Azraq Refugee Camp – project kicks-off
The Azraq Refugee camp located 90 km south of the Jordan-Syria border, 100 km east of Amman lies on a 15 km stretch of rocky desert sand. Split between 5 villages, this temporarily encampment currently hosts around 36.000 refugees in rows of white cabins.
Drawing from our experience in the Za’atari Refugee camp, we witnessed the need for relief activities for the youth in the camp. Here, at the Azraq Refugee camp we will offer Table Tennis for relief by running regular classes to all refugees. We chose to focus on sessions for persons with disabilities as studies highlight a lack of access to activities for persons with disabilities, the main limiting factors identified: distance and physical access.
With the support of the Agitos Foundation and a partnership with the World Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation we are able to launch this new initiative with the aim to offer an accessible, inclusive activity to refugees in the camp.
For this first trip, we brought equipment, balls, racquets and tables. Together with our Jordanian coach, we visited local NGOs, communities and facilities to ensure he is ready to run weekly sessions starting next week. We know refugees in the camp eagerly await the start of the programme as many of them have been playing ping pong in the Care community centres, we now hope this will grow into an inclusive activity, providing relief and fun for all.
"We came to get an understanding of the setting, functioning of the camp and establish the base for it to start the project. I´m happy that Youssef, one of our extremely qualified Jordanian coaches, came with us, as he will be the one running sessions twice a week. Our idea is to offer a fun activity accessible for all, if you think of a fun sport festival, that is the image we are going for. We decided to focus from the beginning on targeting persons with disabilities in order to identify and provide solutions to the challenges faced in terms of access to activities. We want to offer Table Tennis as a part of their daily life, a fun part of it." Karine Teow, ITTF Foundation Field Programmes Manager
Solidarity through Table Tennis – another project takes off.