UEFA FOUNDATION FOR CHILDREN SUPPORTS SPIRIT OF SOCCER IN IRAQ
The UEFA Foundation for Children have done it again, just days after announcing there support for the John Giles Foundation here in Ireland they have announced their support for the Spirit of Soccer project in Iraq, using a programme that emphasises the power of football to educate children about the dangers of landmines and explosive remnants of war. The project includes mine risk education, raising awareness of the danger and promoting behavioural changes.
José Manuel Durão Barroso, chairman of the UEFA Foundation for Children’s board of trustees, had this to say: “The UEFA Foundation for Children places the well-being of children at the heart of its activities, especially vulnerable children who are suffering as a result of conflict. Given the dangers posed by landmines and other legacies of such conflict, it is absolutely crucial that young people are made fully aware. We applaud and fully support the Spirit of Soccer project on this vital education initiative, and we are very happy that football is once again being deployed as a source of happiness and hope.”
The humanitarian consequences of violence in Iraq and Syria have been catastrophic. More than 2.2 million Iraqis – half of whom are children under the age of 18 – have been displaced, and are forced to live in camps without any formal education or social structures. One day, they will return home to regions polluted by the legacy of conflict, where landmines, unexploded weapons and ammunition, and improvised explosive devices will be a constant and deadly threat.
The funding provided by the UEFA Foundation for Children will support the training of 150 new football coaches, who will be taught how to deliver mine risk education to over 25,000 Iraqi, Kurdish and Syrian children in 2016.
“Some of these children have experienced violence and trauma, often on a daily basis,” “Football can do so much; whether it is giving them skills that could help them survive the war, or just giving them a reason to smile. When you play football, you live in the moment. If we can provide these children with a moment of peace, this will truly be a precious gift.” said Spirit of Soccer founder and CEO Scott Lee.
Spirit of Soccer have received the following awards over the years ; Most Courageous Use of Sport Award (2009) , The Spirit of Soccer have also been awarded Dream Asia Individual Award (2014) for the work they do throughout Asia..
Published by Mark McCluskey