SAHA (Sports and Humanitarian Assistance)

Harnessing the power of football to bring children and youth from Lebanon's different communities together.

The power of football

Football brings the world together - and War Child has teamed up with Right To Play and Dutch football association the KNVB to harness its unifying power. Our new Sports and Humanitarian Assistance (SAHA 2) project works to develop the leadership skills of young people in Lebanon to bring different communities closer together.

Lebanon has seen its population increase by nearly a third over the past seven years with the arrival of more than one million Syrian refugees. Tension between host communities and refugees is high - limiting life chances for all youth in Lebanon. Jobs are scarce and young people struggle to find a place in society.

Developing the skills of a new generation

The SAHA 2 Sports and Humanitarian Assistance project is designed to address these issues. The project sees War Child work in partnership with Right To Play and the KNVB to develop the leadership skills of a new generation of youth in Lebanon. This efforts will promote community cohesion.

Football and sporting activities play a key role in the project. Some 300 local youth leaders will receive training in football coaching from qualified KNVB coaches. These participants will organise sporting tournaments and activities for some 3,500 children from all communities across Lebanon - more than 40 per cent of whom will be girls.

How we use football to unite young people in Lebanon

Local youth committees

These sporting activities will develop the talents of the participating youth - and serve to bring different communities closer together. Young people’s talents will be further developed through life skills sessions organised by War Child and Right To Play. All children and youth will receive training to develop their leadership skills - and 80 participating volunteers will be encouraged to form local Youth Committees. These committees will develop and roll out initiatives to improve their communities.

Voetballende jongens in Libanon_SAHA War Child

Building resilience through football

Photo: War Child

Meisjes in Libanon spelen voetbal en komen dichterbij elkaar - War Child SAHA-project

Not just for boys: more than 40% of our participants are girls

Photo: War Child

Promoting local unity and peace

All of these activities will be supplemented with efforts to secure the support of the wider community. Youth leaders will give presentations on child protection issues to community leaders. Parents and caregivers will be supported to take part in local child protection initiatives. And ‘Safe Spaces’ will be created where children and youth can learn and play to the fullest extent.

This new project represents the second phase of the Sports and Humanitarian Assistance initiative funded by the Dutch government. Project outcomes will be closely monitored to ensure effectiveness and uphold the ongoing sustainability of all project activities. All of these efforts will promote peace and bring the various communities in Lebanon - including Syrian and Palestinian refugee communities - together.

Because football unites us.

How football unites the various communities in Lebanon

Our SAHA partners:

Right To Play partner War Child

Right To Play

Right To Play is a global organization that uses the transformative power of play to educate and empower children facing adversity.

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World Coaches KNVB partner War Child

KNVB WorldCoaches

WorldCoaches trains football coaches in their own neighbourhood or village, so that they can act as trainers and role models in their own local communities.

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