by Rosie Thompson
A three-day workshop, organised by the Brazilian embassy in Amman  and Save the Children, concluded on Thursday after a group of 15 certified FIFA  coaches trained 80 children at the Zaatari Refugee Camp  on football.
“Football and activities like these bring that sense of normal livelihood back to the kids,” Mohammad Al Asmar, media and communications manager of Save the Children, told The Jordan Times on the sidelines of the event.
“It allows them to remember that they are still only children and they are allowed to play football,” Asmar noted.
“It’s a way for them to move forward and to rechannel their energy into positive ways, helping them overcome the violence, the aggressiveness, everything that these children have been through,” he added.
Born and raised in a favela in Rio de Janeiro, José Antonio Mostacato, coach coordinator for the project, said he was inspired to help the war- torn children after his own similar upbringing.
Mostacato told The Jordan Times that football allowed him to escape the Brazilian slum for a better life.
“Football provides a moment of hope and happiness and inspires you to want more out of life,” he said.
The workshop was also aimed at teaching the young Syrians the importance of leadership, discipline and teamwork.
“We brought professional coaches from Brazil to show the kids not only how to be a better player but how to communicate with your colleagues on and off the pitch,” Asmar said.
Alongside the workshop, 20 Syrian coaches were trained to ensure the project provided a long-term impact.
“We complemented this project by training Syrian volunteer coaches, so they can continue this style of coaching with the children,” Asmar added, noting that this will ensure sustainability.
A football workshop for 90 Jordanian orphans from Mabarrat Um Al Hussein and SOS Children Villages was also held within the project.