Our focus has been on areas that migrant and refugee youth feel are important. Football is one of these
areas. It is a sport that is transcends all nationalities, languages and cultures. It is something
that encourages peoples from all walks of life to get together and have fun. As a game, most
people can play it, whether male, female or other, young or old. Not even language makes
any difference since the vernacular used is multinational hence one of the easiest and best way to promote integration and making friendship
What are we doing?
This year we launched weekly training sessions. Our meeting point is always at the grounds at the
University of Malta, though we aim at having more places where can have such exercise. We organise an hour of training on a weekly basis for which any persons with a protected status can attend.
Football gives individuals something to look forward to on the weekend. It is a hobby that will distract from the daily stress of life. From this aspect, it promotes well-being and good health. Meeting like this gives individuals a chance to make friends, meeting different people, people who often share their own dreams and worries. This, once again, promotes well-being. Many young asylum seekers arrive here alone and have difficulty making friends
and meeting others. Our aim in providing weekly football therefore is to support them in their mental and emotional wellbeing, health, giving them a hobby to look forward to on a weekly basis.
Spark 15’s funding for this program is still limited and we need more funding to maximise
its benefits. Our aim to expand the program further in a number of ways to the refugee
community’s advantage. Listed below are our areas of interest and wish list:
1. Providing football shoes for participants. Often this is an issue since persons with a
limited income prefer not to waste money on clothing for a hobby.
2. Providing transport from the open centers to the pitch.
3. Providing a coach to train the players.
4. Following point 3, we also hope to identify potential players who will form part of a
Spark team. This team will then play in the local leagues which not only will expose
our players to further integration with Maltese football and other locals, but they
will also be given a chance to be seen and signed up in the local clubs.