The Football Association of Ireland in conjunction with some key partners intend making an application under the EU call for proposal in the area of preparatory action in the field of sport. http://ec.europa.eu/sport/preparatory_actions/doc866_en.htm This call was issued recently by the EU Directorate General for Education and Culture and covers the following areas: 1. Social inclusion in and through sport 2. Volunteering in Sport As the EU call for proposals stipulates that actions should be carried out with 5 transnational partners, we are looking for partners (Football Associations and or NGO) who currently use sport for social inclusion to work with us on this proposal. Below is a synopsis of our proposal. Context: There is already considerable practical activity taking place at grassroots level to promote integration through football. However, these activities tend to be isolated and patchy, and enjoy little publicity and recognition outside of the annual Action Week supported by Football Against Racism in Europe. Only with greater national leadership and international co-ordination will this become focused and sustainable Specific objective(s) To scale up the impact of the valuable work that is taking place on the ground, what is needed is an evaluation of what is effective, widespread dissemination of such evidence based good practice, and its replication and publicisation across the continent. National football associations and NGO’s are key to success here, as they can both support grassroots initiatives and act as focal points of an international network of exchange of good practice. Over the period of the project, the partner associations/ngo will elaborate a menu of effective practices to promote integration, which will be collated into a printed guide. What constitutes effectiveness will be aligned with key indicators of integration, notably access to education and employment and social inclusion, as identified aspirationally in the Stockholm Programme for justice and home affairs for 2010-15. Beyond the life of the project, there will be a web-based resource, for which the lead partner will take responsibility, which will allow continuous updating and the maintenance and even expansion of the network established. Detailed description: Practical activities utilising football for integration on the ground tend to revolve around the facilities available to grassroots clubs, often working in conjunction with schools and local authorities. They may include:-- • efforts to develop the ‘open club’: o open days for local children and youth, with sustained efforts to attract kids (girls as well as boys) from minority backgrounds; o links developed with local schools, especially those with concentrations of ethnic minority pupils, encouraging club membership; o support for school-related activities to use football to promote knowledge of the ‘host’ language among minority children; and o efforts to involve minority parents, including in club management; • projects using municipal resources for integration: o small-sided/Futsal leagues, including players from all nationalities in the locality (preferably mixed up, rather than in single-nationality teams); o multi-ethnic tournaments, with structured arrangements for intercultural dialogue, particularly where ethnic divisions are strong; o street-football initiatives targeted at the socially marginalised, which may be best delivered by a local NGO; o round-tables or conferences, with well-known football and municipal figures in attendance, to show commitment by both to interculturalism; and o a football (or sports) sub-committee of the local integration council/committee (where such exists), to develop initiatives in partnership with minority associations. The project will identify case studies of these and other practices, and subject them to evaluation, through: • interviews by the researchers with organisers and participants; • where possible, observation of the activity; and • mutual exchanges among the partners. Description of the roles of the partners in the project: Each partner will seek to identify a total of ten case studies (2 per partner) for detailed analysis by impartial experts. They will also engage in a process of peer review of the case studies as worked up. And at a concluding stakeholder conference, they will bring a broader perspective to bear in exchanges on the lessons to be gleaned from the project as a whole. The EU call for proposals indicates that 25% of the project funding would come from the partners. It is envisaged that this will be contributed via BIK (partner’s staff time) If you would like to be considered as a partner and would like to discuss any of the above further please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org before the 27th of July 2010.