The Club

Royal Europa 90 Kraainem FC is an amateur football club that is emerging in Belgium as “the club of diversity”. Founded in the 1990s by a group of EU officials, its original members could not have imagined that, 25 years later, their club would be home to more than 350 young people from 42 countries. This multicultural diversity is visible throughout the Kraainem club; it is a part of its DNA and is its greatest asset. The club has always believed that football is a major driver of social inclusion. As a grassroots sports organisation, it cultivates the social capital that it gleans from this diversity and creates the conditions that enable people to “live together” at the community level. From these foundations, the club has built a unique project that has pioneered the inclusion of young refugees and asylum seekers.

Collaboration with Collectif HUMA

Collectif Huma is a team of Belgian photojournalists that reports on social issues, including social exclusion and integration, humanitarian aid, education, injustice, and resilience. The exhibitions are connected, and Huma is now well-known both within Belgium and abroad. Its work was highlighted in the successful exhibition What the Foot? which took place at Géopolis and focused on the relationship between women and football around the world.

Welcoming youngrefugees and asylum seekers

In order to continue this trend, and in response to the migrant crisis that was striking Europe at the time, the club decided in September 2015 to launch The model put forward by Kraainem Football Club Every afternoon during the sports season, which runs from September to May, the club Welcoming Since October 2019, the club has also welcomed an exemplary initiative entitled “We Welcome Young Refugees” to help young refugees and asylum seekers to integrate. Since then Kraainem FC has adapted its daily life in order to welcome unaccom- panied minors into its ranks. This is a long-term initiative that is intended to help these young people in their journey towards integration in their new host country, Belgium. Young refugees have continued to arrive in the country, and over the last four years the club has joined forces with the Fedasil centres to welcome them in their hundreds and help them achieve their dream of becoming citizens.

Welcoming refugee women

Since October 2019, the club has also welcomed refugee women. In order to enhance diversity, the club has long cherished the idea of extending its project to women and the fact that Kraainem’s pitches are also rented by several teams from the female amateur league BBFL has helped make this possible. On Thursdays, four or five women from the Fedasil centre in Rixensart take part in the training sessions of one of these teams, the Flying Racoons. As some of them are mothers, the club occasionally offers childcare on request. The participants are also offered a meal where possible.