Youth Exchange – Breaking Barriers through Football

In Multicultural cities and communities in Europe and neighbouring, people with different social, religious and cultural backgrounds live together or next to one another.

Youth Workers (YW) and Youth Leaders (YL) often work with young people within culturally diverse communities, which can provoke issues of intercultural misunderstanding and exclusion. Therefore, the challenges for YW and YL are to: promote positive intercultural encounters encouraging diversity, intercultural & inter-religious dialogue (discover cultures, habits &lifestyles); empower youth to engage in society; strengthen values of solidarity, democracy and friendship as well as foster citizenship.

Each BBTF Youth Exchange programme welcomed between 24 and 30 participants, from a culturally diverse and/or socially disadvantaged background, which means participants (excl. staff members) with fewer opportunities, who experience social, educational, and/or economical obstacles. All groups were equally divided between boys and girls, to ensure the inclusion of an equal number of people from differing cultural and religious backgrounds. Furthermore, it is important that it is a heterogeneous group of participants who can learn from each other.

The participants were selected by each club according to the economic status of their household. This approach was individualised because each club recognised that every participant had their own problems to deal with.

All the participants had previously taking part in their local Sports-based community programmes, delivered by the cooperating organisations. They were selected for the BBTF Exchange by their local coaching staff, who selected participants who could benefit from the exchange. Coaches also selected participants who could be a role model in their communities and/or youth group.

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