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The Arsenal Foundation

Supporting our global community through COVID-19 

Before the world was placed into lockdown, our men’s first team called into Za’atari Refugee Camp, thousands of miles away in Jordan, to talk with Karam* and Hassan* from Coaching for Life. 

Click the 'Play' button above to see them quiz Nicolas Pepe on a new goal celebration, Rob Holding discuss the mental resilience he needed to come back from injury and Granit Xhaka share his parents’ refugee story. 

Combining the expertise of Arsenal and Save the Children, Coaching for Life is a unique football coaching model delivered in Za’atari Refugee Camp, Jordan and Jakarta, Indonesia which to date has supported more than 800 children affected by conflict and violence.

Using a co-created football-for-resilience model, we have trained 14 Syrian refugee coaches in Jordan and 27 local coaches in Jakarta to deliver weekly sessions that explore themes such as emotion and conflict management with the aim to improve children’s wellbeing and give them the best possible start in life. 

As with every facet of normal life, Coaching for Life has felt the impact of COVID-19, though there are currently no cases in Za’tari Refugee Camp, where 76,000 Syrians have been in lockdown since March 21. 

In Indonesia, the densely-populated Jakarta, where Coaching for Life runs, has been the epicentre of the outbreak. A nationwide lockdown has closed schools and limited transport. 

Although we have immediately suspended our football coaching sessions in these areas, we are doing everything we can to reach out and support the children who need us at this time. 

In Za’atari, 80 per cent of our participants have access to a smartphone and we have created virtual groups to share aspects of our football for resilience activities, keeping child advocacy sessions going and delivering child protection engagement sessions for caregivers.

We are also working with the Jordan Ministry of Education to create filmed activities encouraging children in isolation to keep active. Led by Arsenal coaches, the drills will be broadcast on national television in May 2020.

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Supporting our global community through COVID-19

In Jakarta, extreme poverty means our participants are less likely to own a smartphone or have access to the internet, so we are exploring radio-based remote delivery and session plans.

Across Jakarta and Jordan, we have updated the content of our sessions to link to the pandemic and help children make sense of their new realities. We continue to review and adapt activities based on the latest government guidelines.

Although our coaches are unable to deliver football sessions during this challenging period, our commitment - to keep these children protected and to support their mental, physical and social wellbeing - remains stronger than ever.

You too can play your part and support Coaching for Life by donating here

*names changed to protect identities
 

The Arsenal Foundation

Join us for Arsenal Together this Thursday!

Arsenal Together - USE THIS ONE

Join us for the largest-ever online gathering of Arsenal players, legends and supporters this Thursday at 7pm (UK time)!

 
'Arsenal Together', hosted by comedian Matt Lucas, will be streamed on Arsenal.com and the App, plus our YouTube and Facebook channels and promises to bring supporters an unparalleled line-up of stars and heroes who will reminisce about how they fell in love with the club and share stories of the players that left a lasting impression. 
 
As well as a guaranteed evening of entertainment, Arsenal Together will shine a light on the brilliant service of our key workers and aim to raise vital funds for The Arsenal Foundation’s work in the local community and around the world.
 
Sir Mo Farah, Dermot O’Leary, Tinie Tempah and Lethal Bizzle are amongst the eclectic line-up who will relive their greatest memories.
 
We will also hear from the players that created those special moments for so many. Ian Wright, David Seaman, Alex Scott, Lee Dixon and Martin Keown are all set to feature alongside Mikel Arteta, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Hector Bellerin and Leah Williamson.
 
There will be a number of surprises throughout the show, so be sure to be part of this biggest-ever gathering of the Arsenal family.
 
Arsenal Together kicks off at 7pm (UK) on Thursday, June 4 and is free to watch on our Facebook and YouTube channels.

If you want to make a contribution, you can donate here.

 

 

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