Alwaleed Philanthropies and Barca Foundation sports program promotes welfare and social inclusion of refugees in Greece


Alwaleed Philanthropies, chaired by HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Al Saud, and the Barca Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the FC Barcelona football team, have implemented a sports-based empowerment program to promote well- emotional and physical being of refugee children in Greece.

The program is led by Barca Foundation’s implementing partner, Organization Earth, which uses a specific methodology created by the Barca Foundation that uses sport to promote values ​​such as teamwork, self-expression and healthy lives for vulnerable children. The programs are designed to promote life skills and social integration through physical activity. The program focuses on empowering young people through sports and promoting life skills and cross-cultural understanding in refugee camps.

Six refugee camps in Greece

The 12-month program takes place in 6 refugee camps, in Eleonas, Schisto, Ritsona, Malakasa, Volos and Korinthos. Launched in mid-2022, the program has already seen great success by enrolling over 470 refugee children in sports education twice a week and training over 45 refugees and Greek coaches to deliver the programme, over a period of 5 month. In total, the program is expected to train more than 100 coaches and volunteers with classroom sessions and practical sessions. This will benefit more than 2,000 children with sports equipment, bi-weekly activity sessions, special workshops for parents and excursions outside the refugee camps.

April 6 marks the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace. The United Nations recognizes sport as an effective means of promoting health, development, social inclusion and equality. Sport also has the potential to break down barriers that divide people and communities and can be used to help prevent conflict and build peace. These ideas are reiterated in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which highlights the essential role of sport in social progress.

Statements by HRH Princess Lamia bint Majed Al Saud, Secretary General of Alwaleed Philanthropies

“We are delighted to collaborate with the Barça Foundation on this meaningful project. This program provides ways for these children to stay active while building community and dialogue. Sport is essential to promote physical and emotional well-being. Coaches and volunteers provide the tools to promote this vision, creating a dynamic and inclusive environment where children can thrive.

Statements by Marta Segú Estruch, Executive Director of the Barça Foundation

“Sport helps achieve change in children’s lives in difficult contexts, as a tool that has proven to have great impact and effectiveness.”

“In the case of the refugee camps in Greece, where we focus our efforts on children and young people from diverse backgrounds living as refugees in difficult circumstances, we strive for all participants to overcome their difficult journeys and become children.”


Comments are closed.