Meet the five winners of our dream football design contest
The young refugees and supporters behind the winning football designs will see them brought to life to support sport programmes for displaced people.
This year, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, asked young artists worldwide to imagine the footballs of their dreams and submit their designs. We have partnered with Alive and Kicking, an ethical ball manufacturing non-profit, to turn five of the winning designs into real footballs. The balls are now on sale online. The funds raised will help support sporting activities for refugees.
Nadira, 16, India (from Afghanistan)
“I was born a differently abled person. The sports world makes us, especially refugees and people who are called disabled, endeavour for the best. I have been passionate about drawing from an early age as it provides me with a tranquil space to freely express myself and the courage to face and overcome any issue in my life. I drew this football to show the inclusive aspect of sport and how it is capable of bonding people together. I wanted to show how sport can transform people’s lives along with bringing hope and joy to everyone, everywhere.”
Gerald, 23, Italy (from Cameroon)
“I arrived in Italy five years ago. After a few months, I became a volunteer and I started helping the less privileged in my community. I was later employed as a cultural mediator to work with the doctor in our reception centre. I’m currently the advisor for Unified with Refugees programming for the Special Olympics. In my drawing, I simply tried to show that sport is for everyone, just like the time on a clock, and does not look at our skin colour or physical condition. Sports bring hope and joy to those who practice it.”
Skarly, 12, Brazil (from Venezuela)
“My drawing represents the union in sport. At the time that I was drawing it, I felt like I was exercising my mind. I’m a refugee from Venezuela. I’ve been in Brazil with my brother and my mother for one year. At the moment we’re in a temporary shelter. I’m already enrolled in the 6th year of elementary school.”
James, 10, Ireland
“I play for Kilcock Celtic in County Kildare, and my dad coaches the team. We are due to start training again with the club as it was closed for a long time due to the pandemic. I am looking forward to training and playing with my team again. My artwork for this competition symbolizes hope. Hope is something that is very important at the moment for everyone – hope and positive thoughts.”
Hala, 14, Saudi Arabia (from Palestine)
“I’ve loved drawing since I was young. About a year ago, I was attracted to the art of mandalas and I started painting a lot. I always try to invent new ideas, but I have never shown what I draw to anyone except for my parents. Finally, I hope to God that there will be no refugees and that everyone will return to their homeland and live in it with love, happiness and peace.”