Increasing the participation of refugees in local sports activities is a fundamental way to help tackle the global refugee crisis and help thousands of refugees around the world integrate into their new communities and environments. Using sport as a tool for inclusion, coaches have a powerful way to help change people’s lives for the better.
In this webinar we will examine how coaches can organise sports sessions for refugees. The webinar will provide guidance and advice on how to prepare coaching sessions, what to consider, how coaching refugees differs from coaching sports sessions for local people and what best practices or cultural differences to keep in mind when working with refugees.
REWINS is a 24-month project designed with a goal to encourage social inclusion and equal opportunities in sport, specifically for refugee women.
The main project aims for REWINS are to promote a positive attitude towards refugee women in sports, identify refugees’ barriers and good practices for participation in local sport activities, provide opportunities for refugee women at grassroots level, raise awareness of the refugee population and mobilise better inclusion of refugees in local sports organisations.
The direct target group for the project will be refugee women age 18 and over, along with coaches and local communities. Outputs will include the development of training courses for coaches and the formation of women’s football teams in the selected partner countries, based on the methodologies of the training courses.
Partners in this project are: Organisation Earth (Greece), Girl Power Organisation (Denmark), Polisportiva San Precario (Italy) and the Fare network. The Fare network is lead partner in this project.
INSPIRE4ALL is a 12-month project running from January to December 2019 aimed at supporting the integration of refugees through sport in their host communities.
The project’s predominant focus is on increasing the participation of refugees in local sports activities, with a goal to raise the potential for host communities to positively engage with refugees through football and at least two other sports.
Using mixed sport sessions for male and female refugees and locals, and joint events that bring together refugees and local populations, INSPIRE4ALL applies a holistic approach to ensure long-lasting results for at least 100 beneficiaries, with a goal to reach at least 5,000 male and female refugees, sports people in sports clubs and NGOs.
Training seminars and study visits will also be made available for sport providers to learn how to reduce barriers for refugees to participate in sports programmes.
A webinar on how to plan and deliver sports activities for refugees and locals, INSPIRE4ALL toolkit with workshop module and action day template programme will be some of the outputs from the year-long project.
There are three project partners involved: Polisportiva San Precario, from Italy, Champions Ohne Grenzen from Germany and the Fare network. The Fare network is the lead partner in this project.
The Inspire Toolkit is a guide to working with refugee women in football. For further information read the toolkit in full, including best practices and what you can do.
Sport and Inclusion for Refugees in Europe (INSPIRE) was a 12-month project funded by the European Commission seeking to increase the potential for host communities to successfully engage and integrate refugees through sport. The project focuses on identifying refugees’ needs for and barriers to participation in local sport activities, support the provision of sporting activities and provide opportunities for refugees and asylum seekers at grassroots sport level, while promoting a transferable methodology based on the findings.
INSPIRES will create a new network linking female refugees with football actors and CSOs willing/able to act as organisers, contributors and leaders in integration and social inclusion of refugees in EU.
According to UNHCR, for the first time ever, the number of displaced people reached 70.8 million at the end of 2018 due to persecution, conflict, violence, or human rights violations. Less than 3% of the refugee population returned to their country of origin, which means that more efforts must be made to improve the integration of refugees in the host communities.
Many EU countries have placed an emphasis on solving the Refugee crisis but are facing challenges like poverty, social exclusion and marginalisation, due to stereotypes, racism and xenophobia in host countries. Refugee integration is threatened by the dilemma of personal trauma, deteriorating physical and mental health, a lack of social support for refugees, against the lack of understanding and inability for many reasons – political, social and economic – to intervene effectively. Although the potential of sport as a tool for social inclusion and integration has been widely tested and acknowledged in many countries, access to sports facilities is limited.
Local sports organisations struggle to adapt existing activities and facilities and to create suitable engagement programmes due to a lack of knowledge of refugee needs and expectations. That is why we thought of a project called INSPIRES (INtegration through SPort and Inclusion for Refugees in Europe for Sustainability), built on data collected during the 2018 INSPIRE and 2019 INSPIRE4ALL projects. The needs underlined by the coaches and sport organisations in the countries involved (Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Finland and Greece) referred to the need for knowledge on how to adapt existing activities and needs in host countries or how to create suitable engagement programmes that respond to the needs and expectations of refugees.
The general objective of INSPIRES is to equip refugees, key actors in football (coaches, referees, administrators in clubs and other spheres), and CSOs with the skills and knowledge required to support the integration and social inclusion of female refugees in the EU. To achieve the general objective the project develops on 3 specific objectives:
1. The female refugees will be better equipped with skills and knowledge to achieve personal development, increase their participation in designing sports and volunteering activities
2. Increase the number of trained Football actors that will support the integration and social inclusion of female refugees in the sector, and increase their knowledge on methods and tools for successful inclusion of refugees in local teams
3. Develop new capacity building approaches to support CSOs working with refugees: they will build new capacities to better use the societal potential of football to help integration and acceptance of female refugees in the host communities.
INSPIRES will create a new network linking female refugees with football actors and CSOs willing/able to act as organisers, contributors and leaders in integration and social inclusion of refugees in EU. It will develop, pilot and foster practical solutions to support actors in football and CSOs to be able to implement football projects and activities that develop a refined understanding of the challenges, and opportunities, that sport has in the integration of refugees, with a focus on female refugees. The project, through the organisation of local sport activities, national tournaments and by involving volunteer refugee women in the preparation phase, will promote and increase cooperation between refugees and host communities, the practice of sport activities and the benefits that arise among the refugees.
The project will further develop the existing Fare RefugeesandFootball website through an online platform and a web-app for actors and CSO’s working with refugees where they can share best practices, thus increasing the links between organisations promoting sport as a tool to integrate refugees. Good practices identified from the project will be shared through publications, seminar, webinars, and the capacity building and exchange platform, across the partners networks and at the EU level by the Fare network.
INSPIRES will run from Jan 2021 – Dec 2023, it is led by Fare network with five partners from Italy (Unione Italiana Sport Per tutti Aps – UISP and GEA – Societa’ Cooperativa Sociale), Germany (Champions ohne Grenzen e.V.), Finland (Monaliiku) and Greece (Organisation Earth), who have dedicated their efforts towards refugee integration and development of new working methods to respond to refugees needs.
The online Seminar, part of the EU-funded INSPIRES project, is open to NGOs and coaches working or interested in working with refugees/ refugee women. After opening remarks from Pier Marcello of the European Commission, the event will go into three sessions: (1) funding and networking for organisations and coaches working with refugees, (2) refugee women’s perspectives on using sport for inclusion, and (3) sports activities for refugee women during and post- Covid-19.
The sessions are an opportunity to share experience and learn from one another, and will be led by experts in the field including:
The INSPIRES European Stocktaking Seminar will take place online on 6th September at 4pm CET. Click to register your attendance here.
Funded by the EU Erasmus+ Programme, INSPIRES is a joint project between the Fare network, GEA (Italy), ChoG (Germany),Organisation Earth (Greece), Monaliiku (Finland) and UISP (Italy).