year.
Soccer is a universal passion for many people and we believe that by providing this opportunity to play sport we are giving young people who have found themselves living in extremely difficult circumstances, a chance to re-claim some normality back into their lives. Our project focuses on developing soccer ability but, more importantly, also provides stability and a chance for these children and young people to rebuild self-confidence, restore some sense of normality into their lives and it is also an opportunity to have some fun. Currently we hold three training sessions per week, each lasting two hours, and we have also now been able to organise some friendly matches against local Iraqi teams, which has been very important in terms of integration and acceptance into the local community. Each training session is managed by a professional coach to ensure that children attending recieve a good standard of teaching. Life is very difficult for these young people and football gives them a focus and something to look forward to.
Since 2009 Onside Soccer has established soccer academies in Uganda, India, Madagascar and Gambia and we have a proven track record of delivering high quality training programmes to children who otherwise would not have the opportunity to take part in organised training sessions of this standard. We started this particular project because we believe passionately that sport has the ability to change lives for the better and can provide a glimmer of light whenever everything else is falling apart. We also wanted to stretch out the hand of friendship to these children and young people and show them that someone cares about them.
Any funding received will go directly into helping keep this project afloat. Currently we need to hire the pitch which is shown in the video and also to pay the wages of a professional coach to look after training. The total of £3500 will sustain the project for approximately one year.
If you can possibly spare a few pounds it really will make a difference in the lives of these children and young people. If you would like to donate to this project you can make a one off donation or a regular monthly donation by clicking the button below the video.