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HomeSportSport volunteering and refugees | sportanddev.org

Sport volunteering and refugees | sportanddev.org

Pictured above: The EYOF BB 2022 Volunteer Team, spanning from 15 different countries, volunteering together.

Volunteering is a social phenomenon that has existed for many years now. Its development is uneven depending on the country, political regime, and religion. But the benefit of volunteering for societies and communities is demonstrated by several studies on different levels such as educational, social, economic, and responds to issues of inclusion, solidarity, and training.

Volunteering in sports is a very broad field, including coaches, referees, club, and association leaders, but also people who come to help at matches, events, and one-off actions. Just like volunteering in general, this solidarity activity allows the development of life skills and know-how. It allows to create a non-formal education, outside the school and to bring human, social and solidarity skills.

Refugees are people who need solidarity and inclusion when they arrive in a country. The first barrier they usually encounter is language. Sport is a universal language, which allows, through activities, to bridge this barrier and build solidarity and inclusion around it. Allowing them to get involved in voluntary activities around sports, in local clubs and associations, can allow them to learn the language and through a playful way to practice it progressively.

Moreover, through volunteer activities, refugees will be able to develop skills that are relevant to the world of work, such as respecting schedules, teamwork, respect for others and for their work, etc. These skills will also be transversal, so that they can transfer their learning to other professions. Moreover, the environment is conducive to meeting people, socializing, and making contacts that can later support the applications of these people for a potential job.

This sport volunteering also allows the development of leadership skills, which for people in a forced displacement situation can be an advantage, in order to allow people to internally help their community to develop in the best way.

Meeting with the local community and the people who have been volunteering in these organizations for a long time can also inspire the refugees, give them ideas for personal and professional development, but also motivate them and give them hope for their future.

Volunteering in sports has benefits beyond helping the community, it also helps oneself. A volunteer is someone who will help an organization without expecting any payment in return. In this case, the refugees will help their new community, and at the same time will be able to obtain benefits for their present and future lives.

Moreover, sport is a vehicle for values such as excellence, respect, solidarity, fair play, etc. One principle in the practice of sport is non-discrimination. It is important to insist on this part, which is essential in the projects of inclusion of refugees.

Volunteering in sport by refugees has a huge benefit in allowing these populations to integrate socially and professionally in the new communities they are integrating.

It is now necessary that sports organizations, clubs, and associations are accompanied and trained to develop projects and welcome refugees as volunteers, in order to help them in their personal development. Here, a partnership between several organizations with different expertise is essential for the good functioning of this integration through sports volunteering.

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Marie Lou NOIROT is an Olympic studies student, focusing on the benefits of sports volunteering for a better world.

Abdullah Anaman
Abdullah Anamanhttps://aanaman.me
I am a highly competent IT professional with a proven track record in designing websites, building apps etc. I have strong technical skills as well as excellent interpersonal skills, enabling me to interact with a wide range of clients.
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