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Goal Click Refugees

A refugee boy practising football in Jordan
Copyrights: Goal Click

Goal Click Refugees

Ahead of World Refugee Day, Goal Click and UNHCR are documenting the personal stories of refugees through the common language of football with a new photographic series.

Ahead of World Refugee Day (20 June), Goal Click and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, are launching a new photographic and text series, “Goal Click Refugees”. The unique series collaborates with refugees and asylum seekers around the world to document their personal stories and experiences through football in refugee settlements, urban situations, and playing among their host communities. 

Goal Click, the global football storytelling and photography project, gave each participant a disposable analogue camera to capture the realities of their football lives and communities. Intimate photos and unfiltered stories came back from camps in Jordan, Kenya and South Sudan to the playing fields of London and Sydney, offering a platform to unheard voices and highlighting the experiences of refugees through the common language of football. The series launch features more than 25 male and female refugees across five continents.

Below are extracts from some of the stories. For the full stories go to unhcr.org/goalclick. Follow Goal Click on Instagram or Twitter.

Austria – Kicken ohne Grenzen - Khadija Ahmadi

"At the first match we played with the men, some of the guys were still saying that we should stay at home. We talked to them and tried to show them that we belong here. Football doesn’t belong to men alone. It’s not a man thing. We can play it too if we want. A week later, the guys apologised. That was a good thing. Women can also play football well; it is just that men have been playing it for longer.

"Through football and my new friends, I’ve been able to find myself again. When I say that, people may think that it’s an easy thing to say. But in my case, it was different. I didn’t know the language; I didn't know anyone. It’s as if you are being born as a baby again. I think you can only understand it if you’ve experienced it yourself.”

Cameroon - Red Deporte – Yvan Bikambo

"Many of them are refugees coming from Central African Republic, because Cameroon and Central African Republic are neighbours, and they migrate and are in the majority especially in the East region. Most of the children know how to play football because they used to play in their home country. Most of the children do not share their experiences and usually we do not try to make them tell their history. Instead we work to bring them joy, peace and hope through our programme. Although I noticed that many of the refugee children, when they were asked to draw something from their country, they often drew soldiers and airplanes, especially the boys.

"Every boy dreams to be Samuel Eto’o, but even if they won´t be that, they enjoy the dreaming and the process of personal improvement, and the friendship that is built on the way to this dream.”

Jordan - Abdelrahman Hasan al Attar

“Kids from different families in my neighbourhood playing street football in the neighbourhood of Hashem Shemali, in East Amman. It's historically a refugee area and has more poverty than West Amman. Many have Palestinian heritage. Some of them are my cousins.

"Even without proper football pitches and regardless of the environment we can adapt and our love of football prevails! Football is easily accessible and you do not need a lot of equipment. The rules are simple and universal, everyone can agree. All people love football and Jordan has people who originally come from many different places. Even though they came to Jordan for different reasons, everyone loves football and can play together.”

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Tuesday, June 16, 2020 - 15:27