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Fútbol Más arrives at Mexico’s southern and northern borders in order to generate protected spaces for children in contexts of migration

Copyrights: Fútbol Más Foundation

Fútbol Más arrives at Mexico’s southern and northern borders in order to generate protected spaces for children in contexts of migration

Fútbol Más is working to use and promote football for youth development in Mexico, along with UNICEF, to provide socio-sportive workshops for young people in migrant contexts.

Due to its proximity to the US, Mexico has experienced migration for many years. For this reason, the country has been seeking answers to improve the living conditions of thousands of people traveling throughout Mexico. Chiapas’ southern border and Tijuana’s northern border are the protagonists of Fútbol Más and UNICEF’s work. Both organisations sought to find spaces of integration and protection for young people through football, while their families move forward in life looking for a better future.

Fútbol Más foundation has been working in Mexico for three years, carrying their experience in community work and sport-for-development to various areas in Mexico. Part of this experience not only includes its neighborhood programme, but also an intense work, supported by UNICEF, in areas where natural disasters have occurred.

During 2019, we have experienced a huge improvement in our work because of humanitarian emergencies. This line of development has taken us to work with two very important projects: the southern and northern borders,” says Lucas Siqués, Fútbol Más Foundation executive director in Mexico.

At the southern border of Mexico, at the Tapachula district from the State of Chiapas, migrants from countries such as Cuba, Haiti, Congo, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Eritrea, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria and Nepal all live together: “Everyone lives under the same conditions and has the same goal: to find opportunities,” says Quetzali Villalba, Fútbol Más coordinator in the area. During 2019 Fútbol Más has aimed its work at childhood protection in two areas of Chiapas, leading socio-sportive workshops that promote interculturality and integration to local culture through a methodology focused on the game.

In Tijuana, at the Northern border, Fútbol Más is also working with the community, sharing the methodology of sport-for-development with leaders who can then take it to communities that live within the Mexican reality nowadays and to migrants waiting for an opportunity to reach the United States.  

The main thing we have learned is to insert ourselves in contexts where cultural and language differences are critical. A great number of boys and girls have been victims of human rights violations, such as the ones migrant children suffer. What we want now is to transfer our knowledge so that sports can be a permanent tool to help migrants in the spaces where they live while waiting for their migration processes to conclude,” says Lucas Siqués.

These two interventions emerge in response to the humanitarian crisis that is happening in the midst of the Migrant Caravan. Fútbol Más has worked, up to now, with more than 4,200 youth and their families, achieving a positive impact which can be reflected in the improvement of the relationship between young people from the caravan and their life quality along with that of their families.

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Thursday, October 17, 2019 - 20:30