GGWCup team from Greece
About coach Katerina Salta
Volunteering and solidarity have always been a big part of my life. I have been a volunteer as long as I can remember myself and for everything: animal welfare, the environment and people in need. So when thousands and thousands of refugees started arriving in my country, I couldn't stay home doing nothing. I volunteered in Lesvos island, at the borders in Idomeni and then at the port of Piraeus. After 8 months of volunteering, I got employed from a local NGO. Together we developed a new sector within the organisation to support the refugees and migrants in Athens.
In 2 1/2 years time, I designed and managed 19 programs: from Care and Maintenance of a refugee camp, to Dental Care for Children, from Employability and Livelihood to Green Education...but what really amazed me was the impact of the 8 football programs we implemented. More than 960 participants, adults and children and of course all of us, the team I was working with, we were able to experience what maybe only sport can provide: the opportunity for organised recreation in a safe environment, empowerment, skills' development, social inclusion and integration, life-time friendships and so much more! One of the things I am really proud of is that for these projects, 14 refugees have been trained and hired as sport educators, regarding the importance of sport as a tool for protection, social inclusion and integration. For all the above, I decided to focus on sport for development projects.
My motivation to be part of this special GGWCup & Erasmus+ Programme project
We can identify discrimination against women every single day. My motivation is to fight against any kind of discrimination as well as to promote the social inclusion and integration of refugee women, and equal access to sport for women. Human rights based rules of a sport can help to replace culturally discriminative norms that exclude women from sport. By bringing people together, building communities and fighting attitudes of xenophobia, negative gender stereotypes and racism, sport has the potential to make an important contribution to the integration of refugees in the EU.
Especially for refugee women integration, sport has an added value due to their vulnerability. As a tool for social integration, it encourages them to interact with the local society. Football can foster increased self-esteem and confidence of refugee women, empower them and develop skills needed to become equal participants and be part of a whole. A safe environment that sport provide, could be also extremely essential since they have passed through traumatic experiences. Through sport-based programs, refugee women can be equipped with knowledge and develop skills on employability.
Meet the team
I consider the GGWCup unique because it combines four important issues: sport, women, vulnerable populations and the SDGs. My vision is that the women of my team will become inspiring role models, not only for other refugee women but for women with less opportunities in general.
The team and players will be announced March 8, 2019.
I will implement the project in collaboration with the International Olympic Truce Centre.
I am the Sport for Protection Program Manager of the International Olympic Truce Centre as well as a freelancer on sport for development projects.
Former Program Director of the Greek NGO Organization Earth: 8 football programs for youth and adults in collaboration with: Barcelona Foundation, Youri Djorkaeff Foundation, UNICEF, UEFA, UEFA Foundation for Children, Street Football World
Trainer of Trainers (ToT for Sport Educators - Sport Welcomes Refugees, Erasmus + Sport Program ): I have been trained in Rome as a trainer of trainers and implemented a national training to Greek professionals of sport as well as to University students and NGOs workers in September 2018. The "We live together-we do sport together" national training was focused on why local sport clubs should include refugees in their sport programs, what kind of challenges they might face and how they can overpass them, best practices in Europe, legal issues, psychological trauma etc.
Football People Weeks: In collaboration with the NGO Faros, we organised a sports day in the island of Lesvos in October 2018. 120 children Greek and refugee children - among them many unaccompanied minors- celebrated #FootballPeopleWeeks.
Peace and Sport Award: In October 2018, Peace and Sport awarded Hope Refugee FC, a program I was implementing with Organization Earth as the Sport Organisation of the Year!
As the former Program Director of a local NGO, I have had a big experience in SDGs in general. Organization Earth is focused on promoting the SDGs to the Greek public and has translated and published the SDGs in Greek. I have participated in numerous SDGs events. During the "Summer Football Camp for Refugee and Migrant Youth", unaccompanied children aged 12-17 y.o. were learning about the SDGs through sport activities once per week. It was a collaboration with Youri Djorkaeff Foundation and UNICEF in summer 2018.
Regarding social issues, I experience and work on this every single day as I have decided to focus on sport for development projects for refugees and asylum seekers.
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