Most of the young people arriving in the UK are placed in an independent shared accommodation without any parental guidance, and are expected to be adults about it and get on with their lives. They are isolated and have no support network.
At my work, I get asked by my young people every day “when are we going to hear back from the home office, its been a year and half now and we do not have anything to do, we cannot work, I would like to join a gym, I would like to join a football team”. I believe sports, particularly football gives them a freedom and joy that they have so far lived without.
DOST Team A and Team B Winners and Runner ups of Kick and Connect Tournament 2022
Kick & Connect aims to connect young refugee football groups with local football clubs, youth groups and organisations to create a more welcoming community and foster cross-cultural understanding and integration.
Kick & Connect will use the medium and power of football, to bring together young refugees across London to combat social isolation and integrate further into society.
Through football sessions, including training, matches and tournaments, we aim to create a social network for young people from a Refugee background, living in London, to connect with people from different backgrounds and cultures to get together and share in their common interests.
Alongside gaining more knowledge about their teammates, this will also promote self-awareness, empowerment and encourage integration of different youth groups, at no cost to participants.
On 31.05.2022 , we held our first football tournament where 70-80 refugee young people attended.
We want to create a regular fixture in the social calendar of young refugees. To give them something that anchors them, something they can always look forward to.
Many young refugees do not have stability in their lives, and face a lot of uncertainty and we want to provide a level of stability for them through regular football matches in a league.
Kick & Connect will bring together different young people from a refugee background to play football tournaments and matches to connect an otherwise socially isolated group.
The organisation will use Football as a common and universal language to bridge the gap between young refugees and the wider London society.
Young Refugee groups include;
- Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children
- Care Leavers from a refugee background
- Children of refugee parents
- U-21 Refugees or asylum seekers.
Kick and Connect will organise football tournaments and matches with pre-existing charities and youth organisations that already work with young refugees, to connect people with different young refugees, increase physical and mental wellbeing, and create a sense of belonging and a social event for young people to look forward to.
The long term aim is to create a regular weekly football league for different services that work with young refugees.
Alongside the tournaments and the league, we want to run a weekly drop-in football session where people can join and whoever wants to play can join.
We then hope that there will be a significant educational side to these sessions as well, where there will be football sessions, but also some ESOL and Maths’s sessions for young people to attend.
There will also be a peer-mentoring side of the drop-in sessions, where young refugees who have been in the UK for a while, can share experiences and mentor young refugees that have perhaps only just arrived to the UK.
The classes and mentoring will take place after the football sessions.
The long term goal is that young refugees who have been through the drop-in sessions will run the sessions, mentoring and classes and we aim to provide them with FA accredited Coaching Badges.
Kick & Connect will work with football clubs, and also the wider society, to be able to run a donation drive for second hand football boots, clothing & equipment to be able to then give to young refugees attending our drop-in sessions.
- Running regular football tournaments (the cost).
- Running regular football league
- Running of regular football drop-in sessions
- Running of mentoring and class sessions.
- Supporting local young refugees services. (Through donations).
- Day to day cost of running local football groups.
- To train youths in FA licensed coaching sessions