Azraq is the second-largest refugee camp in Jordan, home to 35,709 refugees. 60% of Azraq’s inhabitants are children, including 240 who are unaccompanied and separated from their families. (Source UNHCR).

As part of AFDP Global’s partnership with the UEFA Foundation for Children, football is being used to develop the resilience and skills of vulnerable refugee children, both girls and boys, in Azraq.

The project started in October 2019 and is developing a mentoring environment in the heart of Azraq using the expertise of refugee football coaches living in the camp. The cohort of coaches is made up of women and men who have graduated from a number of professional programmes in Azraq.

Through football-based education and mentoring, this cohort of young coaches use football to inspire and motivate other young refugees to use their free time in a safe and healthy way and at the same time, learn new skills, develop friendships and fulfil their potential.

The project takes place on an artificial turf pitch, which was built by the Norway Football Federation and upgraded with support from Lay’s and the UEFA Foundation for Children. This year, the addition of secure fencing around the pitch has helped to ensure that the pitch is sheltered from strong desert winds and provides a safe haven for children and teenagers within the challenging environment of the camp.

Trained coaches act as dedicated role models for children who attend sessions and tournament matches. Coaching sessions are focussed on trauma recovery, conflict resolution and protection of children against exploitation.