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FA Wales awarded UEFA Football & Refugees grant scheme

The Football Association are delighted to share that it is one of the six national associations who have been recognised by UEFA and UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency), for its success in utilising the game’s unifying power to help refugees rebuild their lives.

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Written by Jason Webber - June 24, 2021

FA Wales awarded UEFA Football & Refugees grant scheme

The Football Association of Wales and FAW Trust will be continuing to support the important FvH initiative which unities football in opposing homophobia and prejudice against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT+) people in football.

Celebrated this year on Sunday 20th of June, World Refugee Day is designated to honour refugees across the globe.  Earlier this week, when the international community were marking World Refugee Day, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, joined the Director of UEFA’s Football Social Responsibility programme, Michele Uva, for an online event announcing the winners of UEFA’s annual Football and Refugees Grant Scheme.

Director of UEFA’s Football Social Responsibility programme, Michele Uva said, “All of today’s award winners show why football is so well-placed to assist refugees, as they settle into their new communities. Our sport’s popularity bridges so many social barriers. It has the power to connect, regardless of age, colour, gender or belief.  At the same time, football’s visibility can raise awareness of, and funds for, refugee programmes.”

The six successful associations, which include Armenia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Finland, Northern Ireland and Wales - will receive €50,000 to support social responsibility projects that are helping refugees reintegrate into society.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi said, “The challenges of the past year have been even more harsh for the world’s most vulnerable, including the more than 82 million people whom my organisation, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, helps and strives to protect. This makes the UEFA Football and Refugee Grant Scheme and the work you are doing to support refugees, all the more important.”

The UEFA’s Football and Refugees Grant Scheme encourages national associations to support the inclusion and integration of refugees through football. Increasingly, football social responsibility programmes across Europe are using their local networks to assist refugees in finding work or offer vocational training as coaches, referees or volunteers.

The FAW’s Football Welcomes Refugees Cymru project will see the FAW work with football Clubs across Wales to establish Refugee Welcoming hubs. Training will be provided for Clubs by Amnesty International UK and the program will be underpinned by a national Refugee Football Network to further support individuals and create pathways into the game at all levels.

Asylum Seekers and Refugees will also be provided access to FAW coaching and referee courses, in addition to volunteering opportunities across the football family, to futher support with integration into local communities.

The FAW’s Equality, Diversity, Inclusion & Integrity Manager Jason Webber said, “We will be working closely with Asylum Seekers and Refugees along with key stakeholders to provide opportunities in football."

Our core aim is to establish pathways for Asylum Seekers and Refugees, whilst further developing an inclusive environment at Clubs. An environment where people feel they belong, irrespective of their background, where they are offered the opportunity to develop their skills and be the best version of themselves."

This is an exciting first of its kind project which will have a positive impact on local communities across the country, whilst also providing more volunteers and referees in Wales."