Middlesbrough FC Foundation, are demonstrating how football clubs and sport, can make such an impact on the lives of so many. Both in the community and as in Jonas' case, refugees. On the first show we feature Middlesbrough, footballers, former Chelsea legend, John Obi Mikel and George Savilletaking part and endorsing the club's great work. Using football as the universal language.
One such beneficiary of The Club Together, initiative is Yonas. A 28 year old refugee from Eritrea. In his home country, Yonas was P.E. teacher but on an evening was forced to work for the Army, supporting the Government. Yonas fought against this because it didn’t align with his beliefs. For this, he was tortured which resulted in him fleeing the Country. After escaping persecution in his home country, Yonas arrived in England in 2016. Three days later he joined #Clubtogether. Yonas receives £35.00 per week to live on and at the time of starting with #Clubtogether, was unable to gain employment because of his lack of citizenship. As with many of the attendees, Yonas turned up to sessions with no appropriate kit or footwear. At his first session, a football festival, Yonas played in jeans and a shirt.
Over the course of the last two years, Yonas has become a key member of #Clubtogether due to his passion and love of football and his popularity within the group. In 2018, Yonas gained ‘remain to leave’ status (5 years) in the UK and has since signed up to become a volunteer for the Foundation and is due to complete his FA Level one this year. He has travelled to national football tournaments, in Leicester, Barnsley and Newcastle and within the last two months has started a degree at Teesside University in Sports Therapy. Yonas has also taken on a mentoring role with new participants who join the programme to support their first steps and to assist Foundation staff by providing interpreting skills.
The achievements of Yonas in the last two years have been incredible. He is now in a position to use those experiences to achieve his aspirations of gaining employment within the sports industry and supporting new refugees and asylum seekers to help them achieve similar outcomes. Make sure you get the full story and hear contributions from Jonas himself and top footballers, George Saville, and John Obi Mikel The show will air on SKY TV / Channel 192 / Sunday 16th of June - 5.30 pm To repeat on Wednesday 3 pm & Friday 8 pm same channel