Social cohesion through sport in Jordan
An article shared from the 'Search for Common Ground' (SFCG) website
Five years since the beginning of the Syrian Civil War, the number of registered Syrian refugees in Jordan has surpassed 600,000. Most of them have settled in the northern governorates, where economic competition and the perception of uneven assistance from international donors is raising tensions between them and the Jordanian host communities.
Children and youth are particularly likely to suffer the consequences of these tensions, especially because the education system evolved in a way that reinforces differences. Many schools established different schooling hours for Syrian and Jordanian children, preventing the two groups from interacting and increasing mutual mistrust. In addition, the time spent in class is often reduced, and secondary subjects that encourage creativity and self-expression, such as arts and physical education, are frequently being cut.
To address these challenges to social cohesion, we launched a project called Empowering Girls while Building Social Cohesion through Physical Education and Sports. This initiative started in August 2015, in partnership with the Asian Football Development Project and the Jordanian Football Association, and with support of UN Women and funding from the governments of Italy and Finland. The project’s goal is to empower Syrian and Jordanian girls to work collaboratively with one another, using soccer and other sports as a way to build relationships.
End violent conflict. It’s our purpose — our call to action.
Instead of tearing down an existing world, we focus on constructing a new one. We do this through a type of peacebuilding called conflict transformation. Meaning: we look to change the everyday interactions between groups of people in conflict, so they can work together to build up their community, choosing joint problem-solving over violence.
Our mission is to transform the way the world deals with conflict, away from adversarial approaches, toward cooperative solutions.
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