Sport for Solidarity

Strengthening social cohesion and inclusion through sports among refugees and Turkish youth
Good Practices

Sport for Solidarity

Strengthening social cohesion and inclusion through sports among refugees and Turkish youth
Girls pose on a volley ball court and smile to the camera

The project in brief

The project is implemented by Ministry of Youth and Sports in Türkiye. It began in May 2022 and is currently ongoing. It should be completed in May 2025. 

The project aims to strengthen the social cohesion of children under temporary and international protection and children of the host community through sports, and to identify children at risk through activities to be conducted under the Project and refer them to the relevant institutions.

The elements behind the success of the project are based on the right and good partnership for the project implementation, the capacity and facilities of the Ministry of Youth and Sport, and the well-balanced budget for the project staff. 

Main activities of the Good Practice

The project aims to use sports as a tool for social cohesion. Activities are carried out in 7 cities, namely Istanbul, Ankara, Bursa, Izmir, Mersin, Sanliurfa, and Adana. The activities conducted are as follows:

  • Sports Courses: Sports courses in various branches are offered in 6-month cycles. These courses benefit refugee and host community children aged 7-12 and 13-18. In each city, 10 courses are conducted in each cycle with 30 children participating. The goal is to reach 12.600 children over the project. The courses not only aim to strengthen social cohesion but also serve as a tool for identifying vulnerable children.
  • Awareness-Raising Activities: Seminars are organized for children and their families on topics such as peer bullying, child rights, nutrition, hygiene, disaster preparedness, and environmental awareness, which have been identified as needing increased awareness.
  • Festivals: At the end of each period in each city, a one-day sports festivals are organized. The aim of the festival organization is to share the positive and sports related outcomes of the activities with the refugee and host community.
  • Youth Leader Camp: Every year, 80 children from each city are selected for the Camps. In these camps, refugee children receive training on various subjects and strength their social cohesion.
  • Training of Trainers and Staff: Training are held to increase the capacity of the staff and trainers, to strengthen the coordination between the staff and the project partners and to increase the efficiency of the project. 
  • Facilitator Guide: A guide showing how to do "Protection through Sports" was prepared and disseminated.

Partners involved

What challenges were encountered in delivering the project and how were they overcome?


The earthquake in 6th of February, 2023, was big challenge for the continuation of the project activities in the cities where are affected by the earthquake.

How they were overcome

After the short period of time, the activities have been resumed and the project activities has been used as a healing mechanism.

Results of the Good Practice

  • Sports courses were successful in improving students’ general well-being and promoting positive attitudes toward social cohesion
  • The awareness of children's families increased in various areas.
  •  Family-based events enhanced social cohesion among families.
  • The capacities of coaches improved.
  • The project's outcomes were disseminated, providing guidance to other institutions.

In what way does the good practice meet one or more of the four objectives of the Global Compact on Refugees?

Objective 2: Enhance refugee self-reliance

Engaging in sports not only provides physical benefits but also strengthens psychological well-being, boosts self-reliance, and enhances social skills. The project makes an impact on the lives of refugee children during their crucial childhood years, which are essential for personal and social development. It achieves the goal of enhancing refugee self-reliance.

Next steps

Using sport to support the social cohesion and inclusion of refugees to host communities is one of the most successful tools. Türkiye is one of the biggest host country for the refugees in the world and there are many refugees who need to be adjusted to the communities in Türkiye. Therefore, it is expected that the project will be extended. 

Are there areas in which support would be required to continue and/or scale up your good practice?

Türkiye hosts refugees in all its cities. The project covers the 7 the biggest cities of Türkiye but it need to be scaled up to more cities. 

Contact the project