AFDP and Spirit of Soccer promote mine risk education in Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon


The Asian Football Development Project (AFDP) and streetfootballworld network member Spirit of Soccer teamed up to launch a mine risk education (MRE) football programme for Syrian children at the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan, as well as in refugee host communities in Iraq and Lebanon, in order to to deliver effective, educational life-saving messages through football on the dangers of landmines.

In collaboration with UNHCR, the Jordan Football Association (JFA), the Arab Mine Action Consultancy Company (AMACC) and the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement (PMWRA), the initiative aims to reduce the number of child fatalities and injuries through land mines and other explosive remnants of war (ERW).

The project kicked off with preparatory workshops to train youth coaches, with the goal of reaching up to 3,500 children over the next four months. The workshops addressed how football can be used to deliver in-depth mine risk education.

The program has been active inside the Zaatari Refugee Camp in Northern Jordan as well as in schools outside of the camp in urban centers where Syrian refugees reside. This year, the scope of work has expanded to Iraq and Lebanon to benefit 48,671 at-risk children. The total number of children reached since February 2013 has exceeded 75,000.

Spirit of Soccer has been on the ground in Iraq helping to bring Mine Risk Education (MRE) to children living with the aftermath of the ongoing civil conflict in Basra, Kirkuk, Baghdad and Sulaymaniyah. In 2014, a refugee crisis also erupted in Iraq, with refugees arriving to escape the conflict in Syria. With the support of AFDP, Spirit of Soccer has responded by bringing MRE and football programs directly to children and families living in refugee camps in Iraq, often at great risk to their own safety.

In Southern Lebanon, MRE and coaching has been provided to over 3,000 Scouts and Girl-Guides in communities that are contaminated by Explosive Remnants of War (ERW).