Football Workshop Looks to ‘bring normality back to Zaatari children’

Thursday 11 July 2013


In an effort to help children at Zaatari Refugee Camp let off some steam, Save the Children and the Brazilian embassy in Amman in partnership with KIA Motors and the Brazil Soccer Academy are holding a three-day football workshop at the camp later this month. A joint press conference earlier this week announced that a group of professional Brazilian coaches who initiated the project will volunteer at Zaatari camp to teach 80 children and 20 coaches on how to improve their football skills. By including Syrian coaches in the workshop, the project ensures long-term sustainability.

“We have to move from the battleground to the playground,” added Tamer Kirolos, Save the Children's Country Director in Jordan, who believes that sport is one of the easiest languages.

“It can become an important tool to prevent violence and demonstrate to the boys who participate that life is more than violence and wars.” 


For José Antonio Mostacato, coach coordinator for the project, this is a personal issue. He said that football helped him step out of the miserable situation of living in Brazilian favelas or slums.

“Football changed my life,” he told reporters at the press conference, adding that “the biggest stars came out of the worst situations”.

“If I did not start to play football, I don’t know what would have happened to me,” Mostacato said, noting that the sport teaches values like respect, teamwork and how to deal with a difficult situation.

“I want to show them: Look at me. I have been in the same situation and now I am here to teach you. This can be your way, too.”

Football does not have to be life transforming to be more than a sport, according to the partners involved in this project.

Brazilian Ambassador to Jordan, Renate Stille said the workshop will be an “opportunity to bring back normality to these children.”