Yarmouk Youngsters Selected for Qatar 2022 South Africa Trip

17 May 2010

16 May 2010
Doha, Qatar

With focus on community, Qatar 2022 Bid Committee undertakes project in Syria to renovate football facilities and select youth ambassadors for 2010 FIFA World Cup Trip

The Qatar 2022 Bid Committee continued its ambitious “Generation Amazing” initiative by partnering with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) to renovate football facilities and launch football development community programmes for youngsters in Yarmouk Palestine refugee camp in Damascus, Syria. Yarmouk is home to the largest Palestinian refugee population in Syria. 

“Generation Amazing” is a major project that uses sport as a tool for positive social and community development. Targeting schools in developing countries, the initiative aims to improve the quality of life of underprivileged youth through the power of football. The bid committee has decided to build a football pitch in each host country and will focus on football development and leadership programmes for coaches, teachers and students, with the goal of cultivating a new generation of leaders and sustainable sport and social development.

As part of the capacity-building aspect of the programme, 45 trainees from UNRWA and the local community will receive hands-on intense training on administrative, technical and organisational components of team coaching. Cooperation with Right to Play will take place to leverage their proven curriculum of using sport as a social tool for development, education and community mobilisation. Right to Play staff will also oversee the delivery of the training programme. Approximately 400 local Palestinian and Syrian youth between the ages of 9 and 18 are expected to benefit from the programme which culminates in the formation of 20 football teams competing in a football tournament in September.

As an added bonus of rewarding the top students from each recipient country, the bid has organised a youth football tournament in four countries (Syria, Pakistan, Nepal and Lebanon) in order to select a total of 22 youth ambassadors to travel to the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa this summer. Earlier this month, 16 children were selected in Nepal and Pakistan, and three children from Syria were chosen following a football tournament this past weekend in Yarmouk camp.

Hassan Al Thawadi, CEO of Qatar 2022 Bid Committee, described the Syria initiative as an important project for the bid and the communities that the programme is designed to reach. “These children struggle each day living in difficult circumstances. We want to make an impact through football, creating a positive outlet for children and fostering sustainable community development in the camp.”

Al Thawadi emphasised that the project in Syria would not end with the World Cup trip. “Our goal is a lasting legacy – from constructing and refurbishing pitches that children can use to providing positive community outlets going forward, we will continue our efforts in Syria because they are integral to how we view the global game: not just a sport, but a means for life and passion.”

Roger Hearn, Director of UNRWA Affairs in Syria, has offered his full support to the initiative, saying that “any initiative that encourages physical activity, teamwork and the development of social skills amongst Palestine refugee youth is an initiative well worth supporting.”

The new pitch in Syria is designed to provide a quality, usable sports facility for children who at present have little or no opportunity to participate in athletic activity. It will be
available for use 24 hours a day, while previous facilities only could be used for a few hours per week.

Bid officials travelled to Syria to oversee the football tournament, and selected three exceptional Palestinian and Syrian children to be part of the exciting trip to the World Cup in South Africa this summer.


Contact: Christian Fianco
+974 566 9340
[email protected]


Background Information

UNRWA is confronted with an increased demand for services resulting from a growth in the number of registered Palestine refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been outpaced by the growth in needs. As a result, the UNRWA Programme Budget, which supports the delivery of core essential services, operates with a large shortfall. UNRWA encourages all Member States to work collectively to exert all possible efforts to fully fund the Agency’s Programme Budget. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large shortfalls, are funded through separate funding portals.

UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and mandated to provide assistance and protection to some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip achieve their full human development potential, pending a just and lasting solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, protection and microfinance.

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Two UNRWA students from Gaza enjoy recess in their first day of school. © 2017 UNRWA Photo by Rushdi Al-Saraj
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