Sport is a means of inclusion, social revival and integration.
The Centre for Multicultural Youth, operating in Melbourne, Australia, has created the Welcome Football project, a sports and educational initiative dedicated to children from migrant backgrounds. The project aims to use the universal language of football and sport to accompany them in their integration process and to promote greater social cohesion and participation in the life of their new community.
The main focus of the Welcome Football project is to offer support to people, and in particular young people, from a migrant background, who must therefore face the process of integration and adaptation to the Australian reality, often very different from that of their countries of origin. In this partnership, Welcome Football will help young Afghans who, because of the wars, have fled their country in search of a better life.
The integration of minorities, in Australia as in the rest of the world, has become an issue of primary importance, as has the social, economic and logistical impact of migration flows. No less important, however, are the difficulties such as cultural, social and language barriers that newcomers to Australia face, which often exclude them from the life of their community.
Recognising the important role of sport as a transversal educational tool, the organisation includes football among its activities to encourage the socialisation, growth and integration of young migrants. Thanks to football, young people have the opportunity to become part of a network of peers, to learn the language more quickly, to lay the foundations for lasting friendships, as well as to learn important life skills and to exchange information and knowledge about the culture and society they are entering.
The main beneficiaries of the project are young Afghan immigrants who have recently settled in the Australian municipalities of Dandenong, Casey and Cardinia in Melbourne.
Indirect beneficiaries are the families of the young people involved.