Barça promoting integration of new arrivals through its supporters’ clubs and making use of their extensive presence around the country to support the Red Cross on a local level
The Supporters’ Clubs World Confederation and the Red Cross in Catalonia have launched a programme to support refugees and migrants throughout Catalonia. The project, in association with the Fundació Barça, aims to promote the reception and integration of newcomers by using the supporters’ movement as a means for integration. It also seeks to foster public awareness in order to create a more favourable environment for migrants and refugees, preventing discriminatory, racist or xenophobic behaviour.
The project was presented today in the Auditori 1899 at an event attended by Jordi Cardoner i Casaus, first vice-president of FC Barcelona, Antoni Guil, president of the Supporters’ Clubs World Confederation, and Josep Quitet, president of the Red Cross in Catalonia.
Comprehensive high-impact project
The collaboration between the Confederation and the Red Cross is exploiting the capacity of both organisations throughout Catalonia to establish a community hosting and integration network. Specifically, in its initial phase the project will involve putting 43 Red Cross offices in contact with the 66 nearest ‘penyes’ in all four Catalan provinces.
The planned actions will particularly be organised from the latter’s different clubhouses, with the support of their members, and will feature two priority areas of action: on the one hand, reception and integration, and on the other, awareness.
In the first area, social activities will include the holding of recreational events, donations and community meals, as well as sports-related actions, such as visits to the Barça ground, football matches against ‘penya’ teams and charity tournaments. The programme will also foster integration through language learning and arranging cultural, folk and traditional outings and events.
As for awareness, the Confederation and the Red Cross will be organising, via the Barça supporters’ clubs, talks on the migratory crisis, awareness activities and workshops, as well as dissemination and volunteering activities.
The project is included within the framework of the Red Cross Programme for the Care of Asylum Seekers and Refugees which, in addition to providing accommodation, food and coverage of basic needs, also includes comprehensive prevention through the promotion of other essential services such as social intervention, psychological care, legal counselling, employment and financial aid. Its goal is to improve the integration in our society of beneficiaries of International Protection and their families.
The humanitarian crisis caused by migration to Europe has considerably intensified in recent years. Only in 2019, more than 101,200 new refugees have been registered in Europe, who had followed increasingly longer and more difficult migratory routes and which caused 1,090 deaths in the Mediterranean. In Spain, the situation is also critical: this year more than 82,000 applications for asylum were received, 47% more than in 2018. This situation is directly crying out for social responsibility and the support of organisations and people.