First Football Pitch Inaugurated
Excitement was palpable amid the children and adults alike as the very first football pitch was to be inaugurated by a real celebrity. Indeed, former UK footballer Kevin Joseph Campbell was present at Harsham Camp in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan for this historic event. Kevin’s participation and heartfelt compassion shined through to all present at this event. He knows all too well how football changes lives.
Image 1 Kevin Joseph Campbell with refugee children during his tour through the Harsham camp in Erbil, prior to the inauguration of the football pitch. Thomas Campbell, first person from right, from Manchester was in Kurdistan supporting the BHHF’s cause in bringing hope to refugee children to believe in the future
Kevin explains the competitive nature of football as well as the collaboration needed to perform within the context of group dynamics to become a “real” team has HUGE positive long-term implications for self-esteem. Kevin’s presence brought children together so they could look to a future uncomplicated by war and the struggle to simply survive.
Image 2 Kevin with a team of refgees in Harsham camp in Erbil.
Football, a game that requires hard work, dedication, concentration and yes, teamwork also results in joy, happiness, friendship and collaboration. Working towards a common goal provides a competitive spirit that translates to life skills and stimulates forward thinking to create in these children the ideas of possibility. What is life without possibility states Kevin, hope is what this is all about, expending energy on something positive makes it worth the time it takes, because life can get better and better.
Image 3 Medals were awarded by Kevin to the players of the winning team
Bring Hope Humanitarian Foundation’s Football Initiative requires training refugee children to create international football academies. Harsham Camp’s football pitch inauguration is the first in a proposed expansion involving all 50 camps in Iraqi Kurdistan. Kevin plans a return visit to build the initial football team here at Harsham Camp, he hopes this builds hope for the refugee children, still there are challenges ahead.
Kevin states, “football kits, artificial grass…heck everything football is needed, wouldn’t it be wonderful if teams had uniforms and supplies needed to create the dream.”
Image 4 Left: Kevin distributed clothing, shoes, toys, and shampoo to the refugees in Harsham camp. Right: Kevin visited Khazer camp in Mosul province, another newly opened camp, for the displaced people of Mosul.