Healing through sports.
When the Allied Forces together with the Syrian Democratic Forces pounded the last territorial stronghold of ISIS in Al Baghuz Fawkani, in early 2019, Yezidi children and teens who had been forcibly conscripted into the machinery of the Caliphate were found under the rubble of the city, or hundreds of kilometers away in the desert, having been led their by their captors.
Within a short period of time these Yezidi children and teens found their way through our doors. Hardened soldiers who had lived and fought in the desert for five years, we realised that these were not kids who would engage in study of any kind, having endured enforced Islamic studies and brainwashing. These were outdoors kids, used to being active and on the move all day and night. They needed a full time sports and exercise programme.
The solution was to build a playground, complete with outdoor exercise equipment, a football field, volleyball field and track facilities. A sports coach was hired to facilitate their gradual return to childhood, adolescence and community life.
This of course has grown to facilitate many sport events for the displaced tent population , inside Shariya Camp. Teams of SOHF football and volleyball players, both male and female, regularly compete in local and national championships both hosted by SOHF and in neighbouring sports facilities.
Since opening the Hope United sports complex in mid 2019, 275 students have participated in sports training, and 155 in championships.
Our current goal is to build an onsite indoor gym for our students, both male and female.