FIRE project, gearing up for the next year

On June 27-28, 2019, FIRE project partners attended their second project meeting in Paris. Kindly hosted in the French FA’s headquarters, FIRE’s first steering committee was the opportunity for the consortium to discuss in depth several aspects and outcomes of the project. The French FA kindly arranged for representatives of the Hauts-de-Seine Football District to present their recent initiative to welcome the children of migrants and refugees in their club through their Solidarity and Friendship Day.

One of the first objectives has been to create a roadmap of initiatives and practices in the field of football and refugees in recent years, which identifies main issues, good practices and major needs. Also included are the conceptual discussions of relevant terms and ideas that concern this topic. This roadmap will soon be available on the FIRE project’s website that will be launched in the next few weeks!

Another major item of discussion was the national conferences that are to be held in Glasgow, Bucharest, Brussels and Madrid between September 2019-2020. Beyond promoting FIRE’s activities, these events are the occasion for project partners to learn and debate with participants about their experiences and know-how when it comes to elaborating and implementing initiatives and programmes that seek to include refugees, migrants and asylum-seekers through the use of football. This information will serve to guide and complete the content of the MOOC- the project’s ultimate goal. As a reminder, the MOOC will be freely available online and aimed at grassroots football clubs and organisations who wish to be active in the inclusion of refugees, migrants and asylum-seekers, and that can benefit from a helping hand on how to do so and what to look out for. This first steering committee dedicated a lot of brainpower to defining the skills and knowledge MOOC users need to acquire, alongside different activities to do so.

In a more immediate sense, FIRE will be selecting 4 pilot interventions that will take place between October 10-24, 2019. Uncoincidentally, these are the same dates as Fare Network’s #FootballPeople weeks, a campaign  to stand for equality and inclusion, and fight discrimination, in football across Europe! FIRE encourages grassroots football interventions focused on the inclusion of refugees and migrants, and taking place in Scotland, Romania, Spain or Belgium, to officially become part of this European project! Funding and support are available for applicants, who are to submit their proposal before August 11, 2019.

Although we are in the middle of summer, there will be plenty to look out for from the FIRE project- the website launch, the publication of the Inventory roadmap, and the Fare Call for projects! Further information will also be shared as concerns FIRE’s first conference in Glasgow, which will take place on Thursday 26 September 2019 in Hampden Park and is co-organised with the Scottish Football Association. Stay tuned for all the above!

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