This is especially seen in Lithuania, where media, government and ordinary people are expressing concerns about refugees taking up ‘scarce’ resources and posing perceived risks to security. In fact, statistics show that 46% of people in Lithuania completely disagree with refugee relocation programme in Lithuania (Civitas, 2016). At the same time, Lithuania does not have the necessary experience to integrate refugees, since the country never had a large number of immigrants before. This leads to more than 90% of relocated refugees leaving the country after 3-6 months of their stay here (Lithuanian CARITAS, 2017).
To tackle these issues and promote cooperation between refugees and locals, 1-year project “Sports Together” has been initiated. Main idea of the project is to create sustainable programme for refugee integration through sports and lower existing fears and phobias towards refugees.