“Play with me: Refugees inclusion through games and sport” Youth Exchange aimed at providing a friendly space and atmosphere for young people from Europe and Mediterranean countries to have a real interaction with young refugees/immigrants through engaging them in several games and sportive activities. Games and sport are truly among the best universal tools to integrate immigrants and refugees into receiving societies. The project which was hosted by the Italian organization, “Via Firenze 21”, involved 36 participants coming from 6 countries of Europe and the Middle East & North Africa. In addition to cultural and traditional games and sport, the 6 representatives of Desert Bloom shared Jordan’s good practices in integrating refugees throughout the last 70 years.
The project used a mixed of methodologies including formal and non-formal education, games and sport activities to promote tolerance, mutual understanding, and multicultural dialogues as well as to enhance the management, innovation capacity, and internationalization of participants.
Below is some feedback from Desert Bloom’s participants:
Bahaa Eddin Al-Qatanani (the group leader)
“It was wonderful experience for me. My major takeaways were firstly the interaction with illegal immigrants and refugees and understand the reason behind their migration decision. In addition to learning more about the risks and dangers they were through during the journey.
Secondly, based on the number of participants which is relatively high (36) and the countries diversity, the opinions and thoughts regarding the refugees and illegal immigrants were dissimilar and the arguments were rich with ideas.
Finally, the participants learned how to use sport for refugees’ inclusion, and the importance of including refugees into communities.”
“The program included diverse activities related to sport, multiculturalism and refugee’s integration. I have learnt several games from different cultures. Also, I learnt how to think out of box and be creative. I enjoyed every day of the program. We started our first day from ESTE Castle where we were asked to accomplish 11 tasks require the whole team cooperation. The exercises helped us to build common grounds as one team. The second day was greatly dedicated to get to know each other. The intercultural night at the evening was so creative; each team was asked to represent another country. Jordanian talk about Greece culture, food and traditional clothes. The third day was amazing, we hiked at ‘Villa Beatric’ to simulate the hardships face refugees throughout their journey as they leave their homes and crossing borders. We shared and reflected our experience for refugees focusing on solutions for this problem. During the fourth and fifth days we work in groups to create and play games that support refugee integration for youth and children. Every group choose a theme and share their game with other, then we played them together. On the Sixth day, we played universal games and reflect on each game. Also, we had some workshops on refugees’ integration. On the 7th day we visited the city of padova, then went to a summer club to play with Italian kid, the games we had created just for them on the fifth day of the project. On the 8th day we review the learning and reflect on how we will apply what we learnt in our countries through our sending organizations. The 9th day, we did the evaluation and closing.”
Wesam Al- Zawahreh
“For me this experience was amazing and fruitful. I learnt how to integrate and include refugees and youth through sports and games. It is so creative idea, because it fosters meaningful interaction with everyone around. I will make sure to transfer this gained knowledge and experience throughout my work with youth in Jordan. I would like to thank Desert Bloom organization for providing this opportunity to participate in this training to gain this wonderful experience.”
Photos are available on the below link:
Regional Coordinator, URI Middle East & North Africa