Rather than celebrating Israel’s birthday with a fancy embassy party, Israel’s ambassador to Nigeria funded a soccer league for refugee children.

Ambassador Guy Feldman used the money budgeted for the embassy’s Yom Ha’atzmaut reception to set up a league for 225 children who escaped Boko Haram, Ynet reported. The embassy provided uniforms, balls, and coaches.

“Our intention was to bring a message of hope to the children, which is also the Zionist message,” Feldman said.

League members are from 8 to 12 years old and live in refugee camps in the Nigerian state of Adamawa, on the border with Cameroon.

JTA Wire Service