Former Barça player shows support for social inclusion through ”FutbolNet”

8 June 2018
The Barca Foundation - FutbolNet - Athens

Former Barça player shows support for social inclusion through ”FutbolNet”

Football brought young refugees and Greek school children together in the FutbolNet festival organised by the Barça Foundation in Athens on 3 June, with a special appearance from former Barça player Giovanni Silva.

The Barça Foundation, with the support of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, organised the FutbolNet festival – a festival of activities during the first season of a refugee project in Athens, Greece. About 100 children from the Skaramagas refugee camp and 100 children from four public schools in Athens took part in the event.

The Barca Foundation - FutbolNet - Athens

The FutbolNet festival took place at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, and was attended by former Barça player Giovanni Silva de Oliveira. The festival brought together all of the children who had participated in the first season of the Barça Foundation social programme, in which the FutbolNet methodology is used to give support and promote the well-being of thousands of refugee children, as well as host communities.

Giovanni Silva de Oliveira praised the event:

“The FutbolNet Festival is a fantastic initiative. It’s enriching to be able to carry out social projects with these children who, unfortunately, have been through a lot. This is why Barça are Més que un club.”

The festival featured diverse activities for children and young people. Based on age, about 10 groups were created to undertake a sporting circuit. Different games of football were played, in which the FutbolNet methodology is used.

The Barça Foundation updated the event on Twitter:

Panos Papoulias, Assistant Director for Programmes and Strategies at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, commented:

“We want to give support to organisations which carry out great social work with added value, and that show a great operative commitment to the cause they work on. That’s why we collaborate with the Barça Foundation. In this programme values are profoundly implemented. You can see this in the change in behaviour from the children.”

Mària Vallès, General Director of the Barça Foundation, also said:

“The aim of these programmes is to give psychosocial support to children who have fled from war or who have been through traumatic situations, and also to aid integration by giving support to host communities.”

The Skaramagas refugee camp

The camp is located on a concrete esplanade by the sea, to where between 2,500 and 3,000 people have fled from their homelands for economic or political reasons. The majority of refugees hail from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran. The traumatic experiences suffered by young people have caused severe psychological damages. Some of the consequences include insomnia, aggression and a lack of communication.


‘FutbolNet’ is a programme of the Barça Foundation that uses football as a tool to promote values among young people through an innovative teaching methodology. The objective of FutbolNet is to provide, through football, a place where they can develop their social and emotional abilities.

For more information on FutbolNet, click here. The Barça Foundation also presented this initiative at the 9th EFDN Conference. You can check their presentation here.

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation gives support to refugees

The Refugee and Immigrant Support Programme from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation provides medical, psychological, legal and consultancy support to vulnerable communities of refugees and immigrants in Greece. The programme offers border supervision and legal assistance for immigrants and refugees at the reception and holding centers; seminars and consultancy services for the training and social integration of legal immigrants, and collaboration with the Barça Foundation in the implementation of the FutbolNet methodology in Greece, Lebanon, and Italy.


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