Portrait: Strength and unity out of despair, free life lessons from FC Lampedusa!

Posted: October 16, 2014 by Zouz in Other..., Other...
Tags: , , , ,

LampedusaHH

There is one good thing to the otherwise disgusting ( 😀 ) national football weekends, the break from the matchreport-after-matchreport “routine” and the ability to deal for a change with issues other than the usual FCSP flow but at least equally significant. Let’s leave for a little while brown & white aside and switch to yellow & black, not BVB dummy, FC Lampedusa Hamburg yellow & black 🙂

 

Let’s take it from the very beginning for anybody unfamiliar with the subject… These are some of the very few guys that made it. Living in Greece makes you a perfect first hand witness of the results of Dublin II, there’s around 1 million (10% or so of the total population) refugees or other immigrants trapped here in the land of perdition, having no way to move either back or forward and living in almost inhuman conditions in places varying from the soil of the police station cells or yards (!) that they are kept for months to the modern detention camps like Amygdaleza which actually is nothing more like a modern version of the early Dachau during its 1938 days… A border around the “healthy” core of Europe, keeping the unwanted locked at the developed countries, portals to Asia and Africa like Italy and Greece. This was probably “working” even marginally during the post Olympic years of “prosperity and wealth” here but everything collapsed when recession arrived and right now we’re living in a land that can’t even feed its own and – despite the cement walls that are being built (to keep our fellow humans out) – is being flooded at the same time by thousands of desperate (and unluckier than us) people everyday who just want to break through towards a better life and a place in the sun, somewhere in Europe but they are trapped here instead, deprived from any kind of health and welfare while in Brussels they are whistling unsuspected…. As this is written, there is an campaign playing on TV, organized by a TV channel, in order to gather essential hygiene goods for people imprisoned in the Amygdaleza camp, goods that the state that imprisoned them in isn’t able to provide…

These lads managed through the Hell of both Libya and Lampedusa and struggled for the right to a decent living for months in Hamburg and, with a little help from the magic neighborhood where the circumstances drove them (SAAAAAANKT PAAAAAAULIIIIII, ooops!), seems like they are winning the first rounds. Instead of chattering, let’s leave the word to them as expressed in both German and English on their blog:

 

FC Lampedusa Hamburg is a football team made up of players from the Lampedusa Refugee Group in Hamburg, the west african migrants, who worked for years in Libya until they had to flee from violence and war across the Mediterranean Sea to the Italian island of Lampedusa.

There they had to live in detention centres financed by the EU. When the EU stopped funding these centres, the Italian authorities equipped the fugitives with residence permits on humanitarian grounds., then they sent them – with only a small amount of money – to northern Europe.

Over 300 of the so-called “Lampedusa Refugees” arrived in the winter of 2012/13 in Hamburg and were provided shelter by the municipal winter emergency program. There people from different countries of origin, different religions and different language groups came together. When this program ended in April 2013, the people were forced to live in the streets whilst the Hamburg Senate urged them to return to Italy, despite there being no prospect of work for them there.

80 of the refugees were given shelter in the St.Pauli Church and were warmly welcomed into the local community with the support of the neighbourhood residents and fans of the FC St.Pauli. A huge demonstration, attended by thousands of people from Hamburg, supported the right for the refugees to remain in the city. During the winter of 2013/14 the church provided containers for some of the refugees to stay in. Many others found places in a self-organized solidarity winter emergency program in residential projects, club rooms and private apartments.

Now, most are back in the streets and still fighting politically and socially for their right to be allowed to live and work in Hamburg. The Hamburg Senate is simply sitting out the problem and still insists on them returning to Italy, which is completely overwhelmed as a Mediterranean state in the midst of the current economic crisis and can‘t offer the fugitives any prospects for their future well-being.

Football at FC Lampedusa Hamburg also has a political component:

FC Lampedusa Hamburg wants to create awareness and draw attention to the evils of European refugee policy and the situation of the group Lampedusa in Hamburg.

Our SLOGAN is:

„We are here to play – we are here to stay!“

First and foremost, FC Lampedusa is a football team: 30 men, who love football and get together regularly for training, friendly matches and tournaments, enabling them to leave their dreary and troubled life behind for a few hours, meet new people and feel they belong to the local community.

The Coaching Crew currently consists of five women who train the team voluntarily. For many years, this group of women have been involved in the running of the handball and women‘s and girls‘ football department as well as various other social projects connected to FC St.Pauli.

By supporting FC Lampedusa Hamburg you are helping to enforce their general right to stay in Hamburg, and welcoming these refugees to „our“ wonderful world of football: because everybody has the right to play football wherever he or she wants to play.

The whole team of the FC Lampedusa Hamburg and the FC Lampedusa Coaching Crew thank you for your donation and your support.

Supporting the team with love & hope, spirit & passion, equipment & transport.

 

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And in case anybody wonders, yes they know something about football 🙂 I had personally the chance to find it out incidentally last March during a solidarity football tournament at the Budapesterstraße 58 indoor hall, before the “establishment” of FC Lampedusa where they seemed the only ones, out of all participants, really relevant to the sport 🙂 In case my expert opinion is not enough, then the 3rd place achieved in 2014 FCSP Fan Club Tournament, should do 😀 As we speak, they have a full football team, playing in the lowest Hamburg leagues. FC Lampedusa is the perfect example of refugee integration into a local society that, instead of reacting in the known bigotted xenophobic ways, really embraced them from the very beginning and allowed them to have a chance for the better life (which they actually deserve much more than some of my fellow lucky cocitizens and neighbours who, cheating bastards for their entire lives, are moaning about crisis without even having seen their fridge empty yet).  Let’s all hope that all remaining problems with the German state (which doesn’t quite reflects the local spirit, at least at St. Pauli) will sooner or later get settled and these people will have no problem posing for a photo as a regular football team anymore… Good luck towards a better life people and good luck next week (25/10) vs Atletico Hamburg CF!

Related links:

Further reading:

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 Note: Of course FC Lampedusa Hamburg is not the only example, it’s just the closest to us for a variety of reasons. Fortunately times are changing and new initiatives appearing slowly all around. Anybody interested should really check UNITED GLASGOW FC, to begin with 🙂

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Comments
  1. melli says:

    it’s yellow, red and BLUE 🙂
    no chance to get confused with dortmund colors!
    thank for this great report!! we love it!!

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