Football helps people in Jordan – level 3
For these children in Jordan, the reality of everyday life can sometimes look bleak. Most have lost someone close to them, and for them, simply playing football can provide a welcome break.
The Asian Football Development Project has played a huge part in giving not only children, but also young men and women, a glimmer of hope in what for many are desperately hard and unforgiving surroundings. Their work is benefiting the many traumatised children at the Zaatari camp in Jordan.
“It helps improve their lives and also helps to just know to forget about what is happening, kind of, at least at the time of the football activity, and also give them some more self-esteem about themselves, and also, just as I’m always saying, ‘just be kids and play as a kid,’ because some of them have really lost this because, you know, they have been through so many kind of hard times in their lives, so some of them are not really kids. They’re not acting as kids, so it’s good for them just to be kids and play as every kid in the world.”
An estimated 3.8 million displaced Syrians have fled their homeland since the uprising against the Al-Assad regime began in March 2011. And around 200,000 people have been killed, including 11,500 children.
Those lucky enough to escape the conflict have gone to Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon, and Egypt, while 85,000 have found sanctuary in Zaatari, some 15 kilometres from the border with Syria and now one of the largest refugee camps in the world. But in the sport provided here, many have found normality and happiness.
Difficult words: bleak (without hope), glimmer (something small but interesting), traumatised (when someone is very hurt emotionally or physically), estimated (carefully guessed), displaced (removed from home), uprising (when people go against a government), regime (a government that tells everyone what to do), sanctuary (safety), refugee (a person who had to leave their country to be safe).
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