The Barça Foundation and the refugee crisis
It has been estimated that there are currently more than 65 million displaced people fleeing from wars, conflict and persecution. Half of them are minors, the most vulnerable population.
Since June 2017, together with the support of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, the Barça Foundation has been implementing a sports education program based on an original methodology it developed: FutbolNet. The program aims to improve the lives of refugee children and youth through sports.
FutbolNet consists of a curriculum that uses sports as a tool for dialogue, respect, tolerance and understanding among children and young people in vulnerable environments. The FutbolNet program is based on handing the methodology over to organisations and partners in the field, who in turn implement it with children and young people.
Measuring the impact
Sports can have a significant effect on children and young people. Children explore, discover and create as they play, developing social skills, learning to express their emotions and gaining confidence in their own abilities at the same time.
In order to validate this hypothesis, the Barça Foundation has written an assessment report on its refugee program, together with Roots for Sustainability and B·Link.
Are sports (with the help of this methodology designed by the FC Barcelona Foundation) really changing the lives of refugee children and young people? Do the effects of sports and play contribute to improving their quality of life? What positive effects do they create in children?
In order to answer these questions and to find evidence of the program’s impact, both quantitative and qualitative research has been carried out using a sample of more than 800 children in 19 different locations in Lebanon, Greece and Italy:
- refugee camps (Skaramagas, Lesbos and Moria in Greece)
- school environments in urban areas (Athens)
- municipal environments (6 municipalities in Lebanon’s Bekaa region)
- welfare centres for unaccompanied minors (Sicily and Calabria).
So far, 191 educators have been trained and more than 3,266 children have taken part.