¶ 1 Leave a comment on Absatz 1 0 Since February 2018, Spirit of Football (SoF), with the support of the Germany Foreign Office, has run 24 workshop days in the Azraq Syrian Refugee Camp and so far 15 SoF team members have led those workshops. Each and every time we have been made aware of the great privilege it is for us to do what we love to do in this, to us, most touching of places. The people of the Azraq Camp time and time again impress us with their humbleness and humanity. Each time we leave feeling fulfilled with a sense of the importance of our work and the sadness to be leaving our friends. We believe that we help to make positive changes in the lives of the participants. Never in the 14-year history of SoF have there been participants so eager to learn. Our fair-play rules are treated like a philosophy of hope, giving them strength through joy under the most challenging of circumstances.
¶ 2 Leave a comment on Absatz 2 0 Our last two project days in this 10-day Jordan visit were spent in the Azraq Camp with 26 eager participants (men and women in equal numbers). The two days are however just not enough time, especially because of a policy that severely restricts the time partner organisations can be in the camp. The SoF Team was transported to the camp from Amman (1.5 hours) by our partner organisation, the Danish Refugee Council (DRC). We arrived at the camp gate and, as expected, entry into the camp was not easy. This time a police officer decided he would accompany us and observe our work first hand. Eventually the workshop was able to begin at just after 10am. We were informed that we had to be out of the camp by 3pm, meaning that the workshop needed to be concluded by 2:30pm – not optimal for effective work. Adding to that, we didn’t know if we had an indoor venue available (important when you are working in the restrictive summer heat in the desert!) nor how many participants we would have or even if the participants had previously had a SoF workshop.
- ¶ 3 Leave a comment on Absatz 3 0
- On Day 1 we ran a fair play football session outside in the hot sun, where men and women played together (something that is very rare in the part of the world).
- On Day 2 we focused on our psycho-social method of „Where do you play?“ which transfers football positions into personality types with their respective traits.
Participants then drew papers and used these positions and their associated characteristics in short theatre scenes, which were deep, powerful and extremely funny.
¶ 4 Leave a comment on Absatz 4 0 In the end, we hatched a deal: the participants, who also ended up including our bus-driver and the CARE Community Centre caretaker, will take their SoF handbooks and look to use the methods in their work and family life. We will lobby the DRC to work with them again in December. As we departed the camp, exhausted from our efforts but with a strong feeling of satisfaction, there was one last surprise in store for us: we found out that Mohammed, one of our former participants and one of the most talented artists in the camp, was leaving in two days time to head back to Syria. We decided to purchase his last remaining artwork for two reasons. Firstly, it is a beautiful work with huge emotional value to our team and will soon hang in the SoF community room in the Marktstraße 6 in Erfurt. And secondly, the modest sum of money will go directly to support him and his family resettling back in his homeland Syria (where the money will go a long way), that he had missed so desperately. We wish Mohammed all the very best for his future!
¶ 5 Leave a comment on Absatz 5 0 We hope to be reunited with our participants again in December, to continue their training, and we leave Azraq and Jordan enriched by so many impressions and experiences, empowered by these, the wonderful people of Azraq.