“Welcome Through Football” restarts at AZC in Emmen

7 October 2022

“Welcome Through Football” restarts at AZC in Emmen

Monday 3rd of October kicked off for a new phase of the ‘Welcome Through Football’ project. For 12 weeks, all children living at the asylum seekers’ centre (AZC) in Emmen have the opportunity to take part in training sessions on Monday afternoons and Friday afternoons. These are led by social trainers from FC Emmen Naoberschap.

It was a well-attended first training session with a number of familiar faces who have been participating in the project for several years. So did one of the participants, Amir.

“I think it is important that FC Emmen Naoberschap helps children like me at the AZC in their development by coming here to give training. The training sessions are fun and varied and I like to participate whenever I can.”

Amir, participant

Besides the football training, there are also social workshops that the children learn a lot from.

“As FC Emmen Naoberschap, we are of course more than just football. Through workshops, we try to help the participants develop further and get to know Dutch culture better.”

Marcel Sulmann, project leader

Since the summer of 2019, FC Emmen Naoberschap has started the ‘Welkom In Ons Voetbal’ project in cooperation with AZC Emmen, with the aim of making the young asylum seekers feel welcome in the Netherlands. The official (English-language) name of the project is ‘Welcome Through Football’. Football clubs from all over Europe are participating in this project. On Tuesday 1 and Wednesday 2 November, all these clubs will visit FC Emmen to take a look at the ‘Welcome Through Football’ project. Clubs coming include Benfica, Newcastle United and Werder Bremen. In addition, the AZC football tournament will also be organised on one of these two days. Already eight locations from the province of Drenthe are taking part.

The project is an EFDN initiative and is made possible by the Erasmus + programme, UEFA Foundation for Children and M&GEZOND!