streetfootballworld’s Football for Good Summit 2016 united 100 representatives from leading international organisations with sport for development programmes in order to examine the potential of sport to promote social inclusion, foster cultural understanding and increase sustainable development.

 

The Football for Good Summit 2016 focused on:

 

  • Defining the specific role of sport for development programmes in tackling today’s global challenges
  • Developing a global strategy based on best practice in the field of sport for development and football for good in particular
  • Strengthening international and regional cooperation
  • Engaging stakeholders, including the private and public sector, government bodies, and civil society

 

The Football for Good Summit 2016 took place in parallel to streetfootballworld Festival 16, where the entire streetfootballworld network came together for the first time to celebrate the power of football for good. From June 28th to July 7th 2016, delegations representing football for good organisations from around the world were hosted by Sport dans la Ville in Lyon, France during the UEFA Euro 2016 for a festival of football, fair play and culture. The festival was organised by streetfootballworld and Sport dans la Ville.

 

 

 

AGENDA

From a growing refugee crisis to a widening digital divide to a surge in youth unemployment, the world is facing a range of pressing social issues. Against the backdrop of Festival 16, the Football for Good Summit 2016 explored the potential for football-based programmes to drive social change around the world, focusing on three topics:

 

  • Football and technology: using the power of technology to support football for good
  • Increasing youth employability through football-based programmes
  • The role of sport for development in the refugee crisis

 

 

FOOTBALL AND TECHNOLOGY

 

The day began with a presentation of the KickApp Cup, a collaboration between streetfootballworld and SAP that combines football and technology. Technological literacy is increasingly crucial to success in today’s global economy. And yet, as the digital divide continues to widen, many young people are deprived access to technology and, by extension, opportunities for employment. The KickApp Cup addressed this concern through an international series of events that used football as a hook to equip young people with vital tech skills.

 

Over the last year, the KickApp Cup brought together SAP developers and young leaders from Brazil, India, Israel, Hungary, Germany and the U.S. to present their solutions on how technology can be harnessed to widen the impact of football for good around the world. Representatives from each country  gathered in Lyon during the Football for Good Summit for the KickApp Cup Final.

 

During the final, the teams combined the best ideas from each app to design the ultimate football for good app. The design uses mobile technology to help coaches improve work in their communities, provide players with access to exciting educational content, and enable organisations to track the progress of their young participants more effectively.

 

SAP’s Gabrielle Hartmann, who created the concept, was on hand for the session, where she emphasised the need to help young people thrive in today’s digital economy. Audience input was also lively, with discussion covering a range of practical topics, including the role of emojis in helping illiterate children voice their opinions.

 

 

INCREASING YOUTH EMPLOYABILITY THROUGH FOOTBALL-BASED PROGRAMMES

 

The second part of the Football for Good Summit looked at youth unemployment—a source of growing concern in Europe—and how football can increase youth employability, with a panel discussion presenting the first outcomes of the Team Up for NEETS – Innovation for Youth Employability (Team Up!) project.

 

Team Up! is a two-year transnational project funded by the ERASMUS+ Programme and designed to develop and share innovative approaches, and to promote cooperation and peer learning in the fields of education, training, and youth. The primary focus of Team up! is to develop a shared toolkit of best practice and an impact measurement framework for football for good organisations working to reduce youth unemployment. The project is a collaboration amongst streetfootballworld and eight European network members from the UK, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Portugal and Spain.

 

The panel discussion included six representatives from streetfootballworld: Rheinflanke (Germany), CAIS (Portugal), Sport dans la Ville (France), Red Deporte y Cooperación (Spain) and Sport4Life (UK). The panel presented the first outcomes of the project as well as the impact that this has had for their organisations.

 

As presented during the Summit, the toolkit will share best practice on how to increase youth employability through improving young participants’ qualifications and skills in four main areas: improved soft skills, improved qualifications and training levels, improved entrepreneurial skills, improved technical skills.

 

Team Up! also facilitates visits for participating organisations so that they can learn from each other first-hand; members of Team Up! have already united in Germany, France and the UK. The outcomes of these meetings were highlighted by the panellists, who are already looking at improving their own programmes based on the knowledge gain over the last year. The importance of direct knowledge exchange was reinforced by Arne Dreyer of Rheinflanke, who told the audience he would, “take the mentoring programme from Sport dans la Ville back to Germany.”

 

The session concluded with an opportunity for the audience to share their thoughts, other experiences, and the work that other organisations are doing to increase youth employability.

 

The toolkit will be launched in the second half of 2017. 

 

 

SPORT FOR DEVELOPMENT AND THE REFUGEE CRISIS

 

The third part of the summit was an event supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development to enable participants to explore and share best practice on addressing the refugee crisis through football-based programmes. The event included a number of workshops, with 100 participants learning about initiatives in Ireland, Kenya and Brazil and discussing the situation in their local communities with others.

 

“If we’re going to work with refugees it’s very important we’re well informed,” said Perry Ogden of SARI during a rousing opening speech, before outlining the history of refugees in Ireland.

 

The following workshops were conducted by streetfootballworld member organisations during the Football for Good Summit:

 

  • Football of the Nations: Mirella Domenich of streetfootballworld Brasil, Brazil
  • The Refugee Crisis in Africa: Gichuki Francis of TYSA, Kenya
  • Working with Refugees and Asylum Seekers: Perry Ogden of Sport Against Racism Ireland (SARI), Ireland

 

FOOTBALL OF THE NATIONS

Football of the Nations is a project that uses football to integrate refugees into the Brazilian society. The first part of the workshop presented the pro and cons of the project, as well as lessons learned along the way. The second part of the project consisted of a practical component on the pitch to make the experience tangible.

 

As Mirella noted, the workshop was a great opportunity to raise awareness about the situations refugees face outside Europe and the ways of addressing these challenges that could serve as a good point of reference for tackling the refugee crisis in Europe. According to Mirella, a multi-stakeholder cooperation such as the one behind Football of the Nations—which unites UNHCR, Caritas, UN Women and streetfootballworld Brasil—is a key component of a successful approach. 

 

THE REFUGEE CRISIS IN AFRICA

Being forced to abruptly leave one’s own home, is an incredibly distressing emotional experience. Psychosocial support is critical to helping children, young people and their families to overcome the many challenges they face. The workshop conducted by Gichuki Francis presented recommendations on how to use sports to provide refugees with the psychosocial support they need.

 

After presenting an overview of the refugee crisis in worldwide and more specifically in Africa, as well as a general background on emergency situations and their consequences for children, families and communities, Gichuki highlighted the importance of psychological support and well-being for children and families. He then offered specific examples on how to address the needs of children, families and communities during an emergency or post-emergency situation.

 

After the presentation and discussions that followed, the 30 participants gathered on the pitch for a more practical approach to the topic.

 

WORKING WITH REFUGEES AND ASYLUM SEEKERS

Perry Ogden presented SARI’s experience and explored best practice using football to break down barriers and promote positive integration into society for  refugees and asylum-seekers.

 

Participants were asked to complete a questionnaire to test their knowledge on the refugee crisis worldwide before Perry set the current situation for refugees and asylum-seekers in a global context. One of the most important topics raised was how NGOs can access refugees and asylum-seekers and offer support. Finally, Perry presented some of SARI’s programmes and events, including the World Refugee Day Fair Play Cup organised in cooperation with UNHCR.

 

The session concluded with an anti-discrimination football training workshop on the pitch.

 

 

PANEL DISCUSSION ON HUMANITARIAN AID AND SPORT

 

The final component of the Football for Good Summit 2016 was a panel discussion organised by DG Echo (Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations) and UEFA. The event established an open dialogue with community leaders from around the world on how humanitarian aid and local initiatives linked to sport for development and peace can work hand-in-hand to best help people in need. The discussion also provided an opportunity to share information and raise awareness among an international audience about the principles and scale of EU humanitarian aid.

 

The following panellists shared their experiences and discussed topics such as how the EU humanitarian aid and local NGOs can work together, how to build partnerships in times of crisis, and the role that football for good can have in a humanitarian crisis.

 

  • Commissioner Christos Stylianides, European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid & Crisis Management
  • Ossamah Alabed Almohsen, A football coach in Spain and refugee from Syria
  • Fatuma Abdulkadir Adan, A peace ambassador from Kenya and board member for streetfootballworld
  • Patrick Gasser, Head of UEFA’s Football and Social Responsibility Unit
  • Piara Powar, Executive Director of the FARE anti-discrimination network
  • Terry Morel, Director for Emergency, Security and Supply at the UNHCR
  • Jeronimo Maria Barreto Claudemir da Silva (“Cacau”), Former professional footballer with VFB Stuttgart and the German national team
 

One of the highlights of the panel was the testimonial of Ossamah Al Abed Almohsen, the refugee who was notoriously tripped up by a camerawoman in Hungary last year. Ossamah described football as “a message for peace to the world: we only need to play football together to get to know each other better.” It was a fitting note on which to close the summit, and all attendees will be doing their utmost to ensure that this message for peace continues to ring loudly.

 

The words of Commissioner Stylianides to close the panel discussion reinforced the importance of the gathering of such experts from the field: “It is crucial that we work together with other international organisations, charities and NGOs like streetfootballworld, who do such an excellent job in harnessing the power of football for good and in working with grassroots organisations across the world to make a difference to people’s lives.”