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Sport for refugees - Let's Play!

Sport for refugees - Let's Play!

29 July 2008

Violence, persecution and flight are common experiences to all refugees. Children are among the most vulnerable victims of displacement, but often the most neglected. For refugee children sport can play a particularly important and healing role, helping to address health as well as social and developmental needs.

Sports programmes can help counteract psychosocial problems and environmental and health issues as well as stress and loneliness. They contribute to physical fitness, mental well-being and social integration by providing a safe forum in which a child can develop physically, emotionally and mentally.

In situations where formal education is limited or unavailable, sport can act as a vehicle for learning. This is extremely important for refugee girls, who may be deprived other avenues for growth because of cultural beliefs or time-consuming chores. Even children with disabilities, when provided the proper facilities, can excel at sports, raising their self-esteem.

UNHCR recognizes the power and importance of sport, and works with implementing partners and corporate sponsors to ensure sports are integrated into refugee programmes.

Sport Partnerships

  • FC Barcelona
  • Federation Internationale de Volleyball
  • International Olympic Committee
  • Nike Foundation
  • Nike Inc.
  • Peace Cups Korea
  • Right to Play