The current refugee crisis has pictured the newly arrived in many ways, most of which are rather negative. This is especially seen in Lithuania, where media, government, and ordinary people are expressing concerns about refugees taking up ‘scarce’ resources and posing perceived risks to security. In fact, statistics show that 46% of people in Lithuania completely disagree with refugee relocation programme in Lithuania (Civitas, 2016). At the same time, Lithuania does not have the necessary experience to integrate refugees, since the country never had a large number of immigrants before. This leads to more than 90% of relocated refugees leaving the country after 3-6 months of their stay here (Lithuanian CARITAS, 2017).
To tackle these issues and promote cooperation between refugees and locals, 1-year project “Sports Together” has been initiated. The main idea of the project is to create a sustainable programme for refugee integration through sports and lower existing fears and phobias towards refugees.
- Identify good practices of refugee integration through sports in the EU
- Bridge local sports organisations and refugee-integration supporters in Lithuania
- Facilitate the creation of new initiatives to help refugee integration through sports in Lithuania and beyond
- Train sports and social workers (working with refugees) in Lithuania on how to effectively integrate refugees through sports;
- Promote cooperation between local youth and refugees.
Read more here.