Sports & Development for displaced populations


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Our Vision

We believe in a world where all young people are given the opportunity to grow, develop and succeed through access to sport & education.

Our Mission

Our goals are to improve young people’s well being through creating a safe environment with support in Socrates project in the field or in the classroom.


Feel safe to express themselves, to play, and to learn.


Feel that they matter and what they want matters.


Their goals and dreams are possible to achieve, and they have everything they need to pursue those goals.


We want our participants to grow as players, and as people.

What is Socrates?

Who Are Our Players?

The basic idea behind Socrates is that the game of football can be an education for the game of life.  By helping players learn and improve their technical skills on the pitch, we can help them develop skills to deal with life off of it. Teaching a positive behavior or skill in a footballing environment can encourage players to apply those same behaviors and skills to other situations.

A shooting drill can impart lessons about overcoming setbacks, a passing drill can teach the value of teamwork, coordinating pressing and overloads can create situations to practice conflict resolution, exercises that encourage fair play can inspire an understanding of respect and group rules, and player to player coaching and support can create opportunities for leadership to emerge, and self-confidence to develop within and outside of football.

Players from Socrates come from a variety of countries, Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Guinea, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Syria. The political situation differs from country to country but within this set there are instances of active civil wars, insurgency and paramilitary action against civilians, and government repression of civil liberties and opposition politics. 

Regardless of the situation in their home countries, our players in Greece have been through traumatic events, regardless if they are unaccompanied minors or along with a legal guardian or their parents. Socrates participants age range is between 14 to 18 years old. Their legal status is uncertain, as their asylum claims are currently in process, and have yet to be decided, which is a source of enormous anxiety for them, and makes planning or thinking about the future difficult.

Our Programs & Methodologies


Every week, players have two pitch sessions where they learn through exercises social-emotional skills and technical footballing skills at the same time. Our pitch methodology is influenced by the FA’s Four Corners model which is working on Technical & Tactical, Physical, Social & Psychological development. Pitch sessions focus on teaching behavior and corresponding football skills in a controlled situation before setting up a game situation. In playing the game, the players will be challenged to practice and use these skills and behavior they have learnt. 


The players have twice per week classroom sessions where they practise a mix of roleplaying, video discussion and  football analysis, social-emotional learning, personal reflection, and learning about the incredible stories in football, players learn how to understand and express their emotions, recognize positive and negative behavior, broaden their understanding of football history, tactics, and technical skills, and develop skills to support themselves and others around them. In the classroom we provide a safe environment where the participants can express themselves, discuss and share their opinions while practicing on providing constructive feedback between them.


Given their backgrounds and current situations our players can have particularly complex needs that need to be supported in counseling sessions, BodyFlow (trauma-informed yoga practices)  but also at other moments. Our PSS interventions are influenced by trauma-informed methodology. Players are encouraged to ask coaches for advice and support on football and non-football related matters outside of their participation in the program and have access to a counselor for additional support.


The Socrates Difference

  • The interplay between pitch and class gives participants a chance to make connections between moments on the field, and moments in everyday life.
  • Our sessions emphasize the voice of the players by encouraging debate, discussion, and exploration of ideas, opinions, and emotions.
  • Players and coaches co-create a supportive enviroment that allows players to develope and grow



What’s Next

  • Developing Artemis, a gender empowerment program for girls that uses football as a key element.
  • Further evaluation of program’s methodology and impact in its second run.
  • Sharing our learnings with other SportsDev actors, particularly in our area of operations.
  • Expanding the program to other locations in Greece, and abroad to continue our work with displaced populations.

Happy Players

“When someone new is coming to the team it is important to show him trust and make him feel welcome in order to help him trust others as well.”


16 | Syria

” If you believe in yourself you can play everywhere, in every position, in every team”


17 | Siera Leone

“When you fail, you have to find what you did wrong and work on it to improve. Reacting with anger in failure will not fix anything. Your teammates will help you improve as they might have seen something that you’ve missed.”


17 | Afghanistan

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