A German initiative for refugees in Iraq and Jordan, operating under the belief that sports can serve as a catalyst for social cohesion, is making a significant impact on young lives. The program offers a range of sports activities for young people aged 8 to 24, benefiting over 126,000 children and young people across schools and community centers. Additionally, it has trained over 300 teachers and trainers to support this mission.

The initiative actively encourages the participation of girls and young women, breaking down cultural and gender barriers in regions where societal norms traditionally limit female engagement in sports. By doing so, it challenges entrenched stereotypes and fosters a sense of agency and empowerment among its participants.

A standout success story from the program is Maryana Haddad, a member of the Jordanian women’s national football team. Through the initiative, Haddad not only honed her skills as a football coach but also found a platform to inspire and mentor a new generation of athletes. Her journey exemplifies the transformative power of sport in providing opportunities and building confidence.

The program also emphasizes the importance of educators and trainers in nurturing social skills and values through sports. By upskilling local social workers, teachers, and trainers, the initiative ensures its long-term sustainability and continued positive impact on the communities it serves.

This initiative demonstrates the profound potential of sports to bridge cultural divides, empower individuals, and create cohesive communities, proving that its influence extends far beyond the playing field.
Source: Jordan and Iraq: Fostering social cohesion | BMZ

Source: Jordan and Iraq: Fostering social cohesion | BMZ

Established in collaboration with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the Olympic Refuge Foundation (ORF) is dedicated to providing access to physical activity and fostering personal growth and community building for refugees.

Through their sports programs in refugee camps, young people can find a sense of belonging, form friendships, and build confidence. The impact of these initiatives extends far beyond the camps, contributing to broader social integration and personal development.

The formation of the Olympic Refugee Team, first introduced at the Rio Olympics in 2016 and expanded in subsequent games, symbolizes the global recognition of refugee athletes and their potential to excel on the world stage. This team not only highlights the talents of refugee athletes but also brings attention to their resilience and determination.

The foundation’s commitment extends beyond elite athletes, as demonstrated by projects like Terrains d’Avenir. Launched in partnership with the French Ministry of Sports, this program aims to integrate displaced youth into French society through sports, offering organized activities regardless of administrative status or language proficiency.

Women and girls often face additional barriers to participation in sports, including cultural norms and gender-based discrimination. The ORF addresses these challenges through targeted interventions and inclusive programming, breaking down barriers and empowering women and girls to reclaim their agency and pursue their aspirations.

The Olympic Refuge Foundation continues to champion the transformative power of sport, providing opportunities for personal growth, fostering community spirit, and advocating for the rights and potential of refugees worldwide.

Source: The Olympic Refuge Foundation Provides Hope Through Sport – The Borgen Project

On International Migrants Day, Organisation Earth commemorated the contributions of migrants to society. Through various activities and discussions, the event highlighted the challenges faced by migrants and the importance of creating inclusive communities. It was a day of reflection and commitment to building a more understanding and integrated community.

Could you be a mentor for coaches working with refugees?

The REWINS 2.0 project aims to promote the inclusion of refugee women in sport and training coaches, by creating mixed women’s teams of refugees and developing training structures. 

We are looking for 10 mentors, they can be men or women who possess 2 years of experience working with refugees. As a mentor your role will be crucial in guiding and empowering coaches with little or no experience of working with refugees. 

You will have four days to offer us spread over four months. In exchange we can offer you a change-making experience and €750 in exchange.

REWINS addresses the need to create training programmes for the inclusion of refugee women in different team and individual sports (football, dancing, volleyball, swimming, athletics, etc) and offers an online customised mentorship programme for coaches/ trainers working with refugees. 

The project is a European Union supported cooperation led by Fare network. Partners are Girl Power, Denmark;  Organisation Earth, Greece; UISP, Italy; A.E Ramassa, Spain

Full details of role

In pursuit of our mission to empower and understand the needs of refugee women in sports, the REWINS 2.0 project is seeking dedicated mentors to join our cause. 

Key Responsibilities

  • Collaborate with project partners to develop the framework for the mentoring program, including content, program structure, and delivery options. 
  • Provide mentorship to a designated mentee over a 4-week period. 
  • Contribute significantly to the blueprint of online mentoring in the context of sports.

Mentoring Programme Details

  • Duration: 4 days spread over 4 months Compensation: 750 Euros
  • You can be involved in any sport

Why Become a Mentor?

  • Make a tangible difference in the lives of refugee women through sport
  • Collaborate with a diverse group of partners and mentors to shape the programme 
  • Play a vital role in pioneering innovative online mentoring practices in the field of sport

Tasks in the programme

  • Assist mentees in identifying specific barriers they may encounter when welcoming women refugees into sports environments 
  • Offer guidance on strategies and approaches to address these barriers effectively
  • Encourage and motivate mentees to develop their leadership and coaching skills adapted to refugees 
  • Share your own experiences and challenges faced 


  • At least 2 years of experience working with refugee populations 
  • Strong communication skills
  • Passion for promoting sports as a means of empowerment and inclusion

How to Apply

Interested candidates are invited to send a CV and Cover Letter to anna.guzman@farenet.org before the 19th of February 2024 

During the Roundtable, representatives from various organizations came together to discuss and develop strategies for social inclusion and empowerment of refugees. Held at Organisation Earth premises, this event provided a platform for meaningful dialogue, sharing best practices, and forging partnerships for future collaborative efforts in refugee support and integration.

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