In February 2016 more donations have been awarded by Football Supporters Europe (FSE) for groups working with refugees, showing that football fans around the continent welcome refugees fleeing war and persecution.
The first group awarded funds is the No Borders Kitchen, which operates from the Greek island of Samos. Turkey is only 2.2 km away and on a daily basis, refugees are making the perilous journey across the sea to Samos. All refugees are held in a former prison on the island, where the facilities are very basic.
The project has been running since December of last year providing hot food and donated clothes to refugees, some of whom help run the kitchen themselves. Though no dedicated sports initiative, the FSE Committee decided to give them a donation due to the desperate situation on the island; also football fans from various clubs are helping out on the project.
The second project is Jungle United, a football project in the refugee camp in Calais. The money will help run a Youth Centre in the Jungle as a protective area for 12-18 year olds away from camp life and stress. The youth project is actually run by a group of football volunteers from Spurs, Exeter City, Southampton and Odense BK. The money will be spent purchasing equipment such as goal posts. Although parts of the camp will be closed by the authorities, it is understood that the youth project will continue catering for teenagers.
Each initiative will receive 1000 Euros, generated through the #Secondfanshirt online auctions.
Darryl Telles, FSE Anti-Discrimination Project Manager spoke of his admiration for those supporters who have given so generously to the fundraising campaign, “The campaign shows that united, football supporters have made a real difference to the lives of thousands seeking refuge in Europe. Both the grants symbolically highlight the start and for some, the end of their long trek across Europe from Greece to the UK border, and we are delighted to be supporting two worthwhile initiatives.”
Do you also know a refugee aid project in need of support? Let us know! Click here to find out more on the #SecondFanShirt donations procedure.