10 May, 2019

CHANGING THE LIVES OF REFUGEE CHILDREN THROUGH SPORTS

160K

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.

A total of 191 educators have been trained: 53 Italy, 96 Lebanon, 42 Greece
A total of 3,266 children have participated: 297 Italy, 1,747 Lebanon, 1,226 Greece

Program results

 

  • A reduction in conflict situations. This can be seen after one to two months of exposure to the program. Cultural stereotypes are neutralised and intercultural dialogue is encouraged. Youngsters and children’s attitude become more respectful and tolerant.
  • An increase in emotional well-being. Children feel calmer, less afraid, less angry and have higher self-esteem. Their initial stages of depression, frustration and aggressiveness are reversed. Feelings of fear are reduced in 45.3% of children.
  • Coexistence in a safer environment. The FutbolNet sessions provide a safe space free from accidents or fights.
  • Increased socialisation and the sense of belonging to a group. They have the opportunity to make new friends and connect in a different way.
  • Empowering girls. The program allows girls to develop more confidence in themselves and to improve their abilities to communicate and establish relationships.

 

Mamadou’s story in Moria, Greece 

With only 15 years, Mamadou left his small village in eastern Mali with the clothes he was wearing and a small amount of money that he had managed to save. He left his parents’ house without saying a word to anyone and without saying goodbye, in the hopes of finding a better future in Europe. The long months he spent on the road were the hardest months of his life. Now Mamadou lives in a section for unaccompanied minors in Moria, the largest refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos, where he participates in the FutbolNet methodology program. Today, Mamadou wants to play with others, not just boys or those who speak his own language, and he no longer fights with his peers when they play football. FutbolNet has given me the opportunity to keep playing. But above all, it has helped me to look at myself differently and to communicate in a different way”.

 

More info

 

Alejandra Bara

Ramon Crespo

Jordi Escribà

Raimon Puigjaner

Mariona Miret

RELATED NOTES

DO FOOTBALL PLAYER’S MENTAL ABILITIES INFLUENCE THE RISK OF INJURY?

Mental abilities, although not yet fully appreciated, are already considered a relevant part of performance. But their importance could go beyond that: Do they also influence the injury risk, including recurrence, once the player returns to play?

CHANGING THE RULES OF THE GAME

If we change the rules of the game, we can change everything. Barça Foundation is defining these news rules to make sure no child is left out of the game. By playing we fight against injustice, marginalization and sadness.

INJURY TYPE IN HANDBALL MAY VARY BY POSITION, CATEGORY AND MATURATION OF PLAYERS

Although several studies have tried to evaluate the characteristics of the risk of injury in handball players, they have been unable to reach sufficiently reliable conclusions. A new study of all the FC Barcelona handball categories has attempted to shed more light on the subject.

HOW PHYSICAL DEMANDS ON FOOTBALL PLAYERS VARY BY THEIR POSITION

Although there are several studies on this topic, many of them have analyzed these demands by looking at just a few variables or using very broad timeframes. A new study completed by physical trainers from F.C. Barcelona has analyzed several of these details more closely.

THE GREAT UNKNOWN OF MUSCLE INJURIES: CONNECTIVE TISSUE IN THE EXTRACELLULAR MATRIX

An article published in The Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine —in which members of the club’s medical services participated— now suggests to consider the detailed structure of the area affected, and treating the extracellular matrix as an essential player in the prognosis of the injury.

BARÇA SPORTS SCIENCE WEEK KEEPS GROWING

The last edition of Barça Sports Science Week was held from October 8 to 11 at Camp Nou. More than 1200 visitors and more than 60 speakers from 53 different nationalities attended to learn about the latest advances and case studies in sports science.

WHAT IS LOAD MANAGEMENT REALLY ABOUT?

In this article, Tim Gabbett and his team provide a user-friendly guide for practitioners when describing the general purpose of load management to coaches.

TWO WEEKS ARE ENOUGH TO INCREASE MUSCLE VOLUME AND STRENGTH

For the first time, it has been demonstrated that it does not take months of training to significantly improve both muscle volume and strength; instead, two weeks of an appropriate exercise are enough.

Degrees of freedom or degrees of slavery?

The understanding of the modifying variables of the game, based on the degrees of freedom.

THE IMPORTANCE OF BIOSTATISTICS IN SPORTS SCIENCE AND SPORTS MEDICINE

Sports Analytics has grown exponentially thanks to IT sciences and it also encompasses other subareas (e.g. sports sciences, behavior sciences, medicine or data visualization) in addition to statistics with a focus that is more tactical and sports performance related.

ECCENTRIC EXERCISES: STUDYING “VACCINES” FOR MUSCLES

Training using eccentric exercises is important to prevent possible damage. However, intensive training can also cause muscle damage, so it is critical to be vigilant in order to keep injury risk to an absolute minimum.

Barça Innovation Hub organises innovation forum at Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara

Meeting held in collaboration with the San Francisco 49ers brings together sports industry leaders and academics specialising in the management of sporting innovation.

STABILITY OR INSTABILITY, IS THAT THE QUESTION?

The importance of building a game model in football.

THE LEVEL OF RESISTANCE AS A MODERATOR OF THE TRAINING LOAD

Cardiovascular endurance manifests as a moderator of the load result to which the athlete is exposed.

Are the players well positioned in relation to the ball?

Through the use of computer vision we can identify some shortcomings in the body orientation of players in different game situations.

Barça Innovation Hub at MIT

Collaborative Research.

DO YOU WANT TO KNOW MORE?

  • SUBSCRIBE
  • CONTACT
  • APPLY

KEEP UP TO DATE WITH OUR NEWS

Do you have any questions about Barça Universitas?

  • Startup
  • Research Center
  • Corporate

PLEASE COMPLETE THE FIELDS:

PLEASE COMPLETE THE FIELDS:

PLEASE COMPLETE THE FIELDS:

The Form has been sent successfully.

PLEASE COMPLETE THE FIELDS:

PLEASE COMPLETE THE FIELDS:

PLEASE COMPLETE THE FIELDS:

The Form has been sent successfully.

PLEASE COMPLETE THE FIELDS:

PLEASE COMPLETE THE FIELDS:

PLEASE COMPLETE THE FIELDS:

The Form has been sent successfully.