Hussein, Lebanon

“Spirit of Soccer completely changed my ideas. I now see how football makes the children really eager to pay attention to the safety messages.”

Hussein Ghandour is a landmine survivor who has been engaged in Mine Risk Education for many years in his native Lebanon. He is also a huge football fan and plays on a Landmine Survivors team, and was one of the prospective coaches who attended Spirit of Soccer’s first coach selection program at the University of Balamand in Tyr in May 2014.

“As a matter of fact, I expected the workshop training would be a failure” he recalls. “Nothing in my experience led me to connect football to Mine Risk Education.”

“After taking part in the Spirit of Soccer training, my ideas were completely changed” says Hussein. “I noticed how well-organized football sessions, which the children enjoyed so much, made them eager to sit and listen to the MRE messages.”

“My expectations now for Spirit of Soccer in Lebanon are very positive. This approach is very creative, innovative and encouraging. Any time I am needed to help Spirit of Soccer deliver these messages, I am ready and willing to assist”.

In 2014, Hussein and the rest of Spirit of Soccer’s coaching team in Lebanon reached almost 10,000 children with mine risk education programming.