Topic 1: Webinar with Vienna Institute for International Dialogue and Cooperation, Austria and Terre des hommes, Romania

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In the webinar ‘Include everyone!’ we were joined by representatives of organisations from Austria and Romania who presented their work with specific target groups of refugees and migrants.

Kurt Wachter from the Vienna Institute for International Dialogue and Cooperation (VDC) shared his experiences with the ‘SPIN Women’ project (Sport Inclusion of Migrant and Minority Women: Promoting sports participation and leadership capacities). Through its activities, SPIN Women demonstrates the different perspectives of migrant and ethnic minority women and develops strategies to increase their involvement in sports. Kurt presented his project and its initiatives, including toolkits, European training for connecting sport stakeholders, transnational networking and advocating for policy change, education and raising public awareness. You can find out more about the project here

Kayra Hohmann continued the webinar with her findings from ‘Action research for inclusion’, gathered from women refugees and migrants participating in sports activities. Her part of the research was conducted in Germany where she focused on ‘non-mainstream’ football clubs: cultural and ethnic migrant organisations and football clubs that target minority groups like refugees, transwomen and queer people. In particular, she looked at the young girls with migratory backgrounds to find out what obstacles they are facing in mainstream sports and their reasons for choosing alternative organisations.

According to her findings, it was crucial for the young women that the clubs proactively created a safe environment for them. Alternative football organisations often show more pronounced awareness and have precise rules towards incidents of racism and anti-discriminatory policies. Moreover, mainstream football clubs could not offer social bonding activities for the newcomers, which made some women feel out of place: “Football remained a practice but not a joined experience.” Another interesting finding was that mainstream clubs sometimes do not show an understanding of the life situations of women with migratory backgrounds, e.g. penalising them for missing training when they had commitments to attend language or integration courses. Read more about the research and other publications from the project here

Cristina Vladescu from Terre des hommes spoke about her experiences of working with children and families affected by migration, refugee and asylum seeker status and introduced the methodology ‘Movement Games and Sport’. Terre des hommes (a leading Swiss organisation for children’s aid) has for many years been promoting the benefits of sport in contributing to positive social outcomes among vulnerable displaced and migrant/refugee communities.

Movement, Games and Sport is a methodology developed in 2005 and piloted in the areas affected by wars and natural disasters and then successfully transferred to Europe from 2008. It’s based on using games as a way to involve children on many levels (physical, cognitive and emotional), and specifically focuses on transforming traditional competitive games into cooperative ones, which helps the refugees feel recognised as they are based on the tradition of the refugee community.

Check out this guidance on traditional games for child protection and the manual of psychosocial skills for working with children and their environment.

Cristina also briefly introduced the structure of the training modules as well as the main principles the methodology is based on, among which the most important one is increasing resilience in children. She also talked about the MOVE Together project, which created a mixed group of women trainers who are able to provide psychosocial support to refugee children and youth.

We rounded up the webinar in breakout rooms where we discussed the challenges the participants are facing when involving different target groups.

You can watch the webinar recording below.

More about the organisations

Vienna Institute for International Dialogue and Cooperation (VDC)

The VIDC is the oldest development policy organisation of civil society in Austria. Since its foundation in 1962, the Institute has been committed to an international dialogue on a ‘level playing field’. In our three departments Global Dialogue, kulturen in bewegung and fairplay, we want to make a critical public aware of social, political, cultural and economic developments.


Kurt Wachter

[email protected]

Terre des hommes

Every child in the world has the right to a childhood. It’s that simple.

Terre des hommes (Tdh) is the leading Swiss organisation for children’s aid. Every year, it provides assistance to over four million children and members of their communities in almost 40 countries through our health, protection and emergency relief programmes.


Cristina Vladescu

[email protected]