Ibrahim, Obaida, Abdelkader and Mohammad show how Lebanese, Syrian and Palestinian children, teachers, and animators are playing an active role in effecting positive change in their communities through the Rainbow of Hope project.
Jordan has welcomed over a million Syrian refugees since the beginning of the neighboring conflict. In some instances, this rapid influx has led to tensions between refugees and host communities. As one way to address this while empowering girls at the same time, the project ‘Ana La’abah’ engaged 96 girls from Jordanian and Syrian backgrounds living in the north of Jordan in football training. The football training gave the girls new confidence, widened their social circle and allowed them to build lasting friendships across dividing lines.
Asala (15) had to say goodbye to her friends when she fled her home country Syria to come to Jordan. She felt isolated and lonely in her new school. Participating in the football training for the project ‘Ana La’abah’ helped her to connect and start making friends. Football doesn’t care who comes from where – in order to be successful, teams have to work together.
Military man Senjam Al-Heji is the proud father of Joud, a talented young football player. Although they faced prejudice and disapproval from people who believe football is not for girls, they persisted in perfecting Joud’s skills. Joud’s participation in the project ‘Ana La’abah’ allowed her to take her football practice out of the limitation of her home. It helped her to make new friends, visit different places and become more independent. She has big plans for the future.