We're happy to announce Right To Play is expanding into Sweden as a registered office operating under the organization’s Norwegian National Office. This expansion underscores our commitment to improving the lives of children and youth affected by conflict, disease and poverty.
Working in collaboration with Reach for Change Sweden, Right To Play Sweden has developed a Sport Leadership Program with select sport clubs in Stockholm and the surrounding area to train, mentor and support unaccompanied refugee youth in improving their knowledge and skills, and their social integration into the community. As of 2015, there have been more than 35,000 unaccompanied youth seeking asylum in Sweden. Many of these youth want to play football, but the local sports clubs are unable to accommodate all of them. The Sport Leadership Program is changing this dynamic.
By engaging in our play-based approach to learning and development through sports and games, these refugee youth are learning the confidence, conflict resolution, communication, self-esteem and teamwork skills they need to build positive relationships.
Playing a game of football acts as the universal language all youth understand. With these refugee youth, it works to break down the barriers of social isolation and even, the depression they may be experiencing as a newcomer settling into a new country, community, culture and life. It empowers them to interact with fellow refugees and with their host-city peers in a safe environment where they can share their thoughts and feelings openly. And with continued participation, it inspires them to become volunteers and coaches within their respective sport clubs, creating sustainable ownership of the program, increased participation in Swedish society and improved employability in the future.