Roundtable discussion on Promoting Equal Opportunities of Migrants through Volunteering in Sport.
Mahatma Gandhi Human Rights Organization, partner in the Erasmus+ ESPIN
(European Sport Inclusion Network), has successfully organized a national
roundtable discussion in “Migrant Volunteering in Sport” thanks to the
participation of 22 members of several Hungarian organizations.
The aim of the roundtable was to share opinion, experiences and
suggestions on the inclusion of migrants through sports and volunteering.
As emerged in the discussion volunteers activities comprehends,
among others, coaching or training, sport events organization, networking,
fundraising and training: language courses, migrants cultures.
The benefits for migrants who volunteer their time are quite easy to
predict; in facts inclusion in sport activities facilitates integration through
the learning of the language, the establishment of friendship relations and
network. These in turn increase the possibilities to get information about job
or education opportunities. At the end sport activities enable not only healthy
life but also psychological uplift and self-confidence.
On the other hand migrants’ inclusion in sport activities leads to
practical benefits for clubs and sport structures too. Indeed new talents and
new skills shall bring to the teams that at the end raise their standard and quality.
Although clubs and
sport structures shall be more interested on the practical results, we cannot
undermine the cultural and social benefits from the presence of migrants, such
as making the club more tolerant and aware of other cultures.
Therefore in order to establish an efficient volunteering context
with migrants, sports structures/club shall have good information about the
background of migration and cultural diversities and on the legal and living
conditions of migrants and refugee in Hungary.
At the same time migrant volunteers require information about the
host-country sport culture, which is fundamental to interact successfully in a
culturally diverse environment, and the accessibility of sport clubs and
Indeed a good level of mutual understanding and knowledge is
unavoidable in order to succeed an efficient relations building scenario.
Therefore training about cultural diversities, migration backgrounds and
fair-play is important for both the actors and indispensable for defusing
However prejudices and language barriers affect the possibilities of
migrants volunteering who in addition struggle to sustain themselves
economically and hardly have time for volunteering.
At the same time grassroots clubs suffer from lack of funds,
information and support from government organizations.
In order to overcome these limits the roundtable discussion
recognizes that a handbook can be an important resource. It should contain all
the relevant information about volunteering and its benefits and it should be
accessible anytime from anywhere.
Mahatma Gandhi Human Rights Organization looks forward a further
cooperation in order to transform the theoretical reflections into practical
Organization thanks all the participants involved for the constructive contribution.
Budapest, 8th May, 2015