Published on 21 October 2019

Johan Cruyff always paid attention to children in need. Before his passing, he expressed his wish to do something for the refugee children. And that's going to happen, as we received a special funding of the Dutch Postcode Lottery!

We're collaborating with Movement on the Ground. Last Friday, the co-founder of Movement on the Ground, Johnny de Mol, and our director were suprised by the Dutch Postcode Lottery with the news that we will receive 1 million euros. An incredible amount of money, which will be used to create safe spaces for refugee children and children from the Greece islands to play sports. It's needed, as the situation on the Greek islands is poignant, with a lot of unrest and a lack of facilities.

Together with Movement on the Ground we'll realize Cruyff Courts, on which we will run programs to develop children. Two on Lesbos and one on Samos. Places where the often traumatized children can run, have fun and smile. Playing sports together gives them useful daytime activities and learns them about civilisation and values. This makes them physically and mentally stronger and empowers them.

Something special is the connection we're going to make with the Greek population on the one hand, and the refugees on the other hand, as they can both participate in the sports activities. This makes the project strong and unique.

Johnny de Mol: "Amazing to hear the Cruyff Foundation thinks we should do more for refugees. With Wesley Sneijder as ambassador, project made a rapid acceleration. We won't only help the new refugees on Lesbos and Samos, but also the locals from the islands, who are in a tough situation. This helps us and we're eternally greatful for that. We're going to make this something special."

Thank you - players of the Postcode Loterij! Together with Movement On The Ground we'll work tirelessly to create spaces for these children from Greece and from the refugee camps.

Photo credits: Joey O'Loughlin