UNRWA promotes sports activities for young girls in Gaza

29 September 2017
Students from Al-Bureij Preparatory Girls School B during a basketball training session, organized as part of UNRWA ‘Empowering Young Girls through Sport’ initiative implemented by the UNRWA Relief and Social Services Programme in a number of UNRWA schools across the Gaza Strip. © 2017 UNRWA Photo by Khalil Adwan

Aiming to promote social activity for young Palestine refugee girls and to provide them with an opportunity to practice sports, the UNRWA Relief and Social Services Programme launched the ‘Empowering Young Girls through Sport’ initiative. The initiative is implemented in a number of UNRWA schools across Gaza targeting 48 young girls who are receiving training by professional trainers provided by Youth Activity Centres.

The sport’s initiative started in August and is expected to end in December 2017 with a basketball competition. The initiative is part of UNRWA ongoing efforts to encourage girls’ engagement in social activities and build their self-confidence through sport. 

“Besides the fact that sport training is very important for the school achievement, it also gave me an opportunity to network with new friends, and with the help of my sport trainer I am making my first steps to be a professional basketball player,” said Alaa Amoum, a 13-year-old student from Al-Bureij Preparatory Girls School B.

The initiative is implemented in partnership with the UNRWA Education Programme, Women’s Programme Centres and Youth  Centres.

With a lack of extracurricular sports activities and a dismissive societal outlook on females in sport, many girls might lose the opportunity to practice sport, but with encouragement from the UNRWA Education Programme, the young girls at schools had the chance and the space to practice different sports activities.

Over the school year, UNRWA supports different physical and sports projects, through which children can access recreational activities and get a chance to step away from the hardships of living in the small coastal enclave, which has been under blockade for more than 10 years.