Peace and Sport, the politically neutral organization which promotes sport as a tool for peace, recently went to the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan to launch the “Live Together” program. They are working in partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), NGOs working in the camp and with support from the National Olympic Committee of Jordan and the symbolic involvement of AS Monaco.
In 2017, Peace and Sport became a UNHCR partner to increase the quality and quantity of sporting activities in refugee camps around the world. For refugee children, sport can play a restorative role, benefitting educational, social and developmental needs.
As part of the agreement, Peace and Sport officially launched the ‘Live Together’ pilot project in the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan. It is the first field program bringing together the world of sport (International Federations, National Federations and the National Olympic Committee of Jordan) and the world of peace (NGOs and UNHCR).
For the launch, Peace and Sport brought in the International Table Tennis Federation, a partner federation since 2009 and the first international federation to participate in the program. The two entities met with NGOs working in Zaatari and began to establish table tennis programs in the camp. This event also enabled Peace and Sport to pave the way for other international federations to get involved.
On this occasion, Peace and Sport also delivered a message of solidarity from the AS Monaco football club, which donated several banners to improve certain sports facilities. These banners, illustrating the famous Louis II Stadium, will allow girls and women to have additional covered facilities for practicing sports.
During the visit, Peace and Sport also met with the ‘Korea Refugee Project’, winner of the Peace and Sport prize in 2016. This organization runs Taekwondo programs to improve the lives of young refugees in Zaatari. They were awarded a certificate for their work in promoting peace through sport.
“The strength of the Live Together program lies in its ability to connect all stakeholders. This is the first time that several international federations will work side by side for social development. In addition, NGOs and federations will share their expertise and collaborate for the benefit of refugees,” said Iris Vlachoutsicos, Peace and Sport’s Director of International Relations and Programs.
The Zaatari refugee camp was established in 2012 to house Syrians fleeing violence in their country. It is gradually transforming into a permanent community. It is the largest Syrian refugee camp. It has become one of the largest cities in Jordan with more than 80,000 inhabitants. Through the Peace and Sport ‘Live Together’ program, international federations will provide seminars for coaches and training sessions for children in cooperation with existing NGOs. National Federations and the Jordan Olympic Committee will play important roles in this program.