Charity Focus: Football for Refugees

This has nothing to do with wine, but I wanted to give some publicity to an amazing and innovative charity initiative set up by some friends of mine.

They’ve established an Irish-based NGO called Football For Refugees, a volunteer organisation that runs football festivals and funds football training for refugee children. They are presently operating on the island of Lesvos, in Greece.

Their core aim is to use football as a means to promote health, social integration and – most importantly, given everything that these children have already been through – fun.

They are having their first fundraising gig on Tuesday 20th December in Whelan’s in Dublin from 7:30pm to 11pm, in aid of the 2nd Football Festival that they will run in Lesvos in January 2017.

There will be good music, some merchandising for sale, and good craic on the night. Tickets are €15, which all goes to the charity, and are available on the door (or you can register your interest via the Facebook Event page here.)

Please follow them via these social media links, and there’s an opportunity to donate and/or get in touch via their website:
Facebook: and
Twitter: @karatepeunited and @futbol4refugees


Here is a brief summary of who they are and what they do from a recent press release they sent me:

The 1st Refugee Football Festival in Lesvos took place in September and it was a great success.

Since then we have been sponsoring weekly football training for refugee children and youth of the Kara Tepe Refugee Camp, in partnership with a Lesvos-based NGO called Movement on the Ground.

Most of the volunteers are from Ireland, but some have come from Catalonia, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, and UK.

As you know, there is a protracted refugee crisis in Greece and in Lesvos in particular (as it is a designated hotspot for the processing of asylum applications from refugees arriving from Turkey).

Refugees are stuck there until their applications for international protection are processed, and the processing time is almost as long as it is in Ireland!


The living conditions are very precarious in Kara Tepe refugee camp and absolutely appalling in the bigger one, Moria.

This projects aims to extend European solidarity to the people of Greece as they have taught a lesson to the world in the humane manner in which they have treated hundreds of thousands of refugees who have landed on its shores, even when Europe let them down with the infamous, immoral and illegal agreement with Turkey which entered into force on 18 March this year. The project is implemented with the support and in partnership with the local Greek authorities and people.

If you cannot come to the gig but would like to support this project, we also welcome donations  🙂

We also welcome football gear i.e. football boots/shoes, socks, shin guards, shorts, and jerseys.

Any and all help and support will be most welcome as the kids will need shoes/boots for sure!



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