The#FootballPeople weeks unite supporters, clubs, players, minority groups and communities affected by discrimination to stand for equality and inclusion. This year’s weeks will take place from the 10th to 24th October 2019.
SCI Hellas plays ball!
We have joined the FARE Network and participate in the #FootballPeople weeks with two activities:
Women in Football
Service Civil International Hellas, SCI Hellas in short, organized the “Women in Football” event on Friday, October 25, 2019 at the headquarters of the association based in Exarheia. At the heart of this event was a talk of the situation on women's football in general and that of migrants and refugees in particular in Greece.
Mado Baboula, head of SCI Hellas’ communication says “we felt it necessary to do this project on women's football because our organization -working with migrants and refugees- has found that this is one of the best ways for integration and inclusion. Because of this we are focusing on football, which is a sport of a community of peace and, above all, of unity, integration and inclusion. So, we used our knowledge that there are girls who want to make a career, others who just play for fun but, most of all, those who Bend it like Beckham! for empowerment, plus the fact that we have already set up a team called UMOJA (unity in swahili) -the first Panafrican men’s football team in Greece, and here we are.”
Mr. Yannis Haralampidis, coach of Aghia Paraskevi Women's Football team, was invited: "I was initially a footballer before becoming a coach so I know this area well. Women's football is less developed here in Greece compared to other European countries. Therefore, we need support to have more visibility in this sector. We especially need people who are professionals. Research shows we have about twenty refugee girls and migrants in women's football in Greece. We need everyone to evolve”.
Chan, refugee from Afghanistan, is very optimistic and happy with this project: "I think this initiative speaks to us and gives us the chance to integrate. We, foreigners, have a lot of potential to counter the development of this country. But we always need to be taken into consideration. So I'm really happy to know that there are NGOs like SCI that are struggling through projects like football to think about creating a mixed and peaceful environment so that everyone is good and feels at home without being discriminated”.
It must be remembered that this project is open to everyone: supporters, players, football clubs, minority groups, communities affected by discrimination, schools or NGOs. So we plan to use this opportunity to bring about positive change in the Greek society by banning differences in origin, race, gender or religion, say SCI officials.
by Mamadou Babo Barry
for SCI Hellas