Since 2020, “Associazione I GIRASOLI”, member of the EU-wide informal network coordinated by informagiovani, has joined the initiative Refugee Teams tournament promoted by the Italian Football Federation FIGC. The tournament is part of the Refugee Teams project which aims at promoting and encouraging social and intercultural inclusion among young asylum seekers and refugees living in Italy and their peers, through soccer.
As part of activities related to the topic of integration, the Italian Football Federation has developed the RETE! PROJECT an initiative aimed at young migrants living in Italy and hosted in “SAI/SIPROIMI: Protection System for Asylum Seekers and Refugees.
The Objectives of the project are:
• To promote processes of inclusion through soccer
• To promote ethically correct behavior through the education of values using fair play and sport as a model for civil society
• To improve understanding of the importance of physical activity and its positive impact on health and social development
• Create a model of integration through the participation of young Italians and migrants in mixed teams
Since their first participation in the tournament, the young guys representing the team I GIRASOLI made a success of this experience…goals, dribbling, saves, lots of fun and new friends! And this spring their efforts made them reach the inter-regional semifinals by qualifying in third place!! Our guys will make it again next year!
Farhan, 17 year old, from Somalia, played as a midfielder. He told us that he enjoyed the experience a lot, also because he could make friendship with other people from his home country. His best memory is the big soccer field at the stadium, Regarding his coach, he said that he is a great person, nice and funny, and always happy during the training and matches. He is satisfied with the result despite the fact that after the local victory they lost the regional phase conquered the third place.
The initiative has increased the participation of young migrants and local youngsters year by year reaching 2600 youngsters in 6 years. We wish a greater success to the initiative for next years and to our guys we say hurra’!
A special thanks to Farhan, Ahmed and Calogero.