City in the Community Melbourne recently delivered the Young Leaders Program to Year 10 students from Narre Warren South P -12 with many of the participants from refugee and migrant backgrounds, predominantly from Afghanistan.
The program instilled and developed leadership in these young people with a view to engage them as mentors to their younger peers in City in the Community's Homework clubs.
Participants learned about the profound power of football to make a difference, community coaching and how to create inclusive environments on and off the pitch. Most significantly, the program gave them a boost in self-esteem and a connection to a professional football club and charity.
Throughout the leadership program, the greatest impact was on the female participants who mixed with their male counterparts in a football context and had the same opportunities to learn and get involved.
The program also incorporated inspirational speakers who shared their own stories as refugees and how they used sport to settle in Australia and overcome some of the barriers they have faced.