Sports to engage youth in Egypt
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young men in masks stand ready to train on a court while their coach holds a cap
Sports continues to be one of Terre des hommes' (Tdh) main methodologies in Egypt to enhance children and young people’s psychosocial wellbeing, empowerment and development.

The Sport for Protection curriculum incorporates the five pillars of well-being: safety, connection, worthiness, respect and hope. Further, the curriculum teaches leadership and life skills through a range of adaptable sports-and-movement based activities that suits the diverse interests of children and youth. The curriculum revolves around three main goals:

  • Child protection, which seeks to strengthen children’s protective environments and reduce their risk factors for abuse, neglect, exploitation, and violence.
  • Youth empowerment, which identifies and encourages the use of young people’s assets and potential, enabling them to lead activities with the support of their trusted communities.
  • Sport for development and peace, which provides an efficient way of promoting peace and cooperation across cultures and communities for better development realisations.

Sport and Arts for Protection

Tdh’s Sports and Arts for Protection project (SA4P) focuses on Egyptian and refugee children aged 10 – 17. The project organises football tournaments and weekly sports activities with awareness exercises and discussions, covering topics such as different types of abuse and how children and youth can protect themselves and report them.

In 2021, 257 children and youth participated in these activities, which improved their psychosocial resilience and feelings of connection, safety, respect, self-worth, and hopefulness.

"Mennan, my daughter, benefitted greatly from the sports activities and the group discussions they had. She learned so many new things, she became energetic, more joyful, social and most importantly, I can see that she is happier,” says Rasheeda, the mother of 12-year-old Mennan from Sudan.

The Sports and Arts for Protection project also works to enhance the technical and leadership skills of sports teachers in public and refugee community schools to ensure that they will be active contributors to creating environments that support children and youth through sports and arts activities.

In 2020, the project trained 19 staff from the Ministry of Education in Egypt including sports teachers, supervisors, community participation officers and educational directorate's officers. The trainings also included parents and local community leaders.

In 2021, a total of 200 individuals were trained. Inter-generational sports events were organised, where parents, teachers and community leaders participated with their children in sports activities. This enhanced the relationships and connection between children and their families and communities.

Community Empowerment and Mobilisation of Refugees

During a focus group discussion in 2020 with refugee youth and community groups on the topic of youth at risk, one of the important agreements was the need for conducting sports activities to encourage the engagement of these youth groups with the rest of the community.

The Community Empowerment and Mobilisation of Refugees in Egypt (CEP) began planning to empower the four youth groups through trainings on the sports for protection curriculum, as well as provide them with the resources to carry out the sports activities with the identified youth at risk.

Sports equipment is now being delivered to the groups, in addition to providing support in renting playgrounds and courts in the areas where these youth groups are located, so that they can implement sports activities after completing their training by the end of August. The trainings will enable the 24 participating youth leaders to enhance skills in designing, implementing and monitoring these sports-based protection activities.

“I think sports is very essential for growth. It can fill the emptiness some youth suffer from and not only that, it replaces it with good confidence and ambition. A society that cares about sports is a society that is healthy, aware and able to work towards a better future,” says Eslam, a 24-year-old participant from Sudan.

Sustainability of projects

All Tdh projects operate with sustainability in mind, which puts the empowerment of children, youth and their caretakers and communities first to ensure that the benefits of all activities organised continue to be impactful to them. This is why all sports activities are children and youth-led, through participatory planning exercises and trainings that enable youth to have the tools and skills to organise activities on their own with their peers and communities.

Youth and children are given leadership roles with the continuous support of their colleagues and trusted adults, in an environment that ensures that they feel safe, worthy, connected, respected, and hopeful for a positive future. This increased well-being and resilience will help them change themselves and their communities by applying behavioural changes to their lives.

Practising safe sports, acquiring key life skills, and assuming leadership opportunities can enable youth to be drivers of social cohesion, social inclusion, and emotional well-being in their communities. Tdh believes in the power of sports in improving the resilience of individuals and communities, which interchangeably inspire each other to the better.


Rana Ashraf is a Communication Officer at Terre des hommes in Egypt.


All sports
Sustainable Development Goals
4 – Quality education
Target Group

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