KAA Gent Study visits
On the 2nd day of the 11th EFDN Conference; CSR in European Football, we will visit three different community programmes of our host and this years ECA CSR Award winner KAA Gent. In three different venues, staff members of KAA Gent Foundation will explain the aims and activities of the projects and the partnerships that they build to deliver the programmes.
Pierre Van der Veken: ‘Breaking barriers through football’, Ghelamco Arena.
The core business of the KAA Gent Foundation is supporting and organising social and emancipatory projects for underprivileged groups in society. At the ‘Gantoise Plantrekkers’ the KAA Gent Foundation works with homeless people, people who are part of assisted living projects, refugees, people who are recovering from a drug or alcohol addiction and work with the football values of diversity, respect, friendship and Fairplay. We create a safe environment where we help them find their way, in cooperation with the ‘Straathoekwerk’ Services (public service of social workers embedded in neighbourhoods) and the Emancipating Work Services. Both a women’s and a men’s team participate as KAA Gent in the Belgian Homeless Cup. Meanwhile the ‘Geestige Buffalo’s’ is a team for inhabitants of Ghent with psycho-social problems. In cooperation with the different services for mental health, we lower the barrier for psychiatric patients to participate in sports.
Pierre Van der Veken is a staff member of the KAA Gent Foundation since September 2014. Together with social workers within KAA Gents community projects, he elaborated the #COBW methodology to strengthen all sorts of skills of the people who participate in the social-emancipatory programs of KAA Gent Foundation.
Ellen De Jans, ‘KAA Gent in the neighbourhood’, Community House Bij Pino.
KAA Gent wants to assist in building a beautiful future for Nieuw Gent-Steenakker, in the neighbourhood of the football stadium, through working with inhabitants and local organisations who are working to improve the neighbourhood. At the Rerum Novarumsquare we take care of the Bij Pino, an easily accessible community centre we manage in cooperation with local inhabitants and other organisations. At the same time, socially innovative neighbourhood sports and school sports initiatives such as the Buffalo Cup and the Buffalo League are organized in and in cooperation with the neighbourhood. In January we start with a dance initiative for boys and girls, between the apartment buildings of Nieuw Gent: the Buffalo Dance Academy. With this program, KAA Gent won the ECA CSR & Community Award 2018.
Ellen De Jans is a staff member of the KAA Gent Foundation since December 2016. She manages community house Bij Pino participates in local advisory councils and network groups shaping the future for the neighbourhood and its inhabitants.
Filippe Van de Craen – ‘Every Talent Counts: coöperation with grassroots football clubs’, HT Zwijnaarde
In 2014, the city of Ghent and KAA Gent awarded an important role to the KAA Gent Foundation in support of youth football in Gent. 13 football clubs in Gent accepted the invitation and work together with KAA Gent in the program ‘Every Talent Counts’. Together they have one goal: creating a pleasant football environment in Gent where the well-being of the children and youngsters is key and where every young player (male or female) gets the opportunity to develop both on a personal and on a sportive level, because Every Talent Counts. By now, the project involves all Gent football clubs with a youth department, 200 youth coaches and over 3000 young players. Accessible training for youth trainers, youth coordinators and club directors strengthen the base of Gent’s football clubs.
Filippe Van de Craen is project manager of the KAA Gent Foundation since July 2018. He guides the grassroots football clubs in their social role.