The YMCA is an organization that has been famous for many decades for its work in supporting and promoting sports. Throughout the week, people of all ages visit the YMCA facilities to exercise, choosing from a variety of sport classes and activities available.

However, the volleyball match organized last Thursday, November the 3rd, was a different match, far from ordinary.

A group of first-year high school students from Mantoulidis Schools visited the YMCA Thessaloniki to play volleyball with other children of the same age from the Intercultural Lyceum of Thessaloniki, among them there were several Unaccompanied Minors who live in the IOM shelter in Thessaloniki.

They were all children of the same age, with live so different and at the same time so parallel…. But sports once again put forward its “magic”, making everyone feel at home from the first second! The groups were mixed and all around us there were displays of camaraderie, laughter and noble rivalry. Young and old were filled with joy, enjoyed the beautiful race, while at the end medals were awarded to all the participants – they deserved it more than that!

I hope these initiatives will be even more frequent in the future. There can be no doubt that it is the most direct and effective way to face and fight all fear to diversity, to work together towards a brighter future and a society of genuine tolerance and inclusion.

We sincerely thank the Intercultural Lyceum of Thessaloniki, the Mantoulidis Schools, the IOM Unaccompanied Minors Accommodation Shelter and all my colleagues from the YMCA for the successful coordination of this beautiful initiative