Successful Welcome through Football seminar in Bremen

7 April 2022

Successful Welcome through Football seminar in Bremen

On the 30 and 31 March 2022, the Welcome through Football project partners met in person at the Weserstadion of Werder Bremen. The project managers involved shared their updates on the programme delivery and made plans for the future implementation of the project.

Welcome Through Football is an EFDN initiative. Current projects across Europe receive funding from the Eramus+ programme of the European Union and the UEFA Foundation for Children. The Welcome Through Football 2021 project aims to assist in the integration and inclusion of recently arrived young refugees, asylum seekers and young people with a migrant background. EFDN and partners will develop and test a European methodology that uses football as a tool to reach refugees and migrants from different ages (7-25 years old) to get them physically and social active in European communities. Moreover, the project assists football coaches and youth workers in the development and sharing of effective methods in reaching out to the marginalised target group, in preventing racism and intolerance.

The clubs participating in the project include Shakhtar Social, Sheffield United Community Foundation, Fundação Benfica, Naoberschap United (FC Emmen), Werder Bremen, Everton in the Community, Apollon Limassol, AEK Athens , Big Hearts Community Trust, Newcastle United Foundation and KAA Gent.

After a warm welcome by the host club of Werder Bremen, the clubs shared their experiences of the 3rd delivery phase and updated each other on the progress. They particularly enjoyed hearing about the lessons they all learned, the challenges they faced and the solutions each club found and the aspects they wanted to reinforce. Examples were the importance of female coaches for engagement of female refugees and a good balance between training and matches, friendly and competitive games. This session was helping them realise they are not alone in the delivery, that they face different challenges and that there are a lot of solutions around. The exchange proved very helpful.

The clubs then went on to talk about the Welcome through Football methodology, the development of training materials and delivery plans.

The day finished with a presentation with Refugio, a psychosocial center working closely with Werder Bewegt, the foundation of Werder Bremen. Established in the late 1980’s, they help refugees by providing psychosocial support and being a voice to deal with the political situation. After the inspring and interesting presentation, the participants were invited to join a Welcome through Football training session and play a match of football with the programme participants. Everyone had a lot of fun and played fair.

On the second day of the seminar, the programme partners came together to plan their joint communication, their multiplier event and the World Refugee Day. They worked in groups to brainstorm and then bought their best ideas up to discuss with everyone.

The last topics on the agenda included information about the Monitoring and Evaluation where the clubs talked about improving their questionnaires and possible ideas to make the process more visible, and the planning of the next project meeting which will be hosted by FC Emmen Naoberschap.

If you want to take a look behind the scenes of the seminar, check out our Instagram Reel!