Yes, it’s a goooooaaaaaaaal: both teams leave victorious!

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Scouts and Guides contributing to refugee support activities in their local communities in Europe (24): a story from Rohrbach-Berg, Austria

This is probably a familiar scene in many villages across Europe: 22 boys and girls engaged in a football match on a sunny Satruday afternoon. The local pitch in Rohrbach-Berg in Upper Austria is no exception in this, but if you look a little closer, this particular match is different! IIn fact, it is the weekly encounter between “Austria” and “Syria”, or more precisely between a team of Scouts and Guides from the local Scout and Guide Group (member of the Oberösterreichische Pfadfinder und Pfadffinderinnen, Pfadfinder und Pfadfinderinnen Österreichs) and a team with players recruited among the young Syrians who had found refuge in the village.

Lisa, a Leader with the Scout and Guide Group in Rohrbach-Berg is very pleased with the development of this initiative: “Our Groups was looking for a way to help our new neighbours to reach out to the local inhabitants. And quickly, we decided to organise weekly football games. Afterall, football is common all around the world. It is the same game with the same rules in our village and in the countries the refugees had to leave.”

So, a month ago, the first match took place: “Everybody involved was so enthousiastic about this, that we agreed to meet again the following Saturday, ” says Lisa, and the matches have continued every weekend since then. “Playing football together is a very good way to meet in ‘known territory’, to make new friends and to learn more about each other. There is always a good atmosphere on the field and around it: we have a growing crowd of cheering fans, both from the village and from the refugee centre.”

The Scout and Guide Group has already decided to book the football field for the next months. So, if you are around, why not join the crowd and cheer the players from Austria and Syria?

If you are involved in a similar refugee support activity in your local community, let us know and we will share it, too: just complete this form!