Street Sports Improve Mutual Understanding Between Young Syrians and Lebanese
Young Lebanese and Syrians are working together to arrange weekly sports activities for Syrian and Lebanese children in Lebanon. At the same time, they are teaching children about democracy, conflict management and gender equality.
GAME is a non-profit organisation working to spread street sports and street culture.
The war in Syria has put tremendous pressure on Lebanon, where more than one million Syrian refugees have sought refuge.
200,000 children of school age are not able to go to school and discrepancies between Lebanese and Syrians are becoming more pronounced.
‘We can no longer wait for the government to take responsibility. As a part of civil society we have a responsibility to help all the Syrians who are in Lebanon’, says Ibrahim Hourani, chairperson in GAME in Lebanon, explaining why the project has been launched.
The project involves 150 young Syrians and Lebanese who are participating in workshops to become trainers who will reach 5,000 children in Lebanon.
On the field, the trainers will use both exercises and games that indirectly train children in conflict management, gender equality and democratic decision-making.
The trainers learn how to include everybody and how to help children speak their mind when they experience something unfair, whether it is on the field or in society.
Off the field, the whole organisation of the young trainers takes place in a democratic way.
Children flock to join
There is an urgent need to activate children. Already at the first training session in Shatila, one of the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon that also accommodates a lot of Syrians, 170 children showed up to join.
The first 50 young people have been trained as trainers and now teach children about basketball, football and dancing in Lebanon on a weekly basis, where the Syrian and Lebanese children get closer to each other. As Ibrahim Hourani says:
‘It is important that the Lebanese children gain an understanding of the Syrian children’s situation’.