This Anna Lindh Foundation programme gave SCI Hellas the opportunity we have always been looking for; to help train and improve the skills of people who have been our volunteers and have shown amazing drive and will for doing more, learning deeper and working more efficiently. Cynthia, an immigrant from Nigeria, living in Greece for the past few years, has joined us with her group of friends and members of the same community. They were looking for a way to help other women escape domestic violence and threat and build a better life. How? Using football as a tool for social inclusion.
Then we started looking into football as a means for social inclusion particularly in run-down areas of the city of Athens. Those are populated by a number of people from a plethora of national backgrounds. All sorts of languages, cultures and religions come together to create a multicultural fusion that is here to stay. Cynthia got interested! So, we were looking for a way to make this an opportunity for all. When the EMY training took off she was there doing one hard thing after another only to come out stronger and more ready to take initiative and to be trusted a project.
SCI Hellas has managed through a lot of difficulties to adopt a small park in an area like the one above. An area that Cynthia calls home. We reconstructed the place; turned the neglected basketball ground into a football one; cleaned; equipped it; and talked to people into visiting it and allowing their children to play together under the guidance of trained coaches and the observant eye of Cynthia!
It was August 16, 2021, that Cynthia organized a celebration for the end of the summer activities in the park. She put into practice everything she learned as an EMY trainee, from an action plan to logistics. The kids had fun; we felt proud; Cynthia gained the self-confidence she needs because all this is happening again soon!