Alex Brooker

UNICEF UK High Profile Supporter

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“I could connect with Elan on that level. Listening to her as a disabled person, we could talk about something I knew the feeling of, but we’re in a refugee camp, and they’ve gone through so much more.”

In 2023 Alex travelled to Za’atari Refugee Camp, Jordan, where he met Elan. Elan and her family are Syrian refugees who, alongside 80,000 other people, call Za’atari their home.

Elan was born with a congenital disability in the camp, and is missing four fingers on her left hand. She wanted to show the girls at school that they shouldn’t make fun of her hand, and said it was playing football at the UNICEF supported Makani Centre where she felt most comfortable and could forget about her worries.

Elan told Alex how happy she was to get a new prosthetic hand fitted, through a UNICEF partnership which 3D-prints prosthetics inside Za’atari.

In Za’atari, Alex also visited a UNICEF supported inclusive playground for children – the first playground of it’s kind anywhere in the world. There, all children are able to play with their friends, thanks to seesaws and merry-go-rounds with space for wheelchairs, accessible swings for children who struggle with grip, and a sandpit, trampoline and beanbag especially designed for children with Autism.


"Everything's colour coded, and all of the swings, you can get a wheelchair on them, and things like that. It's accessible for all these different types of disability, whether it be physical or sensory. I was really taken aback by that... I've never seen a playground like that."

Alex Brooker, UNICEF UK High Profile Supporter

Soccer Aid for UNICEF

Alex first became involved in Soccer Aid for UNICEF in 2022, when he became the first disabled player to play in the match. Before playing again in 2023, Alex faced a new kind of challenge when he appeared on a special episode of The Chase raising funds for Soccer Aid for UNICEF.

In 2023, Alex became a UNICEF UK High Profile Supporter, after he spoke in a Q&A with some of UNICEF UK’s corporate partners about meeting Elan in Za’atari and his experience playing in Soccer Aid for UNICEF.

“I suppose to some people I’ve gone through a lot, but what I went through is nothing compared to Elan – who was born in the camp.”

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