Lebanon – Football Club Social Alliance

11 September 2017

Lebanon – Football Club Social Alliance

Under the umbrella of the new global partnerships with UNHCR and the AFC Dream Asia Foundation, the FCSA educates young adults from both the host and refugee population in Lebanon. The focus of the Young Coach Education Programme is on social cohesion through football and the conveyance of life skills that help children form peaceful relationships with their peers and community members.

Last week, instructors from SV Werder Bremen, Bayer 04 Leverkusen and FC Basel 1893 travelled to Beirut to start the first module of the Young Coach Education Programme.

Over the next months, 40 young women and men will learn how to offer social football activities for children.

Young Coach Education Programme

Despite its own civil war lasting from 1975 to 1990, Lebanon has a long history of helping refugees displaced by wars and conflicts: Palestinians, Iraqis, Assyrians, Sudanese and, most recently, Syrians. But the welcome mat has started to wear thin. Since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011, Lebanon has taken in over one million people fleeing the conflict, quickly turning it into the country with the highest number of refugees per capita – that is to say: one in four.

The massive influx of people settling amongst the poorest communities puts a serious strain on Lebanon’s resources. The demand for water, energy, housing, education and health has gone beyond the country’s capacity, resulting in increased political and social tensions, especially between host communities and refugees. Since 2015, a new residency rule suspended new registrations of refugees, putting an additional burden onto them. It leaves many without a legal status, restricts their free movement and legal access to work, education and healthcare.
For children of both, the Lebanese and refugee population, these tensions are particularly harmful: They grow up in a changing world of increased insecurity and violence in their communities and raising hostile feelings towards other populations, which hinders their peaceful coexistence. Moreover, refugee children are likely to drop out of school, be forced into child labour and become more isolated. This current conflictual situation creates an urgent need for leisure programmes that not only promote social cohesion, but also give the children in affected communities a hopeful tomorrow.

Under the umbrella of the global partnerships with UNHCR and the AFC Dream Asia Foundation, and in cooperation with the local partners, Lebanese Football Association and UNHCR Lebanon, the FCSA aims to foster such programmes. Through the FCSA Young Coach Education Programme, young adults – from both the host and refugee population – are given the tools to deliver grassroots football and educational activities to 6-12-year olds. They will help the children develop and play in a safe and peaceful environment.

Football Club Social Alliance – Scort Foundation

The Scort Foundation is an operating organisation committed to the idea of a world where children can play sports despite difficult conditions, and have role models that inspire them. The main mandate of the Scort Foundation is the development and administration of the Football Club Social Alliance (FCSA). The foundation initiated this partnership of professional football clubs in 2007. As “first mover”, Scort created an innovative concept of how professional football clubs can get sustainably engaged in international development work.

For the programme implementation, Scort cooperates closely with both governmental and non-governmental organisations and takes advantage of a broad network of specialists in the fields of sport, development cooperation, economics, science, politics and communication.
With the experience on how to link professional football with development work, Scort sensitises and consults different stakeholders on Corporate Social Responsibility.

Among others, EFDN’s member SV Werder Bremen, Bayer 04 Leverkusen and FC Schalke 04 are part of the Scort Foundation, participating in projects all over the world.


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