UNHCR Armenia, jointly with the UN Family in Armenia and the Football Federation of Armenia, contributed to the successful realisation of the FIFA Foundation’s Campus Programme, an innovative global initiative granting girls and boys from different backgrounds and countries an opportunity to play football, learn and make friends in a safe and coherent environment.
Armenia was selected as the first country to host the week-long Campus programme: around 100 children from Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh came together over the topic of football, the most popular team game on the globe, a beloved hobby or a cherished potential career for many. Campus was exactly that minutely designed platform for multiculturalism that granted the children with new skills and techniques, wired them up for new friendships, teamwork and collaboration. The children had the advantage to be trained by professional FIFA coaches, including a legendary footballer, Youri Djorkaeff, CEO of FIFA Foundation, champion of Europe and World champion with France.
UNHCR was part of the Campus initiative contributing with a social interactive event: an awareness-raising session for the participants, including a group of children displaced from Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia. The participating children got to know about UNHCR, its global mandate of protection and integration of refugees, learnt about the power of football as a team game promoting solidarity and cooperation, and refugees’ inclusion in their host communities. During the session, the children also learnt about some prominent refugees who made an impact in the development of the humanity, among them scientists, sportsmen, artists, actors and musicians, as well as about Alphonso Davies, defender at Bayern Munich, born in a refugee camp in Ghana and living in Canada, the newly elected Goodwill Ambassador of UNHCR. The children were keen to learn more, were asking questions and engaging in quizzes and games.
At the end of the event, the children received UNHCR gifts: Einstein T-shirts with the message “What if the world had turned its back on Einstein?”, and hats, and had group photos as a remembrance of that wonderful day with UNHCR.