"Our strength" is in our differences

Egyptians, Syrians and Sudanese united by football love

Dalia Younis
Egyptians, Syrians and Sudanese united by football love
UNICEF/Egypt 2018/Bee Media

25 June 2018

Within the framework of “Strengthening protection and psychosocial support for children and their families” project supported by UNICEF and Terre des hommes and funded by The Italian Agency for Cooperation and Development, “Makani” Center (one of the centers located at the 6th of October city where the project is being implemented) is presenting an innovative idea under the name of “Our strength” to provide ​​psychosocial support for refugee children through sports.

Every week, 200 Syrian and Sudanese children meet with their Egyptian counterparts in a unique league that brings them together in multi-national teams.

As part of the celebration of the International Father's Day, which coincided this year with the month of Ramadan and the preparations for the World Cup, UNICEF Egypt attended one of “Our strength" matches in the Ramadan league and the touching moments of fathers while cheering and supporting their sons.

Egyptians, Syrians and Sudanese united by football love
UNICEF/Egypt 2018/Bee Media
Captain Hozaima (a Syrian national) is the coach of the different teams. He is also the father of four children who love football and participate in the league, from the oldest to the youngest!.
Egyptians, Syrians and Sudanese united by football love
UNICEF/Egypt 2018/Bee Media
From one game to another, facilitators try to redistribute children in different lineups to help them make more friends and acquire different skills.

                    

Egyptians, Syrians and Sudanese united by football love
UNICEF/Egypt 2018/Bee Media
Although many fathers are originally football fans, others come specially to encourage and support their children. For some, coming to cheer for the children on this day was their first time ever to attend a match!
Egyptians, Syrians and Sudanese united by football love
UNICEF/Egypt 2018/Bee Media
The matches are a great opportunity not only for Egyptian and the refugee children, but also for their families. Egyptian, Sudanese and Syrian parents sit side by side to cheer for their children playing in the same team.