In March 2021, Alphonso Davies became the first footballer and first Canadian to be appointed as a Global Goodwill Ambassador for UNHCR. Alphonso Davies is a left-back for FC Bayern Munich and Canada Men’s National Football Team.
Accepting his role as UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, Davies said: “I am proud to join the UN Refugee Agency, as a Goodwill Ambassador. My own experiences make me want to speak up for refugees, to share their stories and to help make a difference.”
Born in a refugee camp in Ghana, to Liberian parents who fled the civil war in their home country, Davies knows first-hand what it means to be a refugee: “Whilst the refugee camp provided a safe place for my family when they fled war, I often wonder where I would have been if I had stayed there and not benefited from the opportunities I got thanks to resettlement. I don’t think I would have made it to where I am today.”
Davies and his family were resettled to Canada when he was five. At 15, Davies began playing professional football and only a year later he had his national team debut, making him the youngest player ever on Canada’s Men’s National Team. Now Alphonso is keen to support the work of UNHCR and harness the power of sport to help those forced to flee to build a better future:
“I want people to know about the importance of helping refugees, wherever they are, in camps or cities, in neighboring countries or countries of resettlement such as Canada. Refugees need our support to survive, but also access to education and sports, so they can fulfil their potential and truly thrive.”
Alphonso Davies started supporting UNHCR in 2020, including through a livestream tournament for refugees. In February 2021, Davies helped launch a Canadian Government campaign, called Together for Learning, to promote access to quality education for refugees around the world. In March 2021, UNHCR launched a video together with football community 433, in which Davies connects to three young refugees in Liberia, Canada and Germany.