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Generation Amazing: Giving hope to those who need it most

Generation Amazing is helping to show there is light at the end of a dark tunnel for thousands of Afghans who were recently evacuated to Qatar. Since August, the FIFA World Cup™ legacy programme has taken the lead in organising daily activities for many hundreds of refugees, including football coaching, language courses and more – helping participants learn key life skills such as leadership, along with the importance of diversity, equality and teamwork.

Sayed Jalal Hussaini was one of more than 70,000 Afghans recently evacuated to Qatar after the country worked closely with a number of international partners. The 23-year-old was devastated to leave his home country, where he was a professional footballer in the Afghan Premier League.

A promising midfielder who played for Afghanistan’s U19s team, Hussaini said he felt hopeless after leaving Kabul without his family. However, thanks to regular Generation Amazing training sessions, he is learning important skills and starting to set new life goals.

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“The situation is very difficult because we are away from our home country,” said Hussaini, who played for leading Afghan clubs Oqaban Hindukush and Shaheen Asmayee. “We have had to leave our families and hobbies behind. It is really hard.”

One of Hussaini’s salvations, however, is football. He recently attended a coaching course organised by Generation Amazing which helped him learn how to teach both football and life skills to children from disadvantaged communities.

Hussaini, who graduated from Kabul University with a fine arts degree, said: “We have learned a lot – especially when it comes to working with children in difficult situations. One of the important things we learned was to find out details about each child – is he or she in a peaceful situation at home and what can we do to help. We learned how to deal with children in need.”

He continued: “What I have learned here is new ideas and I hope they will help me wherever I live next. I would like to help children in future – just like here in Qatar.”

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Though his future is in flux, Hussaini is beginning to feel more hopeful.

“We are very thankful to Qatar. The situation was really bad [in Kabul]. Everything has changed a lot in Afghanistan – and that has made a huge difference to our dreams and hopes for the future. My main focus now is finding hope. I am hoping I will be able to play football wherever I live next and continue my coaching.”

Generation Amazing Master Coach, Hamad Abdulaziz, said his ambition was for participants like Hussaini to pass on the knowledge they have gained.  

“Our goal is sustainability,” he said. “We want to offer football to as many people as possible because it’s a sport that can help everyone. The coaches we train will be able to train the coaches of the future and pass on the skills they have learned. If just one person passes on their knowledge, it will leave the legacy Generation Amazing strives for.”

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He continued: “The refugees are going through a period of transition and we hope our work will help them adapt to new communities. I am very proud and honoured to train these people and help them at a time of need.”

In addition to football coaching, Generation Amazing has organised English language classes for the refugees, along with sessions dedicated to arts and crafts, music and sport. It also operates a daily nursery and delivers reading programmes in collaboration with Maktaba Children’s Library.

Moza Al Mohannadi, Generation Amazing’s Marketing & Communications Director, said: “We are very proud to support the refugees. It feels great to know that our programmes are welcomed. We have helped the refugees learn new skills from various activities. Our football for development programmes, in particular, are helping people learn skills which will last a lifetime.”

Al Mohannadi said Generation Amazing was proud to highlight the power of football.

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“Yet again, we are showing that football unites people. Helping the Afghan people has touched us all in so many ways. It has been very valuable – and also extremely challenging. We have learned a lot and will take confidence from this to deal with similar situations in future.”

Generation Amazing is a football for development CSR initiative which was launched during Qatar’s bid to host the FIFA World Cup™. It has positively impacted more than 750,000 people from disadvantaged communities over the past decade. Follow GA4Good on social media for the latest updates.