Football team of undocumented migrants leads the way

While speakers and attendants are flying in tomorrow for What Design Can Do, another international gathering of a different kind will take place in Amsterdam as well. Wednesday afternoon football international and technical trainer at Ajax Amsterdam Brian Roy will train the We Are Here football team formed by asylum seekers whose applications have been rejected.  We Are Here FC is part of a more extensive project by designer / artist Annette Kouwenhoven.

The football team, led by Yusuf Adam, recruits players from the We Are Here group of rejected asylum seekers who are wandering about Amsterdam for more than two years now. The group inhabited different vacant buildings in the city. Without the possibility to return to their countries of origin the group confidently manifests itself under the We Are Here banner.

Designer Annette Kouwenhoven, currently following a postgraduate course in the System D Academy programme at Sandberg Institute, accompanies We Are Here FC as part of a bigger plan for next year. ‘Next year in May design academies from all around Europe will gather in Amsterdam on the occasion of the European Summit that will be held here,’ she tells. ‘I intend to organize a sports event for the design students in which we will invent a new game based on communication. We Are Here FC will play an important role in this, because there is a lot to learn from undocumented migrants when it comes to communication.’

We Are Here FC is sponsored by Wereldhuis, a centre for undocumented people in Amsterdam. The training on Wednesday starts at 14:00 hours at VV Spartaan in Amsterdam West. ‘Anyone who wants to come and support us is more than welcome,’ Kouwenhoven says. ‘We can also use any football shoes or shinguards people want to share. Additional sponsoring is welcome too’, she adds with a grin.