From Gravel to Grass for Afghani Refugees

For Afghani refugees, playing soccer on gravel is a thing of the past thanks to the ongoing and generous support of the Belmont North/Redhead Anglican Church.

The church has been sponsoring a team of young refugee men to play soccer in the Jesmond Football Club, allowing them to play one of the most popular sports in Afghanistan as they settle in their new homes in Newcastle.

The Anglican Church has formed strong relationships with local Afghani refugees through their ongoing Welcome Picnics at Redhead beach, and baby bundles for the young refugee mothers arriving in Newcastle.

Earlier this year crisis emerged for the team, and they were unable to fund their registration with Jesmond Football Club. The church committee voted unanimously to find donations to support the team.

“Our aim to ensure the young refugees can continue to build relationships with local communities and develop self-respect as they find their way in a new culture,” a spokesperson for the church said.

“Some of the wives also come to the home games enabling them to build friendships and connections with the community”.

The team formed in 2014 through a funding grant and have since mentored a number of young men, allowing them to build self-worth and form stronger community ties.

View NBN News footage here