Mifalot: Bringing hope for the future

Published 7:40 AM ET, Tue June 18, 2013
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Palestinian children play football in front of the Israeli security fence in the West Bank village of Abu Dis, on the outskirts of Jerusalem. Organizations such as Mifalot help bring Palestinian and Israeli kids together through the power of football. Ahmad Gharabli/AFP/Getty Images
Mifalot is a non-government organization in Israel which brings together children from all sections of society and provides education and training through football. Mifalot
Mifalot operates over 300 programs across the world working with Israelis and Palestinians as well as leading projects in Cameroon, Rwanda, Angola, Benin, Germany, India and Haiti. Mifalot
Mifalot works with local schools and youth clubs to provide facilities and finance for local children to get degrees in sports coaching and helps them find work after finishing their education. Mifalot
Children with mental and physical difficulties are given the care and support they need to succeed in sport. Several have gone on to become qualified coaches and lead sessions for the next set of kids coming through. Mifalot
The charity prides itself on integrating children, youth and young adults with special needs into wider society. Mifalot
Last January, Mifalot held its first joint Palestinian-Israeli tournament under the banner of "Neighbors United" -- a venture backed by the European Union Partnership for Peace Program. Five teams took part, with two of those made up of Israeli and Palestinian girls only. Mifalot
Last year, a team of nine Palestinians and nine Israelis traveled to Los Angeles where they met players of Spanish club Real Madrid and L.A. Galaxy. The children played in front of 27,000 fans during the halftime interval as part of the Children United Initiative. Mifalot
Kids work their way through the years until they're 18, when most Jewish youths go into the Israeli Army. The scheme offers a voluntary civil service for Israeli-Arabs, ultra-orthodox Jews and those who are unsuitable for the army, which is a two-year course helping them attain employment. Mifalot
Abbas Suan, one of the finest Israeli Arab players to have played for the country, believes his dramatic late goal in the 2006 World Cup qualifier against Ireland helped change perceptions within Israeli society. Pedro Ugarte/AFP/Getty Images
Israel's Jewish player Eran Zahavi (L) and Muslim player Beram Kayal (R) pray before the start of a Euro 2012 qualifier in 2011. The Under-21 squad which competed in this year's European Championship Finals included five Israel-Arabs, two Ethiopians and a Bedouin. Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images