Led by the Barça Foundation, SPRING’s main objective is increasing the level of social integration of young refugees in Europe through a new gender-based perspective’ sports intervention. Building upon an accurate desk research & needs assessment, SPRING will design & test this new intervention in Catalonia, Denmark, Germany & Greece, working for the integration & inclusion of at least 300 young refugees, which are the main beneficiaries. This pilot, structured in 2 weekly sessions during a 9 months period, will be delivered by a pool of 40 coaches, educators & volunteers, duly trained by BF staff on the SPRING approach. At the same time, 200 residents from the target countries will be involved through the SPRING local integration events to build social ties with the refugees. Deeply inspired by BF’s successful FutbolNet (a non-formal educational methodology aimed at using sport related activities as tools for reflection & agents of change in the lives of children & youth in vulnerable contexts), SPRING proposes an intervention using sports, physical activity & play as the vehicles to foster refugees’ integration & social inclusion in Europe while mainstreaming gender equality in sports programming. Although sport is recognised as having unique role in promoting equality (challenging norms, skill development, normalisation, socialisation) if sport activities are not delivered in a way that intentionally addresses inequalities, sport-based programmes risk perpetuating the inequalities that still exist. SPRING will digitally scale-up the new approach by delivering a MOOC and reaching out to 2,000 coaches & educators from all over Europe. In parallel, SPRING will draft a sustainability plan to secure further resources and ensure the long-term continuity of the intervention. All the content delivered by SPRING will be publicly available for dissemination & replicability by other EU stakeholders.
The objective of STEP4youth is to design, test and evaluate a new sport-based intervention that introduces and improves employability knowledge, skills and networks in order to foster the social inclusion of refugee and migrant youth (including unaccompanied minors and youth at highest risk) in Europe. This new Programme will focus on soft skills valued by employers, such as commitment, motivation, teamwork, flexibility, leadership, time-management or creativity and problem-solving to name few. Working and strengthening these skills will allow a group of 180 refugees and migrant youth from Spain, Greece and Italy to be better equipped when entering the labour market. Having a job is crucial for their independency and self-reliance and facilitates their social inclusion and integration in Europe. The programme, inspired by the best European practices linking sport and social inclusion, will be delivered by a pool of 90 educators and coaches trained in the new methodology. Furthermore, the project will connect refugees and migrants with a group of 15 companies through the so-called BRIDGE events, an ideal platform for employers to seek for new talent duly trained by the Programmes’ methodology. Another key output of the project is the design of a systematization process to evaluate and asses the intervention, and from there extract conclusions, lessons learned and recommendations for the EU sporting community. Dissemination of project results is ensured through the wide international network of the project partners, and at least 20 new European organizations will be identified to share with them the STEP4youth values and seek their adhesion to the network. The project is led by the Barça Foundation, partnering with Organization Earth, Prospettiva Cooperative, the Danish Refugee Council and the European Football for Development Network.