The Guardian in a recent article features the FutbolNet program as it is being implemented by the Barça Foundation in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon with the goal of supporting refugee children who have found their way in the refugee camps.
As the author notes “This is not about finding the Middle East’s Lionel Messi. This is not a talent hunt. This is about the social power of football and its ability to smash down the barriers society constructs between people and cultures. With more than 50% of school-aged (3-18) refugee children outside formal education, football steps in.”
The SNF is collaborating with the Barça Foundation for the implementation of sports and education programs in refugee sites and local hosting communities that follow the FutbolNet methodology. The specific methodology uses sports as a means to promote peace, tolerance and understanding and to ultimately foster social inclusion and integration, through education on values and reflection tools that stimulate children and young people. More than 3,000 children and teenagers are the beneficiaries of the program being implemented in Greece, Italy and Lebanon, with the SNF’s support. Through their participation in football games and training sessions, children learn how to cooperate with their peers, to respect the rules and how to use dialogue as a means to prevent and solve conflicts.
The fruitful collaboration with the Barça Foundation has extended past the support for the sports programs. Through Barça Foundation, the SNF came to support the construction of a pediatric cancer facility in the SJD Children’s Hospital in Barcelona, in an effort to improve health care access to disadvantaged children from all over the world.. Furthermore during an emotionally charged event for the foundation stone laying held by the SJD Hospital, the SNF and the Leo Messi Foundation announced new grant commitments that brought the fundraising goal for the complete development of the center to its completion.
Το read the full article in The Guardian click here.