Entrepreneur helps disadvantaged children

A beneficiary of the Hajareen initiative kicks a ball in this undated photo. (Photo: Handout from Anas Ziyadneh)
AMMAN — Young business owner Anas Ziyadneh grew up in a rural area of Jordan. His passion for football has driven him to open a social organization that has provided football training to thousands of children living, like him, in rural areas.اضافة اعلان

“My story inspired the idea of the initiative as I lived in a rural area in Jordan where I was passionate about the game of football from my early years,” Ziyadneh said in an interview with Jordan News. “And I began to look for a place to channel my passion for football.”

“I turned to the street because there were no pitches in my area,” the founder recalled. “I painted myself a pitch by putting two stones on the ground as a goal post, and the neighborhood kids began to gather around me for a zealous atmosphere full of love and friendliness.”

However, his passion conflicted with the realities of his life in Jordan. “I had a deadly spherical talent compared to my peers, and because of the lack of mentors or anyone interested in talented kids in general, particularly in those rural areas, I decided to forget my dream of being a football player,” the 25-five-year-old football lover said.

“So, I went to the university to study engineering. Over the years, I remembered my childhood days and decided to complete the dream when I saw the glimmer of childhood in the eyes of the children who practiced football,” Ziyadneh said. “From here, the thought to create the Hajareen initiative and its slogan ‘From the Street to the Football Field’ came to be; to help these kids to play in safe areas like playgrounds, with proper sports equipment. We can then lead children in marginalized areas to their ambition of becoming professional football players.”

Ziyadneh’s educational initiative provides children from underprivileged communities with free weekly football training sessions. They use specific exercises to cultivate interpersonal skills such as self-confidence, teamwork, and decision-making skills.

“The first factor that helped me in entrepreneurial work is that I am a person that is not afraid of failure and I love trying many things, and I do as much as possible to go through all the difficulties,” he said. “Also, I used to promote the Hajareen initiative on social media sites. We got 15 sources of local and Arab coverage and because Hajareen is a community initiative.”

Through Hajareen, 3,500 boys and girls were trained in different regions of Jordan have received football training and over 3,450 have participated in festivals in schoolyards and playgrounds. Fifty of them have received professional training in football.

“I am fond of the Hajareen initiative, and I postponed semesters at the university so that the initiative does not stop,” said Ziyadneh. “When we started the initiative, it was (an) ... initiative (based on) my friends’ love of the sport, we did not wait for a material income.”

The initiative did run into some obstacles. “The difficulties we faced were financial (ones) because we used to book the football fields. We wanted to transport the children,” Ziyadneh said. “In the beginning, it was difficult, but my insistence on this initiative overcame this.”

“One of the difficulties is that no one believed in the idea,” he added. “Everyone said that ‘you were wasting your future on something that has no benefit,’ but with time they came to believe in the idea.”

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