French short doc explores the benefits of football at the Zaatari refugee camp13 January 2014


The documentary ‘À Zaatari, le foot comme lueur d’espoir’ (Football for hope at Zaatari), produced by the French newspaper L’Équipe, follows the work of the former French-Algerian professional footballer Éric Delétang in training future coaches at the camp.

The three months programme, organised by the Asian Football Development Project and certified by UEFA, provides the refugees with a diploma in coaching to enable them to train the youth at the camp and with a new career prospect for the future.

A refugee participating in the course said: “I cannot ever forget what is happening in Syria, and I will never forget the massacres, but when I play football and during the time I am training to be a coach, those pictures don’t cross my mind”.

A similar programme was also developed to give both women and girls the opportunity to practice the sport and develop their coaching skills.

The documentary also follows the work of the trainees in teaching football to kids at Zaatari.

Kilian Kleinschmidt, Coordinator of the camp, recognises that the football programmes have helped children at Zaatari change their behaviours when interacting with others.

The documentary can be seen in five small episodes or in an extended version.