The integration initiative entitled "Welcome Here" which is targeted primarily at unaccompanied refugee children age 14 to 17 years old, has proven invaluable to those who are new to Sweden and is at the heart of the Federation's work in fostering diversity and tolerance within Swedish society.
The outcomes have certainly been impressive and have included:
· Approximately 800 unaccompanied refugee children have regularly taken part in activities offered by the 20 clubs and around 2000 have tried basketball or taken part in other activities within the clubs
· 15 refugee young adults have participated in a special Leadership course that was created for the target group
· Hundreds of the members in the 20 clubs have in various degrees, been engaged in activities together with the unaccompanied refugee children
· Media coverage was obtained in over 50 newspapers, as well as national radio and television with great exposure through social media and podcasts
· The message has been spread through thousands of sold 'Välkommen hit' (welcome here) bracelets
· The initiative has reached politicians with a 3x3 basketball game between two Swedish cabinet members and refugee children
· Several national team players have taken an active part in the project locally
· It has strengthened the association between basketball and tolerance and inclusion
FIBA Board member and Sweden Federation President, Lena Wallin-Kantzy added: "We have made a film to showcase our work after the outcome of some research showed Swedish basketball is outstanding among other sports in Sweden when it comes to: integration and equality between sexes. It gives everyone, regardless of their social or economic background, a possibility."
Alvik Basket offers basketball practice once a week, and every Tuesday, parents with children playing for the club come to the refugee group home helping the unaccompanied children with their homework.
Elsewhere, Swedish national team player Kadidja Andersson is responsible for a local project in Sallen Basket. Every Friday she has been holding a well frequented basketball practice for unaccompanied refugee children.