Sporting helps kicking the challenges away

9 February 2022
ITC News

Kick4Trade engages Iraqi agripreneurs to impart life skills for sustainable livelihood.

“It was great to play a football game with rules changing every 5 minutes. With the team, we had to adapt to the change and find ways of succeeding in the new circumstances. Like in work or business, the world is always changing, and as entrepreneurs, we are able to adapt to survive and thrive as things change,” said Maha Al Tamimi, young participant.

“It is possible to have fun while learning new skills,” said Samer Saad who lead the football training and is also former Head coach of Iraq Futsal national team. “We had the chance to put adaptability into practice in a creative challenge and on the football pitch.”

In an action-packed day six young women and 13 young men participated in learning activities through football at the Sports City in Basra, Iraq.

This was an opportunity to learn about innovative ways of overcoming challenges with the help of sports. Young entrepreneurs and agri-preneurs went on the football pitch and took part in activities around adaptability.

“The participants shared their thoughts with each other on how best to adapt. Being opened to change and different ways of doing things, being willing to leave their comforts zones, accepting and listening to other people’s ideas and perspectives, responding creatively to new circumstances or composure and positivity to cope with changes and new challenges were some of the reflections shared by the group,” said Mr. Saad.

Alongside a broad range of interventions implemented under the “Strengthening the agriculture and agri-food value chain and improving trade policy in Iraq” (SAAVI) project, ITC's Sport for Development initiative aims to use sporting activities to foster the socio-economic inclusion and development of youth, and to support young people in developing skills that are essential for gaining and sustaining employment, as well as nurturing entrepreneurial skills.

In the coming months, this initiative will impart hundreds of youths with transferable life-skills to enhance their career paths, delivered in a hands-on and accessible way on the football pitch in Baghdad and Basra governorates.

The event was organized by the International Trade Centre (ITC) in collaboration with the Ministry of Youth and Sports, for the benefit of talented young Iraqi entrepreneurs, through the SAAVI project.

This 22.5 million EUR project, funded by the European Union, aims to contribute to inclusive growth and job creation for Iraqi citizens, particularly for youth. It seeks to enhance the competitiveness of Iraq’s agribusiness value chain, while improving the country’s trade policy. It is hoped that eventually, efforts to improve the competitiveness of the private sector will revitalize Iraq’s bid to join the World Trade Organization.