Sports for socially vulnerable children and youth
The humanitarian situation of Syrian refugees in Lebanon remains alarming. In early April 2016, more than a million registered Syrian refugees live in Lebanon, more than 51% of them are children and youth. Because of tense working and living conditions, conflicts arise between the Lebanese host society and Syrian refugees.
The conflicts contribute to prejudice and discrimination against Syrian refugees. Children and youth are most affected. The UNHCR warns against the increasing isolation of Syrian refugee children in their everyday environment and the resulting negative effects on their development.
For security reasons, Syrian children and youth have to spend a lot of time in crowded and inadequate homes. They have only few opportunities to exercise in order to relieve stress and possible aggression. All these factors have a negative effect on their psychosocial development, and it is thus very difficult for them to process the traumatic experiences as refugees.
Integration through sports
Sports can make a valuable contribution to society and to the health of children and youth as stress and aggression are reduced. Cultural and social inequalities do not matter. Rather, children and youth are educated about integration and fair play through sports. They learn to value others, respect each other, and acquire the ability to integrate into a group. Sports create identification and thus connect children and youth from different social strata.
In this project, Hilfswerk Austria International organizes weekly soccer games and handball games for Lebanese and Syrian children and youth in connection with psychosocial support.
- Developing a peaceful and inclusive society by promoting conflict prevention and peace-building in Lebanon
- Strengthening social cohesion among Lebanese and Syrian children and youth through community-building, sporting activities
- Supporting children and youth in coping with trauma
- Selection of children and youths through community centers and schools
- Training of trainers and social workers
- Weekly football and handball training for children and young people
- Group discussions on the topics of violence prevention, gender, conflict resolution, values and health
- Organization of a football tournament of all five target communities at the end of the project
100 Syrian and Lebanese children and youth between the age of 7 and 14
5 Villages in South-Lebanon: Tebnine, Nabatiye, Majdel Silim, Saida and Marjayoun