SOCIAL INTEGRATION AND EMPLOYABILITY OF REFUGEES THROUGH SPORT
Atualizado: 5 de mar.
Positive Benefits, in a partnership with Social Innovations Sports implemented Welcome Sports Club - in order to promote the integration of refugees and beneficiaries of international protection – in particular young people, including unaccompanied minors (MENAS) – through their social inclusion, full development and promotion of intercultural dialogue.
UNHCR estimates that forced global displacement reached 103 million refugees by mid 2022. With 7 out of 10 refugees, and others in need of international protection, come from only five countries: Syria (6.8 million), Venezuela (5.6 million), Ukraine (5.4 million) Afghanistan (2.8 million) and South Sudan (2.4 million). It is also estimated that 36.5 million (41%) are children under 18 years of age1.
FRAMEWORK OF PARTNERS
The WSC is an inclusive project that engages various types of partners that complement each other in a value chain. All work focus on the common objectives of the project.
The facilitation partners supported the project implementation with institutional or knowledge aid. The corporate partners supported with development of professional skills, training on job experiences and employment opportunities. Finally the social partners that worked on a day by day journey combined and complemented all the support that the beneficiares need and mostly focus on the development of personal skills.
INTRODUCTION TO THE TARGET AUDIENCE
The WSC project uses a multidisciplinary integration approach for applicants and beneficiaries of international protection (priority for unaccompanied minors - MENAS) who are, or will be, on national portuguese territory.
The main and secondary audience of the WSC project is presented on the next figure.
WSC PROJECT METHODOLOGY
Sport can provide refugees with a sense of belonging and community, as well as benefits for physical and mental health. Participation in sport can also help refugees develop important life skills such as teamwork, communication and problem solving, and other softskills that can be valuable skills to increase the potential for employability and socio-professional inclusion. In the following figure we identify the various stages we developed towards employability and socio-professional inclusion. This methodology was adapted based on the Fast Foward model of tese of young employability in Portugal.
In the following figure we present the main stakeholders and the activities implemented by the WSC with the objective of social inclusion of unaccompanied minor refugees.
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS (SDGS) OF THE WSC PROJECT
The SDGs are based on the commitment of 184 countries that have ratified the agreement with the United Nations to "leave no one behind." These 17 Sustainable Development Goals give us a comprehensive plan for a sustainable future – economically, environmentally and socially.
Support for refugees and displaced persons today is one of the most complex challenges and major complications that are present in many of the various objectives. Improving the situation with refugees and displaced persons through sustainable solutions is key to achieving the SDGS. The WSC mapped the contribution of its activities to the SDGs in the following picture.
MAIN ACTIVITIES IMPLEMENTED
WSC activities have been developed and tested through their specific objectives. In a first phase, in 2020, the project was structured and developed the first contacts with the beneficiaries. The second phase, started in the early 2021, and with the pandemic incident, the project was adapted in order to start the sporting activities (objectives 1). Finally, at the beginning of 2022, it was possible to test and scale the skills development and employability component (objective 2), and implement the communication activities (objective 3).
Most WSC project activities have used sport as a tool for the inclusion and integration of unaccompanied minor refugees (MENAS) in a variety of positive impacts:
Providing a sense of community: Sport provides a sense of belonging to the host community.
Improving physical and mental health: Sport and physical activity have a strong activation of physical and mental health, which can help meet the challenges of adapting to a new country.
Facilitate learning of new languages: Sport is a fun and interactive way to learn a new language, thus helping the development of communication.
Promoting socialization and integration: Sport allows you to interact with people from different backgrounds and cultures, helping in the creation of social backgrounds.
Development of important life skills: Participation in sport helps in the development of life skills, such as teamwork, communication and problem solving, which can be valuable in the context of employability.
Providing job opportunities and developing employability: Through sports activities, local businesses can informally meet new candidates and accelerate internship programs or job opportunities.
ACTIONS AND MAIN OUTPUTS OF THE WSC PROJECT WITH MENAS
The production of results was delivered in a set of actions due to the specific objectives of the project. In the following figures we present the main quantitative results (outputs) of the actions with the total number of the main beneficiaries - MENAs who participated in each actions of the project.
Positive Benefits is committed to incorporate this powerful tool in every project we work on, identifying which of the 17 goals can the project relate to and creating specific solutions to achieve them.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as the Global Goals, were adopted by the United Nations in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that by 2030 all people enjoy peace and prosperity.