UNICEF: Sport and Humanitarian Assistance Project (SAHA)

The Sports and Humanitarian Assistance (SAHA) project is a pilot project which aimed at ensuring that vulnerable boys, girls, and women are protected from violence, exploitation, abuse and neglect, as well as Gender Based Violence (GBV) through playing football and through a life skills program. The project involved Lebanese, Syrian, and Palestinian children aged 11-18 years and youth leaders aged between 18-25 years. It took place in Mount Lebanon, Tripoli, Akkar, Saida, and Tyre. SAHA was implemented by UNICEF, War Child Holland (WCH), Right to Play Lebanon, and the Dutch Football Federation KNVB. The objective of SAHA was to bring children from different nationalities together to help ease the tensions between them and ensure social cohesion. Football was used as a tool to develop their social skills as well as their talent. UNICEF commissioned InfoPro to hold focus group (FG) discussions with the program’s participants, the youth coaching them, and the children’s parents. The aim of the focus groups was to better understand the needs of the Syrian refugees and host communities in Lebanon to whom it is providing assistance and to monitor improvements in the social cohesion amongst adolescents and youth. In order to assess the above, InfoPro conducted 18 focus groups prior to the SAHA project and an additional 18 focus groups once the project came to an end.