In February 2019, hummel was introduced to the non-profit organization KickStart Joy from New York. KickStart Joy’s mission is to bring joy and laughter to the children and letting football be a way for them to forget about their situation - even just for a short period of time.
The GIRLPOWER x KICKSTART JOY x hummel JORDAN PROJECT
At this very moment more than 115.000 Syrian refugees are living under harsh conditions in large camps in Jordan. For the thousands of children living in the camps, the daily life is characterized by fear and uncertainty.
KickStart Joy organizes soccer practice for children in the larger Jordanian refugee camps, and they reached out to hummel to talk about the possibility of working together for their upcoming training camps in August.
Mehdi Ballouchy, the founder of KickStart Joy and former professional soccer player in the American Major League Soccer explains: “I first got the idea of running soccer programs in refugee camps during my last year playing for Major League Soccer. There was a lot going on at that time with Syria. I knew I wanted to help. I wanted to stick to what I know best – soccer – and there were a lot of kids in these refugee camps. The most popular sport in Syria is soccer, so I knew soccer would bring a lot of joy to these kids and help them escape their situation - even if its only for the 90 minutes a match last”.
Football has only one language and it is love & unity. Especially here, were we're only able to communicate with each other through the love and excitement of the game
THE PERFECT TIMING
KickStart Joy reached out at the perfect time, since we were in the middle of planning activities with Afghan Khalida Popal and her organization GirlPower, an organization we have been supporting through a number of years.
Khalida and GirlPower’s mission is completely in line with both KickStart Joy and hummel’s Company Karma philosophy and uses sport as a way to make a positive change in the world. GirlPower has a special focus on empowering women and girls from different social and cultural backgrounds, which made the project in Jordan highly relevant since the Syrian girls are a very vulnerable and exposed group.
We saw this as the perfect opportunity for GirlPower and hummel to become a part of the project in Jordan. So, hummel said yes. And the same did Khalida Popal and GirlPower - without hesitation.
Over four days, more than 100 girls had the opportunity to play football for the first time as a group, while some had their first experience ever playing football. Meeting for 10 hours each day, the coaches were able to train multiple groups of youngsters ranging from 10 to 16-years-old.