International Committee of the Red Cross

Afghanistan: Healing through football

Article 05 March 2018

In the ICRC rehabilitation centre in Kabul, football has become an integral part of physical, mental and social rehabilitation. It helps people to meet others who experience similar struggles, develop physical coordination and regain confidence.

Years of conflict, violence and desperate hardships have made life almost unbearable in Afghanistan. Landmines, once scattered across the country, have robbed thousands of their ability to do the most basic of things like being able to move around freely. While preventable childhood diseases, such as polio, have meant countless children face a daily struggle to simply be able to walk.

Through our rehabilitation centre, we manufacture over 20,000 artificial legs, arms and other orthopaedic devices every year. Over 80,000 physiotherapy sessions take place annually.

Recently, the Futsal team had the chance to put their questions to Belgian professional footballer, Kevin De Bruyne.

Since 2008, players selected by the Team of the Year award have donated their award to the ICRC's rehabilitation centres in Afghanistan which is caring for around 162,000 patients.