18 July 2012

Africa: Olympic Kits to Bring the Joy of Sport to Tens of Thousands of Refugees

press release

Geneva — The UN refugee agency will help distribute sport kits in 20 countries over the next two years under a programme aimed at bringing sports to more than 150,000 youngsters living in camps for the forcibly displaced.

UNHCR has teamed up with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the South Korea-based Samsung Group to run the scheme, which was launched recently at ceremonies in India and South Africa.

Each IOC sports kit contains basic equipment and material for about 300 players, including balls, bibs, caps, shirts and chalk to mark out a field. The kits will enable young people in refugee or IDP (internally displaced person) camps or sites to organize games that will help provide fun and a semblance of normality in their lives.

The sports kits will be distributed at 20 sites chosen by UNHCR in Africa, Asia and South America. IOC President Jacques Rogge said that distribution of the sports kits would mean that "many young people living in camps and settlements for refugees will be able to experience the joy of sport. They deserve to live like other young people in the world: learning and playing."

UNHCR has long promoted sport and education for all refugee children. Sport can play an important role in relieving tension and fear among people having to live together in camps and settlements.

The programme was launched just weeks ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games in London. UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres will attend the opening on July 27.

Copyright © 2012 United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.