UNICEF Egypt Sponsors Football Tournament
In an exhilarating event, UNICEF Egypt partnered with several local NGOs to host a football tournament involving 250 children from different nationalities.
6TH of October City, 24November 2018 - In an exhilarating event, UNICEF Egypt partnered with several local NGOs to host a football tournament where 250 children from different nationalities participated. The tournament is one of many events sponsored by UNICEF Egypt and its partners to mark the World Children’s day.
“Football is my dream, and I hope one day I will grow up to become like one of those famous players of today. I like it here very much, I’m so happy to play football with my friends from other countries, and I wish one day I can make a family here after I lost my father and mother back home,” said Emanuel Tamim, a 17-year-old boy from South Sudan.
The tournament was not only limited to children refugees, but also some under privileged and socially-marginalized Egyptian children took part in this big event.
“I came all the way from Damietta today to take part in this tournament, and I’m very happy to see players from different nationalities. I’ll do my best on the pitch to make my teammates proud,” said Zayed el Fayoumi, a 15-year-old Egyptian who joined the program two years ago.
This tournament drew attention to children's rights, particularly the right to education and the psychological wellbeing of the child.
“At first when I came here, I was very shy and an introvert, but when I participated in such events I started to feel part of this society. Today on the playground, we all speak one language which is football,” said Mohamed Yehia, a 15-year-old-Syrian boy who fled his country alongside his family 7 years ago due to the unrest.
“UNICEF considers sport as an important mean to promote peaceful coexistence and psychosocial wellbeing of children and young people, especially the most vulnerable,” said Elisa Calpona, Child Protection Specialist responsible for children on the move at UNICEF Egypt.
This football tournament also promoted sports as a tool for integrating and assisting socially-excluded children.
The matches were played concurrently on three different courts, one of was dedicated for girls at various age groups. The other two courts were used by boys aged between 12-18 years.
Also, the tournament was organized on an “all the children are winners” basis to encourage all the children regardless of their victory or loss.
Through this and other initiatives, UNICEF Egypt will continue to encourage civil society to act in the best interest of children from all walks.